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June 27, 2006


Cenji Neutra

Are there any plans to make this new account info available to scripts?
For example, so that vendors and banking devices could optionally prohibit access to those avatars that haven't registered payment information?

Anonymous Coward

Why wouldnt it be just enough to identify if the avatar is resident of the following catagories?

Resident (Premium)
Resident (Basic)

Basic ones have been in the past verified by some manner. Premium ones have the option of holding land.

Peter N.

I really do like the idea of try-before-you-buy (I didn't feel like reading any other posts, so if this idea was banished then don't listen to me), but I heard of SL in a column of "5 Things to Do with your Second Life" in a magazine. It seemed fun to me, so I checked it out and it turned out that it was NOT free. I saw all the complicated stuff in screenshots and decided to back out.
I came back for some reason unknown to me (probably searching though some old magazines) and decided to check back, and found out that it was now FREE. That was the only reason that I signed up. So, if now everyone has to start to pay after 30 or so days, I would much rather just go to some other way to enjoy my time here on the internet ^.^
And to those of you whining about LL retrieving information from your computer, I do believe that this is a GOOD idea. First off, almost every single hacker prevention software (such as PunkBuster) collects information from your computer to identify you (and send out a hardware ban if you are a hacker, which means that your computer is now shunned from PB society). Unfortunately, I do have to deny all complaints about not being able to use that computer for ANY accounts, even if it was your friend who screwed it up. In my opinion: you should NOT have a friend who does this sort of thing anyways, and (most likely) YOU gave him PERMISSION to use YOUR computer. And, to top it off, you also should have been watching him while he was doing his evils.
And a side note about public computer banning, let's think about it: in most public computers you are not allowed to install software anyways. So what is the big deal? It is not like you could play SL in the first place anyways!

An Anonymous Resident

First off, I would like to thank LL for their hard work in updates. Even as SL suffers its growing pains and even if we don't agree with all the changes, they do work hard to keep it all together.

I'm not too sure what to think about the hardware collection as far as it relates to multiple users on one computer. TEhre are plenty of families/dorm-mates, etc. who share one resources. Some very valid questions conerning this new move have been brought to light and I look forward to seeing the answers.

I am pre-6/06, so, as I understand it, I will be labeled as a "validated" member. However, as far as my payment status is concerned, that is a violation of my privacy. If I have land now and not in 6 months, or vice versa, or if I offer my credit information to LL exactly how is that another RESIDENT'S business, and why? I cannot think of one single, good reason why anyone other than LL itself needs to know that. It is my story to tell.

Even unintentionally, the implication here is that my value as a consumer is more than my value as a content contributor. My ability or willingness to store information of a financial nature with LL is not proof of my commitment. My time and my participation are a much better indicator. I have been with SL now for nearly two years, and I have been out there, with many others, doing things and bringing content and generally trying to make the SL experience good for everyone. I host arts/cultural events regularly and I am always helping out the new people that I meet. I also support the people who pay the bills in SL; without the citizens to pay these sim owners to cover tier, etc., it is undoubtable that those privately owned areas would not continue to exist. But in the final analysis, it is the content that draws people back. I could own bazillions of meters of land and spend gazillions of dollars to LL for it, but if it isn't fun and interesting, no one is coming back.

As for the Teen grid issues, I have to agree that it is backwards to make them supply credit information while not asking for it on the main grid. Teens are very into instant-grafitication and this just brings that element into play in the wrong place. I am ok with the idea of having to verify that I am over 18, as suggested in one of the posts above. I don't see that as a problem :D

lolly k

Well i personally dont want or need everyone knowing if i provided a credit card etc on my sign up..thats personall information..and shouldn't be disclosed to anyone..especially without my consent...ok rant over

Cresten Pixie

I am a new member, I did not provide my payment information because I see no need to. It doesn't get me anything new. Now however people take one look at my profile and ban me from their land just because they will assume that because i did not provide my payment info that I must be either a child or a griefer. How is this fair? I am here with the best of intentions, I may provide payment info if I need to buy $L's or if I find that there is actually a good reason to become a premium member.

Why even bother with the "provided payment information" stuff, why not just identify the fields as Premium, paid basic, free basic? That is how people read it anyway.

I went to a popular club today and accidentally bumped into someone because of the lag and apparently someone reported the bump "yes I said sorry" to the club owner and I was immediately banned from the club. I IM'd the owner to find out why and they said because I griefed a guest and because they thought I was a griefing alt. because of my "no payment info" label in my profile.

This is a VERY bad message to new members and I'm sure you'll find an increase in these kinds of behaviors because of these labels. Personally I think my status in SL is nobody's business but mine and LL's. I resent having that info made public and will give LL a week to remove that info from my profile then I will leave SL for good. I do not need to deal with discrimination in SL.


BTW...do these blog posts get responded to by LL at all?

Cocoanut Koala

1. I am SO VERY GLAD you decided to reinstitute credit card registration for the teen grid.

I was to the point of actually discussing with my husband whether or not I could continue to be in SL, and consciously be a party to what I considered putting young people at unnecessary risk.

I can't tell you how appreciative I am that you reinstated that precaution.

2. This business of putting people's payment status on their profiles really bothers me, for a number of reasons, including the fact that it amounts to revealing our personal information to others.

3. I worry more, though, about this business of enabling people to ban others based on this information. One would round up too many in that net who are pleasant and productive citizens.

The only reason I can think of for doing it is to make people want to give LL money to escape being a second- or third-class citizen (whether or not it is on their profile).

4. This part you mention about eventually listing whole areas of SL as available only to verified residents bothers me even more, and even more than the idea of individuals doing so on their own parcels.

I wouldn't want you to designate a whole swath of SL that includes my land or my shop this way. I don't want to exclude unverified members.


ninjafoo Ng

Thank you for creating a class system and lumping all new users in the same bag as greifing alts.

How long before all the main attractions are only open to the paid up elite.

Please DO NOT release the script calls to identify someone's payment status.

Adult Content Provider

Hey, what's this you're talking about? Please be honest and call it by the name...
SL is not all but much about sex and porn. (at least the main grid)

I _was_ an adult content provider in main grid. I owned a bunch of linden land parcels, I have a premium account and therefore I was paying a significant amount of money to LL each month. This is okay for me as I used a service from LL and they have to earn money with it - otherwise they would have to close it down.

Now the legal situation has changed. Me, being responsible for all the content I provide myself, I cannot check who is watching the porn. Could be minors now as SL main grid is wide open to anonymous registration.

Being a responsible adult and legal person I had to shut down all my content and now I am selling the land. After this I will downgrade to basic (free) account and watch how things are going...

LL did not told us content providers anything about this significant change in registration. They made us adult content providers doing illegal things as there is not protection for minors any more. This is illegal in most countries.

BUT: LL is not responsible for the adult content. We residents are. We get the lawsuits for offering porn to minors. Not them. Hm - understood? :(

I can only tell every single adult content provider in SL: Shut down your business immediately! You are in great danger! All sexual roleplay will be harassment if you are speaking with a minor. Do don't do sexual roleplay any more! Danger!

Welcome to the new and clean Second Life. Welcome to the brand-new bigger teen grid!

Tao Takashi

I just have a little question here: What is the goal with the commitment discussion? Actually the main issue of residents was "teens in maingrid". I don't really get why we need technical solution to check one's "commitment". And I like to find out myself usually if somebody is committed or not.

I also talked to Jesse yesterday and he explained to me why it's not just "verified" and "unverified" (what I wondered about as Philip was saying that IIRC). The reason here is that it implies that the information is correct (which cannot be guaranteed with CC). And we have 3 states now as a CC with which was paid is somewhat more "valid" than a just on file CC).

I also would be interested in some explanation of what actually (legal wise) can happen to LL or residents regarding teens and adult content by some legal expert.

Lynne Wu

I'd suggest implementing a voluntary proof-of-age program, whereby those of us who don't mind, could provide LL with legal proof of age.

Add that field to the Profile and make it available in the floating text over someone's head, and make it an option in the client to ignore people based on various criteria, including age.

We could then choose to interact or not with people based on that. I would, for instance, set my client to ignore anyone who had not completed the age-verification procedure.

Lewis Nerd

"I wouldn't want you to designate a whole swath of SL that includes my land or my shop this way. I don't want to exclude unverified members."

So what would we do if everyone around you happened to restrict unverified members access, and you couldn't get into your own property by crossing someone else's land (such as by flying?).

We've already got the problem of 'ban lines that reach the sky' ... now we have the problem of 'verified v unverified'.

Great way to go about building a community where everyone is treated equally. I thought segregation in the US went out many years ago?


Caden Rolland

The 30 day trial is the best idea for keeping kids out of Mature areas. The reason that this is not the policy is that LL wants to increase the membership numbers. Even nonpaying memberships bolster the numbers giving SL a respectable population and makes it a more attractive place. Since kids 9 or 10 can create email accounts and lie to get an account here then surely there are a certain number of such kids walking around Gorean sims and BD/SM clubs. How many children only LL knows and there are no countryies who's laws allow this. Though this is breaking every legal and moral law in every country there probably will be no action taken until SL gets big enough to anger its competition.
The current no-ID sign up is not to invite other nationalities so much since in the end LL is in the business of taking in money. Kids and adults who have no way of paying are allowed to inhabit SL only to make SL look better in the knowledge that paying adults will follow. In the future LL will say it was sorry and start measures to fix this *growing and unforeseen* problem but only while numbers increase.
Unfortunately I have a conscience and do not like the idea of having sex or practicing BDSM in front of 9 year olds. This really makes all of SL a PG area where no place is safe from kids. I realize what you are doing but you should realize that people and countries have limits and if you can not uphold an adult community then someone else, who can, will start taking our money. Bring on the 30 day trial before you loose your prominent position in the market to someone else. We don’t feel comfortable with this and if there was another site that gave us this assurance ( as you once did ) then many players here would go over there and that would be a shame.

Lewis Nerd

I don't suppose anyone thought that by allowing people in from countries where they couldn't previously sign up using Paypal or a credit card... they still won't be able to enjoy the full SL experience because they will be unable to buy L$ or go premium as they won't be able to set up a valid payment process.

I would have thought that it would have been better to work on getting payment details in (after all, LL needs the money) from these 'other countries' (although I'm not sure how many countries developed enough to have a broadband network for people to connect in the first place don't have some kind of credit card system either).



Yes but some teens dont evan have credit card soo I think adults should enter there credit card not teens cause some teens like 14 or 13 dont evan have credit cards or cellphones and all adults do or they can enter there cell phone for adult grid not teen grid. I hear alot of people saying why do we need credit card in teen grid. I think they should have it back to skip credit card information for teen grid like they had it before but thats what I think Im not saying do it im just saying I think that


This is a magnificent step in the right direction. There have been many times over the past few years that I have stepped into your foyer here, and then have remembered that I have to give financial account information before I can even preview what you all have to offer. I finally started with "second life" a few days ago, and I am very impressed with the thoughtfulness of the management of the organization. It's incredible. Everything is thought through. The facial expressions and mannerisms, which are given the new user, change depending on the age of the avatar depicted. I can see within that, and other aspects of the software, heaps of thought which has gone into thinking about the details of how a healthy community is going to be built. I'm a writer, and a graphic designer, and I know the kind of thought that goes on in someone's mind when he's trying to give a certain experience to the reader or the viewer.

The introductory island system is magnificent as well. People are set at the most picturesque spot at the top of the mountains,and they follow a trail, and learn from experience with their new environment. Then mentors are there to help them when they have successfully teleported to the central island.

Because I see the thorough social engineering involved in this project, I'm entirely unconcerned about any ill effects of lack of verification. There are a million ways with this kind of software to promote and maintain community standards, with an open registration process.

