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Friday, January 18, 2013

It’s Time To Blow The Whistle On A Disgraceful Sub-culture in Second Life – Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Second Life is a virtual world where anything is possible. Thousands of people from around the world flock to Second Life every day to engage in role play, business, education, global communication, self promotion, creativity and leisure exploration. Others unfortunately are misguided by dark pleasures and hidden agendas. They are the ones holding Second Life back from being taken seriously. Many real world organizations have pulled out of Second Life due to the shenanigans and distasteful activity that can be easily accessed. So easily, even young children can be potentially exposed to it.

 Where do we draw the line?  Do we turn the other way and keep it movin’ or do we speak up to make SL a better place?

I understand the Lindens have granted us free will to do virtually anything we want as long as it follows the terms of service, but as a global community are we responsible enough to protect our community from those that promote behaviors that would be considered illegal or harmful to women, children in the real world?

Recently in the headlines, a young woman was brutally gang raped on a bus in India while her male companion was beat nearly to death, later she died from the horrific internal damage that was inflicted on her with a metal pipe. That incident sent shock waves around the world about the treatment of women in India and the Middle East. If that wasn’t shocking enough, just a week later another woman in India was brutally attacked in a similar manner while taking public transportation.

In the U.S. news now, a 16 year old girl from Steubenville Ohio was allegedly sexually assaulted by members of a small town’s highly regarded high school football team and while unconscious, she was reportedly taken around to various parties where she was repeatedly assaulted while members recorded it on their cellphones. If that isn't shocking enough, there are hundreds of thousands of cases reported each year with their own brutal stories.

Seems like a lot of people visit these places

 Statistics* shows that every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is being sexually assaulted, 80% are under the age of 30. Annually, approximately 207,754 assaults are reported. Sadly, 54% of victims do not report it to police and 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. 

These things don’t just happen in places far from where you live, they occur in cities and town across the US and around the world. The sad thing is, not every case is so highly publicized, but each victim has to live with it every day of their lives, whether the rapist is caught or not.

In my years reporting the news in Second Life, I have come across places that make me happy to be a part of such a creative platform, some disappointed me for one reason or another and other places are downright disgusting and upset me to the core. 

One of the things that I’ve shrived to do was educate people about Second Life not being “just a game” or some kind of sexually explicit platform. It is knuckleheads like the ones I’m  exposing, that continue to create that ugly stigma that seems to linger like really bad garlic breath.
Just like the issue with child avatars, I think something should be done about places that promote or support Rape, forced fantasy, bestiality, abuse of women, torture, kidnapping and child RP.

These things should NOT be considered “fun and leisure”. If the argument is that it it’s just a “harmless fantasy” because no one is actually being assaulted. There are some underlying mental issues that need to be addressed because IT IS NOT NORMAL. It nurtures criminal behavior and who knows how many of the participants log off and continue to entertain those types of horrendous fantasies on unsuspecting victims.

 Why is this allowed in Second Life? Who should be held responsible? Do we wait until something bad happens to react or do we become proactive and get rid of it once and for all?
As a second Life community, I think we all should take a stand against things that can be potentially dangerous situations in the real world. One of the ways you can make a difference is file continuous reports to LL in masses. Gather up everyone on your friend list to take part in the movement against illegal activity in role play. Use any media source you can to bring attention to these virtual criminals and stop it.

 It is time we take Second Life more seriously if it is a place you invest your valuable time and money. You wouldn’t want to buy a nice house in a great neighborhood if you knew a pedophile or rapists lived next door to you or anyone you cared about right?

Start reporting illegal and disgraceful activities, the more people that blow the whistle, the higher the chances are of Linden Labs hearing us and stepping up to the plate to cleaning up our virtual world community.

To file an abuse report, go to your help tab and select “abuse report”.  A screenshot will be taken to help your claim.


  1. Meh, there's more rape, disease, violence and murder in one season of Desparate Housewives than I've seen in six years of SL. Don't like it? Don't go there. I sure as hell won't.

    1. Hi Laetizia, you have a point about "if you don't like it, don't go there" but from the perspective of a rape victim, I’m sure it effects them even greater to see this type of thing in Second Life.
      While it is true that we can make our own decisions to avoid these places, it is hard to turn the other way and ignore it when it is effecting how Second Life is perceived by serious minded professionals that could do great things for this global community, like bring back education facilities and companies that can help remove the stigma of Second Life being a sexually explicit type of "game". I think people need to take a stand against violence against women and help petition the removal of the large volume of places that conduct themselves in these ugly ways. Maybe there should be a separate type of virtual world game where those type of "gamers" and/ or predators can go and be monitored more closely for age verification, mental illness and potential criminal activity, so that Second life can have a chance to reach its highest potential. People that agree, deserve the chance to make better use of the money, time and effort spent without having to come across smut and distasteful content. I know I'm serious about what I do here and dislike sharing space with those that conduct themselves in ways that are offensive to me as a woman. I have respect for myself and a great concern for the health of a dying community. Have you researched why many have left? I find it very sad that those people have lost faith in such an amazing place.

