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Misses Microphone… You Know, For Kids!

April 30th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Feel like making your voice heard? Try the new You Know, For Kids Misses Microphone!

Misses Microphone

To use, simply wear from your inventory and preface anything you want amplified with ‘/88’. Anything you say on channel 88 will be shouted in green text. So if you type in chat “/88 Hey there, good looking, we’ll be back to pick you up!”, you’ll see in chat “(your name) shouts: Hey there, good looking, we’ll be back to pick you up!”

Available at the following You Know, For Kids locations!

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

* Inner Child Depot, booth 103 in Fletcher

* Funky Town

A fashion challenge?

April 22nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

POPI by Eshi Otawara

Okay, this may be a self-serving post, but well… it is my blog, after all!

I love a lot of the kid clothing designers. I think my Robin Sojourner overalls are great, I’ve watched Chelsea Grigg grow into an incredible designer over the last few years, and I really like a lot of Babydoll Stardust’s designs (though I wish her jeans were, um, not so low). There are many others out there I like lots, too.

But I wish that some of the really great adult clothing designers would take a turn at doing some kid clothing in their own particular style.

I’v thought about this for a while now. I’ll see big First Life retailers release fashionable kids clothing, for example the Stella McCartney collection for Gap Kids, or L.L. Bean, or others. Stuff that real kids wear, you know?

A couple weeks ago a designer of retro style clothes shared pages of some First Life retro style clothing for adults and kids. The First Life me was all over that first category, but some of those kid outfits would be great for my avatar.

It strikes me that, aside from a small amount of victorian ware, one will be hard-pressed to find any period-specific kidware in-world. I’d love to find outfits for kids that reflect mid-century designs, or even some of the looks of the 1970s or 1980s, as an example.

i’d also love to see what some of the most talented designers in SL could do to work around the limitations of the Second Life avatar when shrunk down. What solutions would they come up for the folds in the shoulders and waist? How would they handle the “kankles,” let alone the chest issues on the female avatar (or, for that matter, the broad shoulders and “package” issues of the smaller male avatars!). They’d also need to avoid the low cuts, short skirts, and “boob shading” so common in adult avvie outfits.

So, if you are a designer who regularly creates adult clothing, who has made a name for themselves doing so — I implore you to try your hand at making some kidwear. I’ll even lend a hand, if you want.

(Thanks to Eshi Otawara for resizing one of her awesome outfits for the above photo!)

Terms of engagement

April 12th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

At long last, sexual ageplay is spelled out in the Second Life Terms of Service. More than this, it makes it crystal clear that there are distinct real-world consequences to be had for those who attempt to engage in such behavior.

The terms!

In the early months of 2007, following a scathing report about sexual ageplay and the trading of real-life pedophilia in Second Life, Linden Lab decided it was in their best business interests to set policy regarding these activities.

But rather than make a bold public statement, their first action was to give owners of places catering to child avatars (both those who were involved with sexual activity with child avatars, and those who were not) a notecard telling them that they were possibly in violation of the terms of service and community standards, and could lose their assets as a result.

It was a short notecard, not much longer than that last sentence. No one knew for sure exactly what this meant Was this aimed at all child avatars, or those who were using them for decidedly non-childlike activities?

It took a bit of time and some outcry from Residents to get Linden Lab to even acknowledge that these notecards were real, and what they meant. That acknowledgement – and a later clarification – were posted to the Second Life blog. Yet even with the clarification, the wording was imprecise. Some claimed this was deliberate, providing a bit of “wiggle room” for Linden Lab to act on.

Maybe that was true, maybe not, but the language of these blog posts, coupled with the fact that these remained relegated to increasingly dusty blog entries, made it more and more difficult to find out what the rules were towards child avatars.

This cause a couple things:

1. Residents, fearing that they could lose everything by even allowing a child avatar near their land, decided to ban any avatar that even slightly resembled a child. This was usually based solely on height, which caused a lot of trouble for clearly adult avatars who were less than amazonian in height.

2. Child avatars, unsure of what the rues were, grew increasingly insular, and would often panic out of fear of rumors and perceived tightening of the rules.

3. Witch hunting formed as people assumed that all child avatars were real-life pedophiles and deviants. This is still an issue.

4. Real perverts and pedophiles would come into SL after hearing that there was sexual ageplay here and would not see any mention of rules against it in the terms of service, meaning that the kid avatars had to bear the burden of “educating” these sorts — if they bothered to do so after giving them a swift eject.

Finally, three years after that initial notecard, these rules are in the Terms of Service, and made very plain. To quote:

“You agree that you will not…. Post, display or transmit any material, object or text that encourages, represents, or facilitates sexual “age play,” i.e., using child-like avatars in a sexualized manner. This activity is grounds for immediate termination. You may review our full Age Play Policy here. You understand and agree that we may report any and all such incidents — and any and all of your corresponding personal information — to any authorities we deem appropriate, whether or not it in and of itself violates the law of your (or any) jurisdiction.”

While shorter, this is a vast improvement over the Clarification from the blog. It’s more concise and much clearer. Not only does it include mention of “Sexual Ageplay” – a language child avatars have wanted since 2007 — but it defines it and explains that you ma not only be in violation of the TOS, but they will report your actions to real-world authorities if they deem it appropriate.

It’s not to say it’s perfect: there is still some questions in the new clarification in the knowledge base, specifically with the first bullet points, where it seems to imply that real life images and avatars portrayals of child avatars (regardless of sexual or lewd acts) are disallowed.

That said, the language of the TOS itself, as well as within context of this clarification, make it pretty clear that no one is going to get in trouble for sharing holiday snaps of their grandkids at the Grand Canyon, or for making a child avatar inworld (presuming in both that there is no sexual or lewd activities involved).

Three years ago, I wrote then-LL Vice President Robin Linden for clarification. I cc’ed then-Liaison Chadrick Linden, the Linden who set out the infamous notecards. I also cc’ed the former Daniel Linden, author of the “Keeping Second Life Safe, Together” blog post that also touched upon the ageplay policies and other issues.

Now, today, my concerns of 2007 are right there in the Terms of Service, and those of us who opt to play child avatars in a non-sexual fashion in Second Life can, finally, see things spelled out. Thanks to those in LL’s legal department for finally putting those old blog posts to rest and putting Second Life policy where it belongs. It’s about time.

Sacred spaces

April 6th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Lately, I admit, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. There is so much change going on, much of which I actually think is good, and some that I’m not too sure about. Also, a majority of my close SL friends have moved on, or are not around as much any more for a variety of reasons. More than this, I tend to pick up a lot on the moods of others around me: there has just been so much negativity and unfocused anger lately — and that does get to me, even when it shouldn’t.

Because of this, I’ve felt the need to visit a few of the places i call sacred: the places I go to capture that sometimes elusive “spark” that made SL what it is for me. It’s also a look back into an Second Life that is largely gone now – the Second Life that caught my fancy.

Orientation Island

I started on Orientation Island, like so many others. This temple at the end of Orientation Island is a spot I never quite attained in my original orientation — I got frustrated somewhere around the beachball, and lag walked into one too many rivers ’til a friend rescued me. Still sometimes I do come back here, just to remember my roots.

Montara Bridge

Montara Bridge was an early place I stopped at in my SL journey. It struck me with its simple beauty. I still think it’s a pretty place, even after all these years. I suspect it has a lot to do with my love of the highways, byways, and “public works” of this world. The places that we, as Second Life Residents, all get to share.

Boardman Park

I’m not sure how I found Boardman initially, but I was struck by its suburban nature. It was like walking into a town, albeit a very idealized one. I was also struck by the promise of a community, a neighborhood. The corner park, and its Gazebo, was one of my earliest “stomping grounds.”

The Lost Forest of Kahruvel

On my first visit to the lost forest of Kahruvel, I was still very new, and had no idea what the place was, or even if I was allowed to be there. Since then, I have found it to be a wonderfull place, full of old lore and mystery, yet also perfect for quiet contemplation. A recent gridquake seems to have damaged it severely, but I hope it will be returned to glory soon.

The Zen Gardens of Achemon's Bath House

The Zen Gardens was an early find. I came across it accidently, going to another of my old faves, the long-gone DharmaEcho Garden. I watched here, as a total noob, a Resident like me first rezzing prims and setting up this space. I was entranced with the possibilities from that moment on.

Sami Infohub

The Sami Infohub is long gone, a vacant plot of Linden Land where once an infoub stood. I placed out a hub, though, if only for the time I was there. In my earliest days, it was home, a place I could log into away from the maddening throng that was the Ahern Welcome Area (my initial home location). I still come back here, on my Rez Day, and remember.

Livingtree Duck Pond

Livingtree, event hough it dates back to 2007, is about the “youngest” of these places I’ll talk about in this post. Still, it’s the first place I really got to really explore my ability to build and decorate, and still means a great deal to me. While i do spend countless hours in its workshops, the duck pond remains a place a relax and recoup.

Many other places I considered sacred and special are no more. DharmaEcho Garden, the daycare in Falcaria and Pathfinder’s place in Ambleside, for example. Others have changed dramatically over time, and are not really what they once were to me: the standing stones in Serenite being a big example of that. It’s Second Life, and things change.


Home is one of the biggies for me. It was an important part of my old SL life, back in Hundertwasser – then it became a sad place for me. Now I’ve a new home, and while it may never be the same as what the old Islandia home was to me, it’s still an important space.

In First Life, we’re a product of our biology, our families and the company we keep, and the places we’ve grown up and inhabited. I contend that the same is true in our second lives. These are the places that helped shape me, early on, and made me the avatar I am.

New newness at You Know, For Kids!

April 2nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Two new releases this week!

First, it’s the tooting horn!

Tooting Horn Ad

It’s the sort of horn you may recall from parades and ball games!

To toot your horn, simply click it. You’ll raise it to your mouth and hear the horn toot” Your hand will go down automatically after a couple seconds.

Available in blue, red, or black, or in a fat pack with all three colors (perfect for parties!). Versions for adult and kid-size avatars included!

Also, a new version of my kids’ play table

Kids' Play Table Ad

Replacing my 2006 vintage version, this one still uses sit targets to save you from a few extra scripts while still allowing for a good sit every time. Now featuring sculpted support brackets and better textures for a more realistic appearance!

Both the horns and the table are available at my stores in Livingtree and Bay City – Imaginario!

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree