Second Life Maturity Ratings Guide



Second Life Maturity Ratings Guide by Jeremy Linden

Maturity ratings overview

Important: The Second Life maturity ratings changed with the release of Viewer 2. If you’re using an older Viewer, keep this in mind.
General (“PG” in previous Viewers)
Moderate (“Mature” in previous Viewers)
Adult


What are maturity ratings?

Maturity ratings designate the type of content and behavior allowed in a region and affect search results.
There are three maturity ratings in Second Life: General, Moderate, and Adult.
To access Adult search results and regions, you must confirm that you are at least 18 years old by visiting the age verification web page.  For more information on how to access adult content, see Accessing Adult land and content.

General 

A region designated General is not allowed to advertise or make available content or activity that is sexually explicit, violent, or depicts nudity.  Sexually-oriented objects such as “sex beds” or poseballs may not be located or sold in General regions.
General regions are areas where you should feel free to say and do things that you would be comfortable saying and doing in front of your grandmother or a grade school class. Institutions such as universities, conference organizers, and real world businesses may wish to designate their regions as General. Likewise their users (and others) may wish to employ Second Life’s General search setting to focus and filter search results appropriately.
Some landowners and Residents desire a Second Life experience distinct from the activity that occurs in Moderate and Adult regions. Region owners who wish to host this sort of Second Life experience can (but need not) designate their regions as General.
If you are a region owner and you feel there is some ambiguity as to whether your content and activities are allowed in General regions, it’s probably best to designate your region as Moderate.

Tip: Bookmark  Community Standards and Terms of Service so you have the overall rules handy!


Moderate 

Second Life’s Moderate designation accommodates most of the non-adult activities common in Second Life. Dance clubs, bars, stores and malls, galleries, music venues, beaches, parks, and other spaces for socializing, creating, and learning all support a Moderate designation so long as they do not host publicly promoted adult activities or content and do not use adult search tags. Groups, events and classifieds that relate to this broad range of activities and themes generally should also be designated as Moderate.
Residents in these spaces should therefore expect to see a variety of themes and content. Stores that sell a range of content that includes some “sexy” clothing or objects can generally reside in Moderate rather than Adult regions. Dance clubs that feature “burlesque” acts can also generally reside in Moderate regions as long as they don’t promote sexual conduct, for instance through pose balls (whether in “backrooms” or more visible spaces). However if any of these businesses uses adult-oriented search tags, the region may be categorized as Adult and blocked from appearing in non-Adult search.

Adult 

The Adult designation applies to Second Life regions that host, conduct, or display content that is sexually explicit, intensely violent, or depicts illicit drug use.  A region must be designated Adult if it hosts, advertises, or publicly promotes:

  • Representations of intensely violent acts, for example depicting death, torture, dismemberment or other severe bodily harm, whether or not photo-realistic (meaning that images either are or cannot be distinguished from a photograph).
  • Photo-realistic nudity.
  • Expressly sexually themed content, spaces or activities, whether or not photo-realistic. We broadly define what is “sexually themed” to include any sexually oriented activities and conduct.

Groups, event listings and classified ads that reference these themes or content must also be designated Adult. Linden Lab will enforce these rules but cannot monitor all ephemeral content and conduct within Second Life. Therefore:

  • Regions, groups, and event or classified ad listings that employ search tags plainly suggestive of adult behavior or content require the Adult designation, and will viewable only by Residents who have verified that they are at least 18 years old.
  • Linden Lab will conduct proactive monitoring and rely on abuse reports that identify adult content or conduct that is promoted or advertised publicly. Where adult content or conduct on a region is publicly advertised or promoted, that region must be designated as Adult (or such content must be removed). We will re-designate such regions if adult content is not removed.
  • Linden Lab may take into account whether apparent or reported adult content or conduct in a particular region serves only an extremely limited or passive function, or an important educational or cultural function, and therefore would be appropriate for all Second Life audiences.
  • As with all reported activity in violation of our policies, we will actively review all reports of adult conduct and provide Residents with a channel for rebuttal.

Parcels that host adult activities or contain adult content must be on:

  • The adult mainland continent, Zindra.
  • A private region that has been designated by its owner as Adult.

Region owners are responsible for designating a region’s maturity level. Occupants of regions will be expected to locate in a region suitable to each occupant’s content and conduct.
For more information on what qualifies as adult content, see Adult Content FAQ.

Setting your maturity preferences

Choose Me > Preferences and click on the General tