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melody Swashbuckler

Where to draw the line between Adult vs Child avatars?

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With lolita styles becoming more and more popular in the grid, it seems that more and more adults are getting mistaken as child avatars cos they are petite and in a lolita style outfit. So my question to all of you is, what classifies as an adult avatar and when does one go over the line of an adult avatar and into a child avatar?

i've written down a few ideas that have popped into my head but know there are more than i am forgetting. The LL has made it quite vague what a child avatar is. For instance, is a petite female adult wearing a lolita style dress, hair in pigtails with ribbons in it, knee high socks and mary janes, an adult or a child avatar? What about a babyfur? Or an adult baby? Or an adult dressed in a schoolgirl uniform who attends a finishing academy?

Skin
* overall facial features of an adult
* females having make up (even if slightly)
* female skin showing breasts
* males with facial hair or shaven facial hair
* pubic hair

Shape
* females having an upper chest if ever so slightly (A cup)
* female shape having curves representing one of the 4 Female Body Shapes
* avatar being taller than child avatars. Heard at one point somewhere that the legal min for an adult avatar is 1.6m but there is no definite answer on height.
* male shape representing one of the 3 Male Body Shapes

Clothing
* lolita styles (don't know what it is, check the Wiki on Lolita Style )
* some may argue a diaper on an adult is sexual ageplay. is it?
* mary janes shoes
* knee high socks

Avatar Accessories
* sweet (and sometimes other) lolita styles are accessorized with cute, innocent and often enough childish items such as a lollipop, candy, a stuffed animal, princess-like bags and maybe even a pacifier. ( Flickr's Sweet Lolita as an example )
* little top hats

Hair
* pigtails
* barbie bubble bangs
* ribbons in your hair

So what say you? Where does the line draw between child and adult avatars?

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so lets see here, I dont wear makeup

I'm short, small breasts

I wear mary janes

and wear pigtails

 

also I have braces and freckles

 

yet I'm an adult avatar, I think the fact that I'm 5 months pregnant offsets the rest a bit but even without that, I think I present an air or adulthood, and when all else fails, read the person's profile or just ask

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If it isn't obvious, baby talk!

Though I'm not a native english speaker, I can say that I understand most of adult avatars talk, but when a person comes in and starts to talk using some kind of a not understandable baby language, thats definatelly a line.

Or, if an avi asks you "Do you wanna adopt me?" or "Do you wanna be my mommy?", thats a child avi lol

Also, I love to ask and avatars usually tell me if they are playing adult or child avis.

 

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 The 1.6m "legal minimum" is particularly silly. My grandma was shorter than that and I'm fairly certain I'm not older than my grandma. An adult man I've worked with in that crazy "real world" place away from the computer was much shorter than that and I know plenty of women shorter than that as well.

 In addition the whole height issue is skewed by over-sized avatars, poorly scripted height detectors, and LL's own appearance editor being broken. A 6' tall avatar is going to look like a child next to an 8'10" giant and sorry, but I'm not interested in paying more money for less land because someone is hung up on the size of my avatar.

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It can be difficult just from appearance to discern the age being portrayed by an Avatar just by appearance.  I go by what they say and do and / or what they state in their profile, what their 'roleplay' is.  Not by how they look per se.

While I may be stating the obvious, I overall see three concerns people have:

1.  Linden Lab's TOS regarding age play which bans sexual play between adult and child avatars.

2.  Peoples individual ethical or moral standards concerning sexual age play.

3.  Individual country's laws, some of which make even cartoon representations of sexual activity between an adult and a minor illegal, classifying that as "child porn."

Because of all of the above, and especially because of #3 for some people, I can understand why some people have a 'take no chances' attitude regarding avatar appearance.  And while this may seem onerous to some, I can understand their position.  The last thing in RL I would want to ever have to deal with is defending myself in a court of law over a pornography charge. 

So my attitude is basically the old cliche, when in Rome, do as the Romans. 

As Penny points out and I agree with her, we do have a serious problem with scale in SL.  But no one else really 'sees' the number you have chosen in your sliders.  So if you want to play at a SIM with a height restriction, adjust accordingly.  At that minimum height you will still APPEAR shorter than most if that is your desire.  If I want to go play at Penny's SIM, I know that I will need to re-size so I am not bumping my head into door ways.  I've got no problem with that.  The last thing  I would do would be to ask her to change her SIM to accommodate me.

Is this the best solution? No.  The best would be for LL to fix the scale problem.  But until they do, right now it is easier for me to adapt if I want to enjoy the entire grid.  I have a couple of shapes set to different heights.  It only takes me a click to change.

 

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melody Swashbuckler wrote:

So what say you? Where does the line draw between child and adult avatars?

 

I say : The line is in your head. Shift it towards the acceptance of infancy into areas of adult consent and find yourself excluded from common sense.

 

 

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@Jesica, bout the same as far as you with being short, small breasted, wearing mary janes, have braces, and in pigtails most of the time, yet constantly being called a child avatar.

As far as height is concerned, yes the whole height system is just total bogus. Do we really need an 8ft tall human avatar? My avie is 1.83m (6f.03ft) and i look short amongst other adults but taller than child avatars but i wear adult skin (Curio), shape (moded but from Dollette) and clothes (Honey Kitty).

Here's two examples of what i am talking about:

Full Bodyshot

 

 

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Unfortunately, most sims only take height into account when deciding whether or not an avi is a child or not. This results in many adult avi's being kicked out of the sim, and I'm sure some child avi's manage to stay. Adult sims would be better served to have staff monitering the sim as often as possible, and manually booting people who look and act like children.

For the lolita example, in particular - I would feel slightly uncomfortable in an adult sim with someone dressed in a fluffy pink dress with frilly stockings, Mary Jane shoes, hair in pigtails, ribbons, etc. However, if that person were conducting themselves like an adult, speaking like an adult, I wouldn't be bothered. Live and let live, and all that. If, on the other hand, that person were speaking in baby talk and/or acting very childish, I would probably report them.

I wish more sim managers paid attention to both sides of the story, rather than immediately boot someone as soon as they get an IM saying "OMG short av! Child av! BAN!!" (Or anything else, for that matter.) But I do understand the potential legal ramifications of allowing a child avi on an adult sim.

A diaper on an adult is a gray area for me. I'm not sure about the Linden TOS on this, as it's not one of my interests. Again, my standard would be if it looks like an adult, and acts like an adult...then I don't care whether or not it dresses like an adult. If it looks like a child, and acts like a child...

My interpretation of the Linden Labs policy on child avis is that it isn't the way they dress, per se - otherwise creators wouldn't be able to make and sell childlike clothing for adults, or things like pacifier gags, without getting in trouble. If your avi is short, flat-chested, with very few curves/muscles, no facial/pubic hair, and otherwise looks like a child, you have a problem. If your avi is short, but has some breast and curve (female) or muscle (male) definition, maybe some facial or pubic hair, and otherwise seems to be an adult, you should, theoretically, be fine.

It's up to the individual sim owner to decide if they want you in their sim. Some are a little too quick with the banhammer, unfortunately...Personally, I prefer sims that state that they may ask you to change some parts of your avatar if they feel that you look like a child, THEN ban you if you don't. This gives you the chance to change as requested, or to leave and find a more accomodating sim. I think it also helps some avi's realize that they look child-like, as that may not have been their intention.

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But that's the thing isn't it? We all have different lines in our own heads as to what is a child avatar and what is an adult avatar. Thus, a petite adult avatar wearing a lolita style dress with knee high socks, ribbons in their pigtail style hair, mary janes, an over sized pacifier in their mouth or hanging around their neck and maybe a diaper (hidden and on silent mode or not), would be considered a child avatar in one place and not in another. Yes there are certain situations where being dressed like that is not ok, say a fancy ballroom or a wedding. But what about just walking around in a store or at an adult hangout place?

There are grown women who walk around in RL with similar outfits on, primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere of the World. LL has clarified vaguely what a child avatar is. Though by their words, the outfit i mentioned above would be considered a child avatar *, yet it's on an adults body with the shape and skin of an adult. Am i the only one who sees that there is a dire need for the LL to clarify exactly what makes up an adult avatar or revise the ageplay policy?

