Second Life Controversies

An incomplete history of Second Life controversies from 2008-2012

2003-07-17 13:34:31

War of The Jesse Wall

I asked the red man with the devil horns to tell me what happened at the Jessie wall, but he just shot me dead. Getting gunned down is actually the kind of response you should expect in the Jessie simulator, also known as "the Outlands", where wanton violence is expected, even encouraged. The Outlands used to range over four sims, but by July 2003, had been restricted to Jessie, and demarcated from neighboring regions (where non-aggressive interaction is the rule) by a high, intimidating wall.

2003-09-12 13:34:31

Tax Revolt

In late July, a cadre of outraged Lifers began agitating against the Linden tax system, which they see as unjustly penalizing ambitious builders, who contribute so much value to the world. By August 2nd, their cause had broken out into open protest.

2003-12-22 13:34:31

New Pricing Model

THE PRICE OF A NEW WORLD: AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP LINDEN Originally published from December 18 to 23rd, 2003

2004-09-30 13:34:31

War in Jessie

Hey do you think the possibility of a war in Jessie against the WWIIOLers is a reality? What if some group comes in, slaughters all the people online, and then sets up turrets to keep them out? What then? And if nobody decides to take it upon them to drive them out, anyone want to start an army and attempt to drive them out?

2005-06-30 10:07:38

Secret ‘Second Life’ Government Surfaces

Every utopia has its dystopian underbelly, and Peter Ludlow's The Second Life Herald leads the way in the raking of virtual-world muck. The Herald has discovered what some might consider "smoking gun" evidence of a below-board relationship betweeen Linden Lab--the company that owns Second Life--and the so-called "Feted Inner Core," a group of allegedly-favoured customers. The discovery seems to back up several key claims of Profoky Neva, a resident recently banned from the Second Life online discussion forum. Many have accused Prokofy of paranoia, but given the Herald's discovery, these claims seem to indicate a groupthink effort to discredit an unpopular agitator.

2005-10-15 13:34:31


. . . it quickly became evident to content creators that they might end up competing against the company itself. So much so, the community coined a verb for it: GOMed, named after Gaming Open Market, a Resident-run Web site that was once the leading Linden Dollar currency exchange outlet . .

2005-11-02 09:20:56

Point to Point Teleporting

Arguments and counter-arguments for P2P teleportation... Back when Second Life was a tiny world, Residents could magically teleport point-to-point: that is, from any place on the grid to any other place, just like that. Shortly after launching commercially, however, Linden Lab introduced "telehubs", scattered throughout the grid.

2005-11-27 09:20:56

Compensation for telehub land owners

It seems clear that LL will almost certainly abolish telehubs, and that the value of telehub land will (already has started ?) fall. The inevitable companion to this is that non-telehub land will get more expensive. Doubtless the world's overall land value will remain about the same. This will cause loss and land starvation to the smallest players, with least resources.

2005-12-16 18:30:47

Lawsuit against Second Life owner Linden Lab seeks to clarify ownership of real estate in the virtual world

Virtual real estate entrepreneur Ailin Graef recently announced that her Second Life avatar Anshe Chung had become the first online personality with a net worth of more than $1 million. But Graef may be living in a fantasy world.

2006-05-18 21:30:16

Second Life Land Deal Goes Sour

n what might be a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, a Pennsylvania lawyer is suing the publisher of the rapidly growing online world Second Life, alleging the company unfairly confiscated tens of thousands of dollars worth of his virtual land and other property.

2006-09-11 18:30:47

Second Life Hacked, 650,000 Affected

Hackers broke into databases of the popular online role-playing game "Second Life" and accessed 650,000 player names, addresses, and passwords, prompting the developer to order all players to change their log-ins.

2006-09-17 17:20:22

The Big Controversies in SL

Societies and communities have their own “backgrounds”. Although Second Life® does not have equivalent concepts to “skills”, “levels” or “experience”, commonly found on massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs), there is a single difference between a brand new resident and an older one: you’ll be familiar with the complexity of relationships inside Second Life, and, most likely, have an opinion on the types of controversies that occur in this virtual world.

2006-10-23 18:30:47

Imagined, but not owned

Linden Lab has been overhauling its website and promotional material lately for the poorly understood virtual world Second Life. One of the key changes to be spotted is the alteration of the long-standing descriptor, "Second Life is a 3D online digital world imagined, created and owned by its residents", which now only reads, "Second Life is a 3D online digital world imagined, and created by its residents", and there's signs that the wording is still evolving a little.