I am especially impressed with the context the author of this weblog post choose to use to explain the opportunities which this open registration process gives "second life". He notes the statistic, now we have a 50% ratio of people from outside the usa. This diversity, perhaps, has been reflected in the choice of avatars I've noticed in the avatars at the intro islands over the last couple of days. It's just so fascinating to me. Everybody has their own vision of what's most beautiful in the physical human form. One of the people I have spoken most in depth with has been another newbie on the islands - a brazilian fellow.

Now, realistically, no town or city is set up in the ethnically european world, so that you have to give your personal address telephone number, or financial information the moment you walk into any doorway of business or shop. That is an incredible invitation for abuse. And across the internet, websites of all kinds have the audacity to ask you for personal information everywhere you go.

Financial information brings on special dangers... People who are conscientious ought to always use paypal or google checkout or that kind of a service - where your account information is never given to the merchant.

It's simply not safe to give your personal information out to every website you visit. My rule for myself is that no internet website gets my personal information until we enter a financial agreement. I always use pseudonyms and false information. These are the boundaries I draw.

Now that I have seen secondlife - even with my lagging 256kilobit per second connection - I am astonished, and what I have seen inspires awe in me. I will definitely become a paying subscriber. And I have visions of islands and flamboyant kinds of land ownership and use in the distant future.

Thank you secondlife, for your conscientious philosophies
in what you do in community building and social engineering. The quote from Mahatma Gandhi at the top of this page says it all. You are building a new course for our society.

Prokofy Neva

Anonymous, Social engineering is never to be trusted; it's engineering, not sociology. It'sl ike the old adage about the relationship to music that military music has to the word "music".

I'm not sure how you came to believe that facial expresses are somehow tied to age. Perhaps you mean that older avatars are able to do more animations and gestures? If there is any feature like this in SL, I'm completely unaware of it.

Now let's come to your other subjetive impression: "we have a 50% ratio of people from outside the usa. This diversity, perhaps, has been reflected in the choice of avatars I've noticed in the avatars at the intro islands over the last couple of days. It's just so fascinating to me. Everybody has their own vision of what's most beautiful in the physical human form."

There's nothing magical conferred on Second Life by having 50 percent of new people come from out of the USA. In fact, *cough* the USA is made up of people 100 percent of whose ancestors came from somewhere else. A good percentage of the current population in fact comes from somewhere else. In fact, often the reason they *had* to come from somewhere else is because some group of [email protected]#[email protected]#$ were driving them away through mass murder or oppression. Or they came for economic opportunities.

There largely American cohort that started and populated SL in its early years aren't suburban clones. They are the ones that made every single avatar under the sun, from realistic beautiful model blondes to dragons to furries to blue electric cubes. There's nothing automatically conferred on any non-American by that status that ensures diversity and creativity in SL.

The opening up of SL to many countries is a great thing. As someone who lived abroad in different countries and learned foreign languages, I can truly appreciate this. A variety of fresh perspectives, different cultures, etc. is welcome. It's not a magic fix, however. And it doesn't free you from the clash of civilizations, which happens inevitably due to the absence of culture as much as the presence of different cultures.

The multi-culti PC dogma you can find in SL is actually a chill on creativity.

>you have to give your personal address telephone number, or financial information the moment you walk into any doorway of business or shop.

I think it's perfectly fine for shopkeepers and merchants to get something to back up a credit card -- after all, it's *credit*. Their anonymity is guaranteed by cash on the barrelhead; their sacrifice of some of their data has to be the price they pay for *credit* and *trust* they will pay the credit card company at the end of the month. The fact that this is *credit* -- advance cash -- is something often lost on people.

>Financial information brings on special dangers... People who are conscientious ought to always use paypal or google checkout or that kind of a service - where your account information is never given to the merchant.