  2. I think its time to sort this out, OK yes you are going to have people that want to experience that side of SL, but why not make a special HUD that people can buy for that or have to go through controls for that but make the search engine purely PG. Then hopefully we might get the RL companies back into SL. At the moment I doubt that will happen.
    Also I spoke to a University Professor recently who said there is no way the universities would come back into SL whilst the sex element is so bad.

    Its about time we looked at this and I am not saying ban it but try to put some kind of control on it to safe guard eveyone in SL.

    1. Anonoymous, while I don't agree or understand why anyone would accept rape as a role play,even with the use of special HUDs, I do agree it is about time this is addressed and taken more seriously by residents. Some sort of control or action needs to be taken to prevent it from being a cancer that is deteriorating the reputation of this virtual world. I would love to see Universities reconsider coming back and dominating over the grid rather than watching sexual content ruin it for everyone.

  3. First off, no one is getting raped in second life; the act of rape by any definition is simply not possible. People engage in complex forms of role play which may involve sexual themes and may involve various forms of bondage or the acting out of violent behavior. This is part of the fun. People enjoy doing this for the same reason they enjoy roller coasters: danger without dangerous consequences.

    Secondly, most of the people engaged in this type of play, no matter what they appear to be, are male. They are guys wearing a female avi acting out a puerile fantasy. Not saying this is right or wrong; just saying.

    1. False. You should look up the statistics of women who are into rape fantasies.

  4. I agree with bagman.

    Although the concept of rape, slavery, snuff (if you want to be really disgusted search this term) are vile and objectionable-- sex with child avs is even worst-- these are role play fantasies. Rape, by nature, has to be non-voluntary (or statutory) or it is not rape.

    The solution is to ban the usage of certain terms in X-rated contexts, and let it be known that the misuse of them can lead to expulsion from Second Life.

    But rape, by nature, cannot be consensual, assuming all participants are over 18 (or whatever the legal age of sex is in a certain country).

    One more thing bagman-- I know lots of real life females who are into these questionable scenes too. It is not just rl men roleplaying.

  5. I don't understand why you would say, and I quote, "If you own a serious business in SL or invest valuable time and money here, you should be floored by this!"
    I just read this article today and I'm a bit late to the party, but honestly, if there's one thing that floored me it's your fanaticism against this. Sex is part of life, and logically, it will be part of Second Life. There are a lot of different preferences in real life - why wouldn't there be in SL? IRL, you can find gaybars, lesbian clubs, bdsm parties and that is just a start. You can go to those places if you want, or you can walk past them. Your choice, and it is my opinion that this is the same for SL.
    In real life, the presence of these bars, clubs and parties and other sexually explicit material does not 'ruin serious businesses'. Heck, everybody knows that sex sells! As a serious business owner - I wouldn't worry too much.

    Now, about the whole crusade against 'non-consensual' sex in SL. Real rape is a horrible, horrible experience and I despise rapists and people who blame the victims. It is my opinion though that rape-sims and rape-roleplay have nothing to do with violence against women and actual rape.

    I'll try and explain how I see this. In this explaination I'll use information and facts from a scientific review of over 30 articles, published in the Journal of Sex Research - a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The article I am talking about is called "Women's Erotic Rape Fantasies: An Evaluation of Theory and Research", authors are Joseph Critelli & Jenny Bivona and the article dates back to 2008. You can find it on Google Scholar.

    Now, first, did you know that rape fantasies are very common sexual fantasies for women? Different studies with a total of over 3500 participants showed that between 15% and 57% of women have had rape fantasies.
    The most frequent and common explanation of these fantasies is called the 'Blame Avoidance Theory'. Basically, it says that the majority of girls are raised with the thought that casual sex is wrong. You pick your sexual partners carefully and you should only have sex if you love someone - otherwise you'll be a slut and again, that is bad.
    A lot of women don't *feel* that way though. Women are sensual and sexual beings. They find someone attractive that maybe they shouldn't, they are aroused by 'bad boys' or they just enjoy sex. The rape fantasies give them a way for it to be OK, since it's not their fault or their responsibility - they didn't do anything wrong. So, if you follow this train of thought, it's the current culture and the way 'we' as society think about sex that is causing women to have rape fantasies. Now mind, this is just a theory and one of many at that, but I wanted to explain it to show that rape fantasies are not a strange and horrible thing at all.

    Then, finally, rape-roleplay in SL. I referred to rape-roleplay as 'non-consensual' sex in SL. I put 'non-consensual' in scare quotes here, because there really is no such thing as non-consensual in SL. When going to a sim where this sort of roleplay is done, you basically give consent for what is about to happen. You enter into this type of roleplay knowing what is waiting for you. This makes SL a very safe place to live out your fantasies, and makes it clear, hopefully, that rape-roleplay has nothing, nothing to do with actual rape.

