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The end of SL’s Age of Innocence

September 13, 2008

In many ways, the age of innocence in Second Life has long been over. With scams and controversies hitting the banking and stocks exchanges sector, with griefing, and with other kinds of scams, it looks like SL is starting to become our FL or RL.

But nothing like this sort of news to really confirm that cold, hard fact.

So now a discussion ensues on who is really to blame for this kind of event. One person thinks that SL is a kind of enabler, while others think that Second Life is another place where one can also meet all sorts of people, a really public place like the park or library, so SL cannot be blamed.

I tend to agree that SL has become too open for everyone, including those who can be sick in the head, to come in. In a way, I also agree that Second Life also empowers, enables and feeds to their deluded mind, in a way that is different to us. True, Second Life affect all of us in one way or another, and such changes that SL has injected into our real lives impacts us in ways we don’t really understand. We hear of stories about how people with disabilities turn to Second Life and feel that they are equal to us abled bodied people in the grid, that people are able to unleash their inner creativity, find true love, learn to actualize their great SL to their FL, and change for the better.  

However, it doesn’t impact us in a way that makes us want to hurt people and animals.     

There is this train of thought that the ease of accessibility to Second Life has been its bane. It used to be that SL is this closed community, now it is very easy to get into SL. Heck, I got into SL thanks to its being free, but I am no scammer, I am not sick in the head (though family may think otherwise–lol), nor am I the violent kind. 

Yet, that argument can also be debunked. Even if SL charges for access, there will still be untrustworthy people coming in. Insane and evil people can have access to money to buy a computer, and a credit card in order to join Second Life, and thus unleash themselves into the virtual wild. So no getting away with that argument now.

Thus, only one thing remains as fact and no matter how or why, the age of innocence in SL is TRULY OVER. It was already over years ago, but the after effects can only be felt now, and yes not all can feel this and be victims by it. Most of us can sit comfortably oblivious, for SL is a BIG BIG world, and really, how can this happen to us? But it can, and it probably will if we aren’t careful. Now we have to watch our backs in SL too, as if doing the same thing in RL is already tedious unless you plan on living inside a cave and never get out.

How many more news stories like this will come up? I’m sure there will be plenty more, however, the disturbing factor was that SL has become involved with it. Many people think SL is an addictive activity, senseless fun, unrealistic, etc., but the shock that came as a reaction to this news is the effect of the people becoming jarred at the reality that it can also happen in SL, where everything is supposed to be fun and games, or that geeks don’t go around hurting fellow geeks.

But soon, the fact that it occurs in SL will no longer be a troubling thing as time passes. With news such as this, I really don’t care where or how it happened, what matters is the fact that something like this still happens and that evil has no boundaries. The virtual world is just part of its haunts now.

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