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Gavin Hird

Anatomically correct avatars to new signups for increased retention and simplicity.

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On July 16, Zindra Alliance sent a proposal to Linden Lab to provide an anatomically correct avatar as an offering for new signups with the purpose to both increase retention of signups and to provide an "adult ready" resident.

The premise of the original proposal has changed slightly because Linden Lab since has simplified the procedure for age/adult verifying, but the core of the proposal is still valid. 

The procedure would be for new residents who during signup state their date of birth, to present an extended set of avatars once the user has confirmed they are over 18 years of age and have indicated they are interested in accessing adult content.

The proposal is to offer such avatars for an initial fee.

We think the benefits will be:

  • increased retention after the first hour after signup both because some signups clearly are coming to SecondLife for adult content, but all because the barrier to entry is high since it often involves a number of technical skills to set up the avatar in addition to a monetary outlay that could run for tens of dollars. 
  • avatars who has made an initial purchase of such an avatar is more likely to return to explore their investment
  • it removes the initial tech learning curve which can be frustrating and can focus more on fun
  • it potentially opens a larger after market as residents who has made an initial investment in their avatar are more likely to upgrade it beyond standard to be attractive in the community

We are a bit uncertain how this can be packaged without offending higher ed, as we have seen other companies like DAZ Studio who only provide their standard new model characters without gens, but it can be added for an additional fee.

Both from a legal and publicity perspective I think you can get away with marketing such an avatar without it being branded adult or pornographic. Of course there will be some who will object to it, but what you offer is a correct electronic representation of the human body in the form of an avatar. 

One would want the anatomically correct avatar to be compelling, but not so good that it directly competes with your leading content providers.

One would also most likely want to land these residents in an M region as they would want to explore their full avatar - perhaps land them in some private "dressing room" that is stacked into designated sims.

 

Now, discuss! 

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If anything I'd associate this option with automatic age verified accounts on entry, and remove the wording which seems to assume whatever Linden Lab is offering in this venue is separate and competing with the market.

 

A selection of high quality anatomical packages could be created by the top market and made as new-resident packages, to be selectable by the resident on making the avatar: one package (no pun intended) per avatar. The top market could then put together their anatomical packages for the new users and submit them to Linden Lab for verification that it meets criteria and detail requirements before being added to the list of available anatomical avatar choices.

The purpose to this slight change in approach is to fall on the side of metaphor immersion and adhere to the "work within the system" rule of virtual environments as set forth by Chip Morningstar and F. Randal Farmer.  A set of detail and functionality requirements would be written up by Linden Lab by which content creators (in-world brands) could create their own packages for the new users and submit them for review to Linden Lab to be added to the new user selection - open to all submissions adhereing to the guidelines (and not just some hand-picked exclusive vendor deals).

Just some food for thought.

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I agree with you, but I think it is important to also make sure there is an after market for the content providers once the new avatar has settled in if you see what I mean?

Make it compelling, but not too compelling and technically complex (as some of these offerings are.)

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Hi Gavin, I think it's a cool idea but would have to wonder if LL will even consider something like this.  The two major sticking points to me...having this information at sign-up would be more of an impetus for the underaged to lie and also get mom or dad's credit card for the initial charge :(  Curiosity and all that...

The second is, I don't think LL wants the image of supporting sex/adult content as the main reason for using SL...them offering your suggestion would make it seem so.

Just my opinions :)

 

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Just tossing this idea out there:

Fun and interesting 'extra' enhancement ideas for SL such as this would make GREAT mini-applications on mobile devices.

Its a very current issue that SL needs to find ways to exist in the world of mobile devices. I happen to love the idea of small extra (unique!) applications that complement SL. For example, use the BodyStyle app to enhance your AV to be more 'correct'? This would exclusive to the  app, perhaps...so youd need to go Mobile to use it.

I could go on and on about mobile apps that complement SL, but you get the idea.

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There is a fine line, agreed, and I am not sure how it can be done best from a profiling perspective which is for LL to figure out.

The fact is that the underage still has plenty access to this kind of content on their smarphones and computers, and without Apple or Google being branded as being in the porn business (although that might change for Google as per info that was in the net today.)

Now, one could possibly argue that SecondLife already has a bit of a reputation which may explain the high signup rate, and inability to (fast) find the content they are looking for may explain the equally high abandon rate. 

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Cool idea but two issues with that:

1) Like others have said, age verification is an issue. I have come across 12 and 13 year olds on second life, and to be thrust into a word of virtual adult entertainment is just begging for trouble. And yes, even a male genitalia part will add to that. Not to mention say a 13 year-old wanders on second life (that really sounds like a beginning of a joke)- doesn't do anything significant but still has that lil' down-under-thunder going on. His mom clicks the Second Life icon to see what it is and finds her sons avatar, male parts intact. Ten dollars says she takes her anger not only out on her son but calls LL to complain about such a "indecency".

2) I know more than 1/4th of Second Life users do not want to spend any money when they come here. There are great freebie things for that, and things to do, and ways to earn more rather than spend it. I think you'd actually find the Second Life population greatly decrease. 

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As compelling as the idea of such a mobile app could be, I think you would have a much harder time convincing the public that you are not dealing in porn if you give boys a tool they can sit and tinker with in the bathroom, if you see what I mean? :smileywink:

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