Hiding avatars and restricting avatar sounds

Started ‎07-26-2011 by
Modified ‎11-08-2011 by

Overview

Second Life provides several features to provide parcel owners:

  • Ability to hide avatars on a parcel from those outside the parcel and vice-versa. This feature enables you to hide avatars and their activities and conversations from those outside a parcel and vice-versa.
  • Ability to restrict sounds emitted by avatars on the parcel.

To set these features for a parcel, you must use Second Life Viewer 2.8 or later, or a compatible third party viewer. However, if a parcel has hidden avatars or has restricted avatar sounds, you are affected regardless of which Viewer you are using.

Uses

Hiding avatars on a parcel may be useful for:

  • Meetings and classrooms - when you want to meet with people without being observed or overheard by others on the region.
  • Home dressing rooms - you can experiment with clothing, skins or avatars outside your neighbors' view.
  • Store dressing rooms - retail establishments can provide areas in which customers can try outfits, skins and avatars without exposure to other shoppers.
Warning: Adult activities are not allowed on parcels in General regions, regardless of whether the parcel has hidden avatars. On Moderate land, such activity is only permitted privately, behind closed doors. For more information, see Maturity ratings.

Restricting sounds on a parcel may prevent them from disrupting an immersive experience or being used for griefing. Enabling this feature is analogous to muting all cell phones in a theater. It may be used to minimize unwanted distractions in performance settings.

Hiding avatars

The owner of a parcel (or, for group-owned land, a group member with the necessary rights) can hide avatars and their chat from those outside the parcel. By default, parcels DO NOT have hidden avatars.

When enabled:

  • Those outside the parcel can't see avatars on the parcel and vice-versa.  Other objects are not affected (EXCEPTION: vehicles ridden by hidden avatars are also hidden.)
  • Those outside the parcel can't see nearby text chat from those on the parcel, and vice-versa.
Group text chat is not affected.

To be clear, when a parcel has avatars hidden, anyone outside the parcel cannot see (or communicate with) those on the parcel; conversely, if you are on the parcel, you can't see (or communicate with) anyone outside of it. The communication restrictions apply only to nearby (regular) chat, not group chat.

The world map and mini-map are unaffected. LSL sensors function normally, and detect the presence of avatars on parcels with this setting enabled.

How to hide avatars for a parcel

To hide avatars on a parcel:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land or right-click on the parcel and choose About Land.
  2. Click the OPTIONS tab.
  3. Clear the Allow other Residents to / See and chat with residents on this parcel checkbox. By default, this checkbox is selected.

Restricting sounds to a parcel

Hiding avatars on a parcel does not affect voice chat, nor does it affect gesture and object sounds. To restrict these sounds to a parcel:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land or right-click on the parcel and choose About Land.
  2. Click the SOUND tab.
    • To restrict gesture and object sounds to this parcel, select Restrict gesture and object sounds to this parcel.
    • To restrict nearby voice chat to this parcel, select Restrict Voice to this parcel.

How to know when you are on a parcel with hidden avatars

An icon in the navigation bar shows the status of this setting for the current parcel: The icon appears when you are on a parcel with hidden avatars, and will not be displayed otherwise.

The Places Profile window displays the same icon.

LSL

Pass the PARCEL_DETAILS_SEE_AVATARS parameter to llGetParcelDetails(), and it will now return an integer flag indicating if the avatars are hidden for the parcel.

Restricting avatar sounds

This release also adds the ability to restrict avatar sounds emitted on a parcel, which include sounds from:

  • Gestures
  • Sounds played from inventory
  • Scripts on attachments

You can set a parcel to allow sounds to be played by everyone (the default), only by group members, or by no one.

Note: This feature actually "mutes" sounds (prevents them from playing), in contrast to the procedure described above in Restricting sounds to a parcel, which merely restricts them to the parcel.

How to restrict avatar sounds

To restrict sounds from avatars on a parcel:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land or right-click on the parcel and choose About Land.
  2. Click the SOUND tab.  By default, avatar sounds are not restricted, and the Everyone checkbox is selected.
  3. To permit sounds to be played by
    No one: Clear both the Everyone and Group checkboxes.
    Group members only: Clear the Everyone checkbox, leaving Group selected.
Contributors