Thursday, February 17, 2011

Child Avatars

I'm been planning this post for a while, because I've always felt that child avatars on Second Life was a somewhat... touchy subject. I was there when Linden Labs tried to ban child avatars after they separated the teenage and adult grids. Back then, it only affected me because I was in the Hogwarts role-play, and my child avatar was seventeen (actually, thirteen, but after the stigma on child avatars, I aged her up) and that was the only place I had a child avatar anyway.

Getting back into the game now, though, I find that there a lot more children on the sims, which at first surprised me until I realized that they merged the game again, and that there are a lot of child-friendly places. Adult content (which was rampant years ago) is a lot more moderated and on the adult regions, which can't be access by anyone who can not prove their age, anyway. And while a lot of places don't want child avatars, but of the rules are lenient enough that they don't want child avatars engaged in certain behaviors rather than not wanting them at all.

Well played, Second Life. I do congratulate this leniency and how everyone's adapted to the changes, because to the quite honest, I love seeing child avatars around. Not everywhere, of course, but seeing a park with children makes me smile. And seeing places built just for children... well, that's a whole new glow right there.

And I have to admit, with the stigma gone, one of the first things I did after I realized that was create a child avatar. Who doesn't want to be a child again, right? All hearts and rainbows and candy and fluffy bunnies. It was fun being a child, and on Second Life, you can do so again... as long as you handle it responsibly. Obviously, don't take your child to a sex sim. But that should be common sense.

And I would love to talk about some places for children in this blog soon as well. This is my introduction post to that, because sometimes I do go exploring in my child form... although that's usually when I'm looking for pastry cafes and amusement parks. Later on, I'd love to get into more detail for Prim Hearts, which is also another destination guide, but with many layers to the place including an Undercity for child role-play that is based off a world where all the adults suddenly disappeared (a little like Jeremiah, right? For the oldies who have watched the show, anyway). They also have a link to an adoption centre and orphanage, and a community for families. I personally have gotten my child a home at the adoption centre where she has her own beautiful room and and friends who room right next to her.

Also, there are great kid-friendly parks around in Second Life. We went racing on floaties! Picnic areas, playgrounds, amusement parks... there are also so many stores for children's clothing that I'm amazed at how well each of them hold up. Do we really have that many children on Second Life?

But then, according to me, we do. And everyone's quite generous to children... free clothing, shoes, animation overrides, skin, shapes... as long as you know where to look, you don't have to spend a cent on getting your child ready for their Second Life. Just take them out to play on the swings, the jungle gyms, swimming, and even trampolines. This is SL, after all, if you can imagine it, it's probably been built!

To be quite honest, I even have a child avatar for role-play... if my child has reddish-brown/black hair, I'm using her for normal things and exploring and just being a kid. If she has white hair... well, I've got an entire story behind her!

She's not a real child, she's a role-play character. All the other children around I take as "real children"-- normal, everyday, bratty kids. Cute, sweet, and complete brats. This kid is named Laila and she isn't your normal everyday child. She's somewhat demonic and belongs in role-playing sims.

Hope this was a good introduction to my kids. There's the normal girl, and there's Laila. They'll be around to help document more beautiful and mindboggling places on Second Life!

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