Monday, May 16, 2016

Responding to Readers: Why Is Second Life Banned on Twitch

One of our readers, followed by a few others, posed a question on Facebook recently: "Why is Second Life Banned From Twitch?" For those who don't know, Twitch is a streaming service aimed at gamers. But not everything can be streamed on there, as one New World Notes reader commented in a letter she shared in which Twitch temporarily banned her for streaming Second Life. Taking a look at the Kotaku article cited by our reader, and the list given by Twitch itself, Second Life finds itself among some rather odd company with games such as "Battle Raper" and "The Guy Game," which involve lots of sex, violence, or both.

So why is Second Life on this list? Sadly, it has to do with the griefers and trolls.

Most every experienced Second Life user is familiar with griefers harassing people and trying to shock people with adult content, such as the obscene particle attacks that yours truly has witnessed at a few sandboxes. Unfortunately, not content just to troll people, sometimes the griefers post their dirty deeds on youtube. Plus there have been a few instances of live recording being interrupted by such griefings, the most known example being the "flying penis barrage" that happened when CNET tried to interview Anshe Chung, the noted Second Life Land baroness. So despite everything else that had, and has, been going on here from charities, to Dungeons and Dragons style roleplaying, to education classes, what Second Life is best known for to many who have yet to set foot inside and know about the virtual world only through what they've heard now and then through social media is that people use the place for "strange and weird porn."

Twitch would not respond when New World Notes tried to contact them, though Hamlet Au commented that they had a former employee of Linden Lab among their staff shot down arguments that Twitch was operating solely through bias, saying despite places being designated as G-rated, violent and pornographic content can potentially appear anytime and anywhere, "no matter what the region rating." But critics of the ban who are familiar with MMO survival gaming can always point to Rust, in which players start out nude, male characters with their genitalia exposed, and the game is not banned from Twitch.

Fortunately there are other options for streaming. Ciaran Laval pointed out one named "Hitbox," which did respond to questions about allowing content from Second Life, "We are more than happy to allow broadcasters to stream Second Life on hitbox granted they are responsible about the content being presented to the viewers. We don’t tolerate our broadcasters to present mature, sexual content that isn’t the intention of the game. ... we are okay with broadcasters streaming Second Life as long as it’s done responsibly."

But for the use of the more popular Twitch, the issue seems not up for discussion, which is a shame. Just as there's more to Amsterdam than it's red light district, there's a lot more to Second Life than just the shenanigans of a handful of trolls and griefers.

Sources: Twitch, Kotaku, New World Notes, Warcry, Ciaran Laval,  

Bixyl Shuftan

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