 

Referances:

* "In some cases there may be an element of subjectivity as to whether an avatar (or other image) appears to be a minor. Objective factors which will be used to decide, including whether an avatar has childlike facial features, is child-sized, has clothing or accessories generally associated with children, and whether, based on the circumstances, an avatar is speaking or acting like a child ("My Mommy says..."). " - Taken from the Clarification of Policy Disallowing Ageplay

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melody Swashbuckler wrote:

Am i the only one who sees that there is
a dire need
for the LL to clarify exactly what makes up an adult avatar or revise the ageplay policy?

You are shifting a line I will not budge or even will come close to.

Hence our different attitudes towards the subject in general.

 

 

 

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Because of all the scale issues in SL & because both human & non-human avatars may be smaller than average human even as an adult, size is irrelevant, IMO

Clothing styles would also be irrelevant to me. If someone wants to play as a child or as a child-like adult, I really don't care.

The main indicators for me are how they speak & what they put in their profile. If they talk in baby-talk or talk about mommy or daddy, they're playing a child avatar. If they say in their profile that they are a child, they're playing a child avatar. If they then engage in sexual talk or behavior (which includes being in an area where simulated sex or adult activity is taking place), they're engaging in age-play which is prohibited by the TOS.

Personally, I think what consenting adults do in private is their own business, even if that means pretending to be a child & engaging in sexual behavior, but I won't encourage it & won't risk getting in trouble by allowing it on my land.  If I suspect a tenant is doing that, but don't have any evidence, I can look the other way, but if they flaunt it in my face, they'll be evicted.

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this is my first forumpost. What kind of discussion is this? Ageplay... ageplay... i thought we were in second life to play! I am 38 in real life, but i don';t say that to everyone... i have a little avi too, but only to slide down a slide, play in the merry-go-round etc. what is the bad thing in that!

I dress her cutely too and play with older friends, my aunties take me everywhere then. Are they ageplaying??? they don't abuse me in any sort of way.

Further: how you dress is your own choice. I wear cute dresses all the time (at least i think so.....) 

LL has to come clean and say what is ageplay according to them! Further, they say they don't respond to hearsay.. well.... they only give standardreplies and don't investigate at all! they believe everything some weirdo would say... 

I really would like LL to reply and state what they think is inappropriate. I have many friends on sl and they never do anythying inapprpriate! 

If this is the way SL works, then i am done with it, and so will many others!

 

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@ Brigitta

Age-play as the LL terms of service describe it is using a child avatar to engage in sexual activity. You can read the Terms of Service for a slightly more precise definition. If anyone uses a child avatar or one that others perceive as a child avatar, there's nothing wrong with that as long as they are not behaving in a sexual way.

Linden Lab has to specifically prohibit this behavior because of accusations in the media that they were allowing it. Some people overreact to child avatars & child-like avatars because they're afraid of getting in trouble with Linden Lab or because of their own feelings about child avatars. But it is not against the rules to have a child avatar or child-like avatar.

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well the funny thing is I DO have child versions of my avatar so  whenever I get hassled about it I usually say 

 

(my default avatar) THIS is not a child avatar

 

Snapshot_1295.png

 

(switch into this avatar) THIS is a child avatar!

 

Snapshot_1119.png

 

 

they usually get the hint

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I'm 5'4" in RL and I've reflected that in my avatar. I really do look tiny compared to your average giants in SL.

 

Heels help, but I really like my flip-flops. So far I've never been accused of being a child, but I guess that's because I dress and act my own age (23). I also have a particular physical attribute that really gives me away as an adult.

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Hayley Spore wrote:

I'm 5'4" in RL and I've reflected that in my avatar. I really do look
tiny
compared to your average giants in SL.

 It gets worse. How, exactly, did you determine your avatar is 5'4"?

If the answer is, "That's what it says in the appearance editor" and you're using an official viewer, then chances are you're actually closer to 6' tall. The height displayed in the appearance editor has been broken since the feature was introduced.

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Ill be conservetive on this, if a child avatar is anywhere but a general sim, I think its kiddie porn or threating to become that. That is my harsh and easy stance.

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Hayley Spore wrote:

 

I also have a particular physical attribute
[Warning: Probably going to offend at least a few of you... You have been warned]
.

I'm offended. Why wear wings if it's obvious you're ready to take off and float into the air ?

 

 

 

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melody Swashbuckler wrote:

Am i the only one who sees that there is a dire need for the LL to clarify exactly what makes up an adult avatar or revise the ageplay policy?

 

Referances:

* "In some cases there may be an element of subjectivity as to whether an avatar (or other image) appears to be a minor. Objective factors which will be used to decide, including whether an avatar has childlike facial features, is child-sized, has clothing or accessories generally associated with children, and whether, based on the circumstances, an avatar is speaking or acting like a child ("My Mommy says..."). " - Taken from the

Do you want to see Linden Lab become totalitarian regarding this subject?  I believe the Lab is bending over back wards to accommodate this type of Role Play.  There are two other comments in the above quoted Clarification:

1. If you are in doubt as to whether an activity may be interpreted as ageplay, we request you err on the side of caution and desist.

2. Please note that some countries' laws may impose penalties for graphics, drawings, or anime that resemble child pornography, even where no children have been involved. 

When you consider point 2, whether you think age play is ok or not, for some residents it is a very real issue.  In Australia, over the past year new regulations have gone into effect or are being considered that could jeopardize some Aussie's access to SL.  Australia has the ability to block SL from the entire continent.

I don't believe LL could be any clearer.  There is still a general concept in law called "what would a reasonable person think" that is used when enforcing a law.  It would be nice if it was always applied reasonably, but the concept does exist.

SIM owners provide a service to us under the framework of the TOS.  Any act that could be construed as encouraging, supporting or allowing a violation of the age play rules could result in consequences to them.  It is not possible nor do I think that it is reasonable to expect them to monitor their SIMS 24/7/365.  So some of them as a step in assuring compliance have set a height restriction.  Is it a perfect solution?  No. But I don't blame them one bit.

I believe myself to be, though some times opinionated, over all a reasonable adult who knows how to act and behave within the frame work LL has provided.  I don't want them making rules about minutia.  Simply put, especially considering the legal issues involved, Linden Lab has asked us to behave as reasonable adults.  I think this is very, very fair of them.  It would be totally within their rights to ban ALL child like avatars under ANY circumstance.  They have not done this but again, have asked us to exercise good judgement.

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Penny Patton wrote:

 It gets worse. How, exactly, did you determine your avatar is 5'4"?

I used the guide in the 1920s Berlin sim, in combination with one of those "Find your accurate height" scripts (Edit: This one).

They both seemed to agree with with my heels I'm 5'8" and without them I'm 5'4".

 

I think when last we met in-world I was 2-3" taller, I spent a bunch of time last night making adjustments.

 

@Wilhiam: Thank you for having such a wonderful sense of humour hun :)

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Hayley Spore wrote:

 I also have a particular
[Warning: Probably going to offend at least a few of you... You have been warned]
that really gives me away as an adult.


Most flotation devices have little valves you can open to let some of the air out so you don't bob up and down in the water too high or find yourself face down and unable to breathe.  If yours don't, may I suggest you return them to the manufacturer for repair.

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As long as LL doesn't have clear guidelines on what is a child av and makes sure people know those guidelines, then people will have their own versions of what is a child av, and report av's that just wear cute clothes or av's that are small. And they get banned unjustly.

 

To me it matter how someone behaves. Just judging on height and cute clothes is judging on someone's appearance. Do we go up to small people rl and tell them: you are a kid, because you are small?

 

I think age play should be prevented as much as possible, but a witch hunt is not a good idea IMO. Some small av's or people that wear cute clothes may be age playing and that is wrong yes. But some white/black/muslim/jewish/christian people may be murderers, let's imprison all the people with the same looks/race/religion.

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I agree with Perrie. With a real person a child can be easily defined in the legal sense. If you're under xx years old, then you're a child.

 

 In SL, we don't have that clear cut view. We can make assumptions based on how someone acts, the way they dress. If SL had a better sense of proportion then we could go by that, but much like scale, proportions in SL are skewed well beyond human norms. It's impossible to point at an avatar and go, "That's a child" with 100% certainty. 

 So it winds up being like the United States government's approach to "obscenity" which is, "I'll know it when I see it."

 

 If LL makes any hard rules they will be arbitrary, unneccessary, and certain to anger a lot of adults using adult avatars that happened to get flagged under an inflexible, unrealistic policy.

 

 @ Heyley: Good to know! I always have to point it out tho because there are so many people who don't realize the official appearance editor is broken.

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