    I'd be happy to discuss this further with you, and I hope you'll take my words into consideration next time you feel like making people with certain sexual fantasies look like dangerous and perverted persons doing things that 'are illegal and harmful' when it is obviously not true. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for your point of view Voice Restless. I respect that anyone can voice their opinions on SLE and be heard as long as they don't disrespect or attack me personally, act outrageous,go against TOS or act in ways that are morally unacceptable by my standards as a woman. That is my right to speak out about the things that bother me, just as you have clearly done here too. I just want to be clear that I did not say that sex itself is bad in SL. If you browse this site, we do have articles on BSDM, escorting,sexy clothes and so on. These are all different types of sex content that can be found in Second Life and I wont argue that sex sells. That is true, but I sure did point out an "activity" that MOST women and men would find disgusting, offensive and disgraceful on the top of an event list. Is this something we should ignore or be proud of as community members seeking things to do? If you like to participate in forced sex RP as the assaulter, rape victim or feed into that as something labelled "fun", that is your business, but don't slam me for an opinion, rather ask a victim of rape how they feel about it being RP'd in SL. It may change your opinion just a tad.

  7. Hi Lanai,

    I hope you didn't see my post as 'slamming you for an opinion', I did not mean to do that at all.
    I do understand and respect your opinion, I understand that you find this content offensive. There are a lot of things in SL that I find offensive, too. I'm not asking you to ignore it, or even be proud of it. I completely understand that this is something that bothers you, and I might even support a critical article about it.

    What I don't agree with is the way you express your opinion. Among other things, you wrote this: "If the argument is that it it’s just a “harmless fantasy” because no one is actually being assaulted. There are some underlying mental issues that need to be addressed because IT IS NOT NORMAL."
    That is why I tried to point out the fact that non-consent fantasies *are* normal, a lot of people have that and I don't believe that SL, as a whole, is 'less worthy' because of it.
    You screencapped names, circled them, and labeled those people as 'disgrace to SL' and, further on, even 'virtual criminals'. That is what I don't agree with.

    I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the way you expressed it is what bothers me. Especially if you're striving to be taken seriously as a reporter, this is the kind of 'naming and shaming' you should try and avoid. Check your facts. Don't write on emotion alone. It's awesome if you're passionate about something - it's even more awesome if you keep it civilised.

    Just to make things clear, though, I have been the victim of sexual assaul irl. It is awful and it's affected my trust in people, my feeling of personal safety. It is an experience that changed my life in some ways.
    I do not, however, associate that with the fantasies people choose to play out in SL. I did not have a choice. These people do. And I think it would be mighty selfish of me to tell them they can't play out their fantasies because I have had a bad experience with a person who could not restrain himself long enough to keep his dirty paws off me.
    I know that not everyone thinks and feels the same as I do, but I did want to share this, so you would know that I fully understand the impact of actual rape on a woman.

  8. In Secondlife each person who enters the sim is willing/wanting to be raped, why else would they bother to there in the first place. I've been to some of these rape sims and been "virtually raped" Some people do take it a bit far but at the end of the day everyone who is entering the sim are both adults. Sex sells and Linden labs wouldn't take that content out due to it's vast growing population, not to mention the money they are bringing in. If rape offends you this much in Secondlife then I suggest something like IMVU? There is no rape whatsoever and hip contact is NOT allowed. Real life is much different to Virtual rape, when I was in my teens I was sexually assaulted and for many years I could not leave the house as I was in constant fear and had lots of counseling.

  9. There are two kinds of people: People who think that other peoples' sex lives are their business and people who know that other peoples' sex lives are not. A rape fantasy shouldn't be confused with real rape. What people like to roleplay and imagine is not your concern. However, if you see a woman you know has a rape fantasy and she is being raped down and alley, and you walk away, you are a horrible human being.

  10. I realize this was written 2 years ago, but I'm pretty sure at that point ageplay had already been banned. Are you lot not going to be satisfied until SL bans naked avatars?

    What do you puritanical types have against letting other people do their thing in peace? I was against banning ageplay and I'm certainly against pushing that line any further. SL has always been a fun place to safely explore all sorts of interests and fantasies, sexual or not, without anyone getting hurt by the more 'deviant' of fetishes.

    This is all pretend. Make believe. If you don't want to be part of it, don't, but stop acting like you can tell other people what they are or aren't allowed to fantasize about. You are NOT the thought police.

  11. Maybe everything should just be banned. If someone's offended, ban it. Let's do the north Korea thing, nobody's allowed to fantasize or dream, nobody's hurt. Boom and done,how's that, 'Liberals'?


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