Sunday, March 22, 2009

KIC Kids Info Center

Hello and welcome to the KIC, the Kids Info Center!

After 3 days of celebration is the KIC open for all Kids since March, 20th. If you need help, want to know more about being a SL Kid or just want to have fun or a Sandbox for building in a calm and safe environment, this place is for you. Just made from SL Kids for SL Kids. Many different buildings to explore, the MnK HQ is there too. Arts made by Sl Kids, the (SLC) learning tree with a lot informations, the transmogrifier for adults who want to be a SL Kids fulltime or just from time to time...yes you were reading right: Adults are allowed there too! We will tear down the biased opinions about SL Kids (or try it) grins. All welcome! If you need help or advice or can't find the answer yourself, we have KIC Mentors to help you, some of them also Second Life Mentors. Just go to the "Old Town" over the suspension bridge to the first buidling you see at the left hand. Enter it and you will see a display with all Mentors and the language they speak and their online/offline status. Click the sign and type your message into the open chat.

sven Homewood

Friday, March 13, 2009

Clash of the Kids [Updated]

Well Linden Lab have done it again. They have announced something that effects their residents again. And once again the entire grid community seems to be up in arms. Though at first i was not sure how their new policy on adult content was going to effect me.

The Child Avatar Community is a special magical thing that has never happend anywhere before. SL is the cradle of life for a community of people around the world that live second childhoods, no other platform can claim that.

We all have invested so much time, money and emotion into our new gangs of friends and adventures. So far i think we have felt safe knowing that everyone around us, even if we pretend to be kids are in fact adults. The Child Avatar community spearheaded a clean non-adult environment to play and it seems Linden Lab are wanting more of the main grid to follow this.

But will this mean we will eventually loose that secure blanket that keeps Child avatars seperate from REAL kids? We have worked hard to make this world within SL and it's easy to feel backstabbed if LL decide to drop the 'Adults only' rule of being in SL. It would drop us all in a moral dilemma that we did not want, 'is it ok for underage residents to mix with Adults who pretend to be kids'?

This is the question that has to be asked even if LL decide to push it aside. Why has LL decided to seperate Adult content from the rest of the grid if not to prevent the possibility that underage residents might make unverified accounts?
We already have options for Adult Residents to avoid adult content, for example the Huds that tell you wether the place you are is Rated R.

Even if Linden Labs reasons for moving Adult content has nothing to do cleaning up the main grid for underagers, we still need to start thinking about the future and how the interaction between underagers and Kid Avatars could and should be.

Some argue that it should not matter if the people you interact with are adult or underagers, as you treat all people the way you would want to be treated. That the Kid Avatar is by nature a caring, imaginative and inspiring individual and who better to draw experience from.

Who would parents prefer an underager to be shown around the main grid? A Child Avatar resident, or a scantly clad Stripper?

There is a view that underagers would prefer to go hang out with the strippers than play with virtual kids, but that cant always be true. A lot of the stuff that we build for our own virtual second childhoods are based on the same kool things that real underagers find kool so it's not impossible that underagers might be drawn to the fun and games we also enjoy as Kid avatars.

There are some that feel no matter how safe we try and make things in our community, that there will always be the chance that being a child avatar will be exploited for deceiveful means. This though can be applied to any type of avatar community in SL, and any type of chat program infact.

The debate about Child Avatars, Adult Content and Underagers on the Main grid will go on for ever. As a community we need to be recognised for our deeds so carry on being the kool kids of SL.

[UPDATE] ABC news ran a sensationalised story about a wii game and concerns about adults and children playing same games. Read an article about it here

Monday, March 2, 2009

Roleplaying Sims and the Kid AV

Well, been a bit of time since I last posted, and there are loads of things I’ve been doing and that I want to talk about. One thing I have heard quite a bit about recently is how kid AVs seem to be excluded from quite a few of the role playing activities in sl, particularly the combat ones. There was even a bit on the Milk and Kookies Show this last week about a combat system that appears to discriminate against kid AVs.

What I want to speak about is a role playing sim that includes combat, and that I have been an active part of for quite a time, as a kid AV.
Antiquity is a group of sims that follow a timeline of around the Napoleonic and early Victorian eras. There are pirates, a French group, a contingent of Portuguese, and various others wanting to enjoy that period of history. I belong to a group whose members play mainly British troops of the era, including Guardsmen, Riflemen and Highlanders, along with a very active Navy.

Last year, I was introduced to the group as a musician, playing the flute befor>e, during and after the combat roleplays. I always appeared in my kid AV form, and have been welcome at the scenarios, where I always find everyone joins in the interaction with the idea of a drummer boy with good heart (though some seem to think my playing is good reason to shoot me, and that’s just my own side!)

When we have fought the other groups, I have been included and accepted by the other groups without reservation, and think that having a youngster involved has given them the opportunity to explore a greater range of role play. Since young people were active in life and combat of the period, as drummers, cabin boys, horse handlers, powder monkeys and in many other roles, we can bring a vibrancy and depth of feeling to places like Antiquity that accept us as we are.

I would encourage others to join in with any role play sim, if you are not certain they will welcome you, ask! If they say no, well, ask another, and another, until you find one that says “Well… “, then jump in with both feet and have fun! They will find out how much more fulfilling role play is when it has a full spectrum of aged AVs, and you will have found another place to enjoy yourself in sl.