Friday, July 17, 2009


Written 16 July, 2009


The ability to ban and mute avatars goes a long way toward making Second Life a level playing field for everyone.

Unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of mute and ban (and unfortunately, some people are illiberal with it. I’ve known people who were banned from sims for simply showing up, before they had time to read the rules and change their clothing to be theme-appropriate.)

I try to be conservative in my use of the ban tool, and so I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. You’re naked on Whimsy? Please put some clothing on. What? You’re naked again? Please read our rules and wear clothing when you’re on the sim. Okay, this is the third time. Please leave now and don’t come back until you’re ready to follow our rules.

But when people try to game me, or when my bullshit detector goes off, I don’t mess around. They’re gone.

When we lived on Pele in Forsaken, an avatar in a nun’s outfit appeared on the land when I was with Sweetie, saying she had come to talk with us about our inappropriate lesbian relationship. Did I pretty much know what she was going to say? Yes. Did I want to hear it? No. I said “mute” in chat, then clicked on her and muted her and banned her. When, a year later, she suddenly showed up on Whimsy, I banned her as soon as I saw her.

A month ago, while out shopping with Sweetie, an avatar I had never heard of sent me a teleport request and a cryptic IM message. I refused the teleport and closed the IM box without replying.

When we arrived home 15 minutes later, he was on the sim, hitting up one of our residents.

He had left by the time I got to her house, but I had no sooner landed than I got another IM from him. He asked for a script about which I had blogged. I said I would be happy to send it to him. Then he sent me a request for a voice chat. I refused it. Then he sent me a teleport request.

He had been happily and bizarrely hitting on me, but stopped to say he needed me to come to him in person because of “security issues.”

Security issues! IM is the ONLY thing in Second Life that’s secure.

“Paranoid schizophrenia,” I said to my friend.

“Mute,” I said to him in IM. “Don’t bother to type to me. I won’t hear it. And please don’t try to come back to Whimsy. I’ll be happy to send you the script you wanted as soon as I can find it in my inventory. Goodbye.” And I found the script and dropped it on his profile, and that was that.

Life is too short to waste time on fools.

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