2006-11-15 05:36:29

Copybot Revolt

Groups of Second Life content creators were gathering digitally Tuesday to protest the dissemination of a program they worry could badly damage the virtual world's nascent economy. The controversy gathered steam Monday when Linden Lab, which publishes Second Life, posted a blog alerting residents of the virtual world to the existence of a program or bot called CopyBot, which allows someone to copy any object in Second Life. That includes goods such as clothing that people purchase for their in-world avatars, and even the virtual PCs that computer giant Dell announced Tuesday it is going to sell in the digital world.

2006-11-15 18:30:47

Second Life Shop Owners Threaten Suit Against Virtual World's Creator

Scores of Second Life shop owners on Wednesday closed their stores in protest against Linden Lab, saying the company was responsible for the release of an in-world tool that could be used to copy their virtual wares.

2007-01-06 13:34:31

Anshe Chung Interview Incident

2007-01-19 09:20:56

Violent clashes have erupted in an online world over the arrival of Le Pen's national front

The streets of Porcupine were tranquil yesterday; a handful of locals strolled through its shopping malls, the sun was shining, and a light breeze blew in from over the hills. There were few hints of the fact that, only days before, the neighbourhood had been the scene of violent clashes between rightwing extremists and anti-Nazi protesters - running battles involving gunfire and bombs that might easily have cost lives were it not for the fact that Porcupine does not, in most commonly accepted senses of the term, exist.

2007-03-09 10:07:38

A Scarlet Letter For Second Life

Residents of Second Life will be able share their opinions of people in the form of a five-star rating, which is designed to establish which individuals are commerce-worthy.

2007-04-24 21:30:16

Reader Roundtable: “Virtual Rape” Claim Brings Belgian Police to Second Life

Enter story info heBelgian newspapers De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws reported Friday that “the Brussels public prosecutor has asked patrol detectives of the Federal Computer Crime Unit to go on Second Life” to investigate a “virtual rape” involving a Belgian user of Second

2007-04-30 13:34:31

Project Open Letter

Cristiano Diaz (Cristiano Midnight in Second Life) has launched Project Open Letter, in which serious problems with Linden Lab's virtual world are addressed. Many veteran Second Life users, including myself, have complained loudly over the years about show-stopping technical issues with the platform. Project Open Letter aims to consolidate those complaints. While I may not agree with 100% of the letter's content (and note that it's easy to make up or falsify the letter's signatures), I feel it hits enough important points that it's worth signing and reprinting here...

2007-05-10 13:34:31

Accusations Regarding Child Pornography in Second LifeAccusations Regarding Child Pornography in Second Life

On Thursday May 3, we were contacted by German television network, ARD, which had captured images of two avatars, one that resembled an adult male and another that resembled a child, engaged in depicted sexual conduct. Our investigations revealed the users behind these avatars to be a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. Both were immediately banned from Second Life.

2007-05-10 17:20:22

Real Crimes Against Children Reported In Second Life

German authorities are investigating simulated child molestation and real child pornography in Second life. According to a report on the Second Life child pornography investigation in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, "Investigators in the city of Halle are acting on specific information about a German Second Life player, or avatar, who put child pornography images up for sale and paid for sex with underage players or players posing as minors."

2007-05-24 17:20:22

Performance and capacity problems

The virtual world known as Second Life is struggling under the weight of its increasing popularity. The number of concurrent users in Second Life is growing about 20% a month, from 18,000 in December to 36,000 earlier this month. At that pace, Second Life will hit maximum capacity--100,000 simultaneous users, says Joe Miller, VP of platform and technology development for Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world--well before the end of the year.

2007-05-26 17:20:22

Sex In Second Life

As with every medium since cave paintings, sex is a big part of Second Life. The virtual world is a haven where people can fulfill their sexual fantasies. But it also has a dark side.

2007-06-01 09:20:56

Judge Rules Against Second Life Terms Of Service

A judge has ruled against online world Second Life's TOS, continuing the saga between Linden Labs and a user who sued the company to re-open his suspended account, in which he had invested thousands of real dollars on virtual property -- legal commentary within.

2007-06-01 13:34:31

Turn In Your Neighbor

Please help us to keep Second Life a safe and welcoming space by continuing to notify Linden Lab about locations in-world that are violating our Community Standards regarding broadly offensive and potentially illegal content. Our team monitors such notification 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Individuals and groups promoting or providing such content and activities will be swiftly met with a variety of sanctions, including termination of accounts, closure of groups, removal of content, and loss of land. It’s up to all of us to make sure Second Life remains a safe and welcoming haven of creativity and social vision.

2007-07-06 05:36:29

Woodbury University Island Deleted by Linden Labs

On Saturday, Woodbury University's Second Life campus was vaporized. Not by mis-behaving Second Lifers, not by technical difficulties or incompetence, but by Linden Labs as a disciplinary action for Terms of Service (TOS) violations. In March Dr. Edward Clift paid Linden Labs for a six month lease and built Woodbury Island. In early April the region was suspended for 3 days for various abuses. Later in April Linden Labs contacted him by telephone to warn him that the island would be discontinued if the problems continued. According to Dr. Clift, that was the last communication he received from Linden Labs. "There was never any communication from Linden until the disconnection as to whether they thought we were doing a good job or not and certainly no chance to take corrective measures in any kind of cooperative fashion."

2007-07-16 17:20:22

Virtual Worlds, Real Cheaters

The author of a new book, "Exploiting Online Games," says that cheaters are infesting online worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life, and they could become a threat to mainstream business systems.

2007-07-18 17:20:22

Mitch Kapor: Virtual Worlds Are Like A Drug Experience

Virtual worlds are driven by "crazy people" with a shared mystical vision, but -- like the PC and Internet revolutions -- they'll result in practical benefits for everyone, said PC pioneer Mitch Kapor.

2007-07-26 17:20:22

Second Life Gambling Ban Gets Mixed Reaction

Some residents feel cheated by rules that ban wagering on games of chance or real-life organized sporting events if they provide a payout in Linden Dollars.

2007-08-02 22:06:41

Second Life Voice Set to Leave Beta

Linden Lab says it plans to take voice out of beta and make it a part of the default Second Life viewer at about 3 p.m. Pacific today. All points of the service are now voice-enabled by default, although people who lease server space in Second Life -- called "landowners" in Second Life jargon -- have the option to turn voice off on their parcels.

2007-08-15 13:34:31

Bank Failure in Second Life Leads to Calls for Regulation

The recent collapse of Ginko Financial, a "virtual investment bank" in Second Life, has spurred calls for more oversight, transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to business practices in the metaverse.

2007-09-04 13:34:31


Second Life bloggers are calling it "Nipplegate" - An artistic statue on water wastage and conservation had to be moved because of the presence of stone nipples (and, we guess by the location of the censored patches) the lack of a stone bikini - on a parcel of land that ostensibly carries a PG rating.

2007-10-31 15:19:33

Second Life "Wonderland" scandal hits mainstream media

UK media outlets are blowing up with stories of "Wonderland", a virtual playground in Second Life where Ageplay is the go. Sister-site Second Life Insider has been following the various stages of this story over the last day, including its growing coverage by mainstream press and the reply from SL developers Linden Lab.

2007-11-04 11:19:35

Second Life versus BBCode - an open letter to Philip Linden

Second Life user Jesse Barnett today posted an open letter to Philip Rosedale (aka Philip Linden) in the Second Life forums, with copies in the Public JIRA issue tracker, and in the Second Life developer mailing list.

2007-11-20 11:19:35

Several Second Life banks hacked - millions stolen

The last few days have seen some consternation in the Second Life economic markets as several banks have had their servers brute-forced hacked. Understandably there is a fair amount of uncertainty as some of the affected parties are being less than forthcoming, but according to Nobody Fugazi, normally a reliable commentator, the following banks have been attacked, although SLIB seems to have escaped without any loses:

2007-11-21 11:19:35

Contentious Second Life update next week

Linden Lab have announced a server-side update to the Second Life grid that will take place across two days, specifically Tuesday 27 November, and Wednesday 28 November. The first day will see a core services update, followed by a rolling-restart of the grid simulators the next day.

2007-11-28 11:19:35

Windlight: what all the fuss is about

When the old Windlight First Look viewer for Second Life was withdrawn there were assorted howls. Then, after it recently returned in a fresh First Look viewer, the cheers outweighed the grumbling of "Oh great, features instead of bugfixes" despite the fact that there's been a significant shortage of new features compared to bugfixes in the last year and a half.

2007-11-30 11:19:35

Second Life rated one of 3 worst HUDs by GamePro

Enter story info hereGamePro just listed their '10 Best HUDs in Gaming' feature, with a final section entitled 'The 3 Worst HUDs', and Second Life is 3rd on that list, just behind Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, and X-Men: Legends. While they say "Looking at the gameplay involves a lot of guess work to figure out what's going on in the world", they could have, and should have been a lot more critical.

2007-12-05 22:06:41

Age verification arrives on the Second Life grid

Age verification is now in beta on the Second Life grid. We think it's called Age Verification, anyway. It's undergone a couple name changes since inception. Initially, Linden Lab were calling it Age Verification, then Identity Verification (IDV) and now we're back to Age Verification again.

2007-12-11 11:19:35

Was Cory Linden fired, or did he quit?

I've been hearing rumors about one of Second Life's dear leaders, Cory Linden (aka Cory Ondrejka), Linden Lab's CTO. Apparently he didn't see eye to eye with Philip Linden (aka Philip Rosedale), LL's CEO, about the engineering direction. Either way, he quit, or Philip fired him. Care to clarify, Linden Lab?

2007-12-23 11:19:35

Second Life's user retention

One year ago, Linden Lab gave out the 90 day retention figure for Second Life. That is, the percentage of people who were still logging in to the virtual world after their first 90 days. That figure was 10 percent.

2008-01-02 11:19:35

Linden Lab warns of fraudulent currency exchanges

Linden Lab today have a lengthy set of warnings about possibly fraudulent third-party exchanges for the purchase of Linden Dollars for Second Life . In it are listed a number of common-sense precautions and warnings. However there are two particularly that we think are worth comment.

2008-01-03 11:19:35

Gaming search results - the unwisdom of crowds

Enter story info hereIs there anything people can't or won't game if they see an ounce of profit and know what the rules are, or if they can work them out? Take a glance at the image above (click for a larger version). That's the Skin Oasis in Second Life, specifically here, hidden below a small pond. Traffic (even though almost nobody understands how it works) is still a factor in search results - but in the new search system so are Picks in avatar profiles - and of course, places with lots of green dots on the map interest people more than places with fewer. This sim seems to be gamed all three ways for search-results.

2008-01-10 17:20:22

SL Banks Closed

For months, as banking meltdowns in the virtual world Second Life cost participants steep losses of real money, corporate owner Linden Lab of San Francisco stuck to a laissez-faire line, essentially saying, We just host the software; residents should avoid deals that sound too good to be true. But this week, Linden Lab abruptly banned virtual banks that can't furnish "proof of an applicable government registration statement or financial institution charter."

2008-01-14 11:19:35

Linden Lab: No stated plans to improve verification outside USA

The Age Verification (or Identity Verification, as it seems like it might be called internally again) implementation for Second Life has been a fairly fraught process so far, with no clear resolution in sight.

2008-01-15 11:19:35

Does Second Life's abuse report system need a serious overhaul?

For those of you that don't know, Second Life has an abuse reporting system. Sometimes it works moderately efficiently - if, for example, there is evidence that a user is underage an AR (abuse report) can work within minutes. I know, I have seen it work that well with my own eyes. Those of you who have followed reports across from Second Life Insider may remember that I have been ARed, and I had one prim returned. Oh well.

2008-01-30 11:19:35

BBC documentary about virtual adultery

Well, it's been said often enough before, but Second Life is all about sex. That, at least, would be the impression you would gain from the documentary that has just finished (2:30 SL Time) on BBC2. The programme dealt with 2 Second Life couples. One couple were both in a RL relationship with others, in the other couple she was married, he was single.

2008-03-02 09:20:56

Ad Farm Ban

SECOND LIFE, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Linden Lab has banned “ad farms,” the small plots of land with gaudy advertisements that are designed to extort neighboring landowners. “Whilst advertising in itself is okay, where it crosses the line into harassing behavior or visual spam, where the intent is purely to compel another resident to pay an unreasonable price to restore their view - then this will be covered under Harassment in our Community Standards,” Jack Linden wrote in a blog post.

2008-03-08 22:43:30

Linden Lab changes costs, conditions, capacities of void sims

Void sims as they are known to Second Life users (or Openspace sims as Linden Lab calls them) are simulators which are more tightly packed onto hardware than is usual. While regular Second Life simulators get a whole CPU to themselves for processing, void simulators are packed in at four to the CPU, generally achieving approximately one fifth of a regular simulator's performance and one eighth of the capacity for objects.

Second Life Controversies

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