I'm not understanding this mistrust and even hatred of the merchant class here. It can only spring from some kind of ideological construst. Some merchants might spam you with too much personal info. Other merchants might provide you discounts or helpful updates. We can't impose all the features of the real world and its issues on SL, where in fact anonymity is a problem at times as much as it is an advantage.

It seems to me that the Lindens, although they are big social engineers for sure, and often tend toward the socialistic as a solution in between their bouts of oligarchic state capitalism, did not put in this new system of registration for reasons related to ideological anti-merchant and pro-debtor takers of credit on the Internet.

Instead, they just wanted to get a lot of people in the door to please venture capitalists, a proven technique. We can only support them in that effort and find ways to mitigate it.

I'm glad you can see flamboyant land usage in your future. That's the past and present LL has laid out as a formula for a business model. They don't have grants to subsidize the world's poor. They have venture capital to make a machine that might be used by the world's poor and rich both to better themselves, that's different.

As for Gandhi, every time I see that quote, I wince. It does a disservice to Gandhi, really, the way people use it. Gandhi said "start behaving as if there isn't oppression from the British and live free as if you already had freedom, don't wait for them to confer it." Whereas in the SL context, it is more often wielded at you as a club, saying "Don't criticize, shut up, and get with the company's plans for change or be ejected."

I perfer to mod this saying as follows:



Well, Prokofy... I really was enjoying bathing in the ideas you put forward in the first section of your post... The second section, however has a few strawmen interspersed in it, which makes it kind of uncomfortable to read. Particularly, your exaggeration of me "hating the merchant class" is uncalled for. If you're engaged in a struggle with those residents of second life who are calling for less commercialism - that's your argument with them... I'm not involved with that.

My point is that personal information on the internet should be honoured with the same level of privacy it is in real life. What is this "identity theft" problem we have...? News stories come out daily with personal information falling into the wrong hands from company a b c or d.

I just listened to the most recent interview with Philip Linden on Second Cast and I was really inspired with what I heard of his forthrightness, and also his gentleness...

It's very interesting to see what my generation is doing to change the world. I see the attitudes in him and the hosts of the show which are very much the flavor of my peers, who I grew up with over the last thirty plus years.

To speak about your inference about the lack of importance of diversity on the grid... what you say makes no sense to me. You're playing games with words, I believe, like you do with your last sentence...

People are not only diverse in what they imagine in their mind. They are also diverse in their cultural history... and in that particular flavor which that racial background gives to their approach to their lives.

There is a truism buried between the lines of what you've said... that the imaginations of second life residents themselves have the potential to create more diversity for our world... I wholeheartedly agree here. In fact, that is my biggest and best hope for what the internet will do for our society... that turning from centralized media sources of the 1900s - radio and television back to the decentralized internet will allow for other cultures and languages and peoples to again evolve. We're losing so much diversity in the world today. Do you have any idea how many languages around the world are going extinct?

To address this sentiment about the need for democracy rather than oligarchy. Philip addressed that idea - he has a vision of expanding Secondlife beyond the Linden Labs so that it becomes an alternative kind of internet for everybody. This is an astonishing vision. Again, this idea, is awe-inspiring.

However... those who argue on behalf of one cause or another don't always understand the mechanics of how these things work in real life. They're going based on a simplistic set of models which they have found many other people agree with.

Children need parents, would you agree? The level of conversation I see on the main island in my first day or two on it is pretty blasé. People do not hold themselves or eachother to social standards as she should, if they would have been more wise. People are very immature. This is why they need help from the social engineers at Linden labs. Someone needs to be a catalyst who will make people think differently.

Democracy can be beautiful or trashy. It depends on how conscientious the citizenry is, in upbuilding their own society.

I was over today at the Apollo resort today and just flying over the island much of the day in awe. The artist who designed that place was very thoughtful in exactly how he was going to nurture the spirits of those who come there. That's what we need in second life... And thankfully the place is designed so that we can have the experience of moving from one nurturing environment to the next, and we don't have to succumb to the unethical practices of advertisers who simply want the pollute our common space.

Now, I have one more thank you, to offer to Linden Labs.

My favorite thing to chuckle at recently has been the surge in computer techs who absolutely do not want writers or musicians, or artists or filmmakers to be able to have the same control over their intellectual property rights that software designers do. They have no idea. They don't know what the scourge of poverty has done to creative people in our world. Why do we have misandrous and violent hollywood films as our main film media in the usa? Why do we have misanthropic writers and television producers known as "news journalists" governing the way our society thinks about itself? Why do they have the right to put up their words in our face as if they were a mirror to our society? I'll tell you why, sir. It's because creative people have never pulled themselves out of poverty. They have for the past several hundred years been at the mercy of barons - today we have the RIAA and the MPAA, and the handful of large book publishers. On "help island" the other day in Secondlife, I was speaking with a man who has a deal to write a book with one of these big publishers, and he wanted to quote me... and we had a discussion about the issue... one of the first things which came out of his mouth was "if you want to make money as a writer, you have to sell your soul" - or something to that effect.

It is definitely evident as we look around us, that the best things in life are free - literally. Those who's explicit aim is to nurture their society, usually think that the best way to do this is to make it available to people for free - and so they become organizations buoyed the donations of benefactors. The internet has made this effect all the more pronounced. Wikipedia is a prime example. How many human hours of writing have gone into that project? And why? And what is involved in the lives of those people who write there to make them join up with that endeavor?

The social effect is not simplistically defined in terms of "those who give things away for free are good, and those who give things away for money are bad." There can certainly be as much collaboration, and good spirited social projects among those who insist on their DRM as those who don't.

This is where Secondlife is rising to the call of the future of our culture. You computer technicians have had your bbs's for many years where you can exchange and share code, collaborate and do business. The Secondlife platform offers a similar grace to other creative fields.

Again, I sign this as "anonymous" because this gesture perhaps might highlight the point I was originally making, and which point deals with the core of our discussion on this thread.


Just a few words about the (deadly?) degrading of Second Life.
The spirit of the community, of the collectivity, is seriously threatened by the unchecked flood of newbies. Most of them, in fact, “live” SL like a videogame – sort of “7 sins” – histerically seeking fun and using residents just like poseballs, objects.
Many newbies are underage and too many owners of adult-oriented sims say: “Not my problem”. Too many gender-shifters, bumpers, gangsters, killers, too many weapons and increasing bdsm-D/s-Master/slave subcultures. The new keyword seems to be “no rules”.
I used to live in a lovely tropical hut, quiet and relaxing surrounded by the sea. Well one day I login and find in front of my window a mountain cottage with a pink dollhouse. My new neighbours are a “father” into bdsm and his no-payment-info little “daughter”…All inside my chat range of course.
Let’s take a look around…Is this SL?

Ten Book

As a "sex worker" in a mature sim, I was feeling the brunt of the griefing that has followed the end of age verification. When it was announced that land owners would gain at least the ability to restrict access to paid accounts only, my feeling was that although imperfect, it was better than nothing.

As a responsible adult, I feel it's important to recognize that minors have no place in mature sims, explicit or otherwise, so when patch day rolled around, I read the patch notes and decided that I would welcome this change, and ban unverified accounts from my club, as the responsible thing to do, since it was to be the only option left to us for preventing probable-minors from gaining access to inappropriate material.

Imagine my horror at opening the land control panel and finding that instead of offering one type of account to ban, it offered only one type of account (of the three) to allow! What good does it do me to allow only paid accounts but not those who have provided payment info despite having free accounts?

It would have made infinitely more sense to give us a way to bar unverified accounts from access to a parcel, rather than giving us a choice of allowing one of the three types only. I'm very disappointed with the implementation of this, as it solves nothing.

Ten Book

I think it's also important to add that credit card data, whether billed or not, as a step toward age verification, does work, to some extent. Here's why.

Sure, some teens might have their own credit cards, or use their parents' cards, with or without their permission.

Credit card data does not, therefore, provide 100% certainty that an account is not being accessed by a minor, but it does at least identify the parents responsible for allowing their own children access to mature content. This fact alone removes some of the onus from mature content providers in Second Life, and places it squarely where it belongs: with the parents of said minor.


Since one of the primary things I do in SL is help new players, these changes have had a great impact on me. And it's not just the open registration that has impacted me and all of SL, the combination of open registration and not giving new players a single L$ to start with has forced people on unpaid accounts to be mooches, and I feel has reinforced camping chairs and things of that nature. I provide opportunities at my place for newbs to make a few L$ but too many of them have made it their source of income, instead of using it as something to build on, and to find their niche in SL.

I feel making registration open AND removing the measly stipend for free accounts was a big mistake. Now with nothing, newbies only learn that they can go and sit somewhere, wear something to keep them from getting logged off and go AFK to do other things, (why log in at all) and earn money, instead of LIVING their Second Life, and learning about this wonderful place. There is no incentive to find out what SL is really about. It's not about money, it's about self expression.

The other facet to recent developments is that the newb of today is completely different than the newb of 8 months ago. Now we have newbs that come into SL thinking they already know what it's all about because of recent media coverage. They are jumping right in owning land and they haven't a clue what it's all about. SL needs to be experienced, you can't get it from reading an article, no more than you can be a great lover from reading a How To book, you are not great your first time, it takes time, practice and patience. You can buy an expensive skin, and flexi hair, but you're still a newb. There is a learning curve here that cannot be circumvented. You gotta crawl before you can walk.

At this point I have no intention of banning people based on their payment method or lack thereof, because I want everyone to feel welcome at my place, but I believe that LL could have found 100 different solutions than what they've done.

Prokofy Neva

>They are jumping right in owning land and they haven't a clue what it's all about.

Good! They'll learn fast!

Ryu Durrag

Read your post, Natasha, about newbies just jumping in and "owning land" and agree with Prokofy about "They'll learn fast".

That's exactly the reason I purchased an island and am allowing my friends (from outside SL) access.

To learn.

I, and they, have much to learn and sharing the learning experience with hordes of newbies is not very conducive to learning.

How many times did we "bump" someone because we had a hard time with mouse/kb interaction when we first joined ?

As to the notion of banning/allowing, it should have a more flexible premise to have a "ban specific user(s) and/or group(s)", "allow specific users(s) and/or group(s)" as well as an ability to provide an automated script to confine "non-AGE verified" users to a small area. This latter would be the same notion in RL of a walkway to a homes front door. It's there for the *pulic* to come to your door and ring your doorbell.

Because, after all, using a CC for age verification is completely useless. As someone who deals with HaXoRs in real life (being a Hacker of the old school, I will not dignify these antisocial scam artists and script kiddies with the title) working to help prevent such stupidity (some of you readers may be part of a BotNet and not even know it), I know at least a dozen ways to beat any such system. And age is no deterrent to any.

They (kids from 8 to 80) will simply steal a social security number, establish a phony identity or steal someone elses, obtain a CC for themselves, use a different PC, and Viola, a new *verified* user is born.

I have ideas on what would help stop griefers, script exploits and tools, but they're a bit technical so I won't go into detail. But, no technical solution exists for age verification.. truly *secure* age verification. Not even Microsoft and their creation of Vista and the eventual requirement of a "Trusted Computing Platform" will help.

If we have to live with actual criminal behavior in RL and on the internet (Nigerian Scams, anyone ? They still exist. Phising ?), then we cannot completely prevent abuse in SL, either.

Zen Zeddmore

Being a recent ex-noob I've had incentive to help newcomers (most of the time). I was not aware of the registration changes taking place. I became aware that I was finding noobs ( ppl with few days and zeroes in their ratings ) who'd obviously not need or want my help. They'd be building with an ease beyond the norm for noobs. In short, I don't know who to help. As the number of Alts goes through the roof the frustration of constantly finding that the Alt/non-noob isn't a noob and doesn't need my help becomes a disincentive to pay any attention to noobs at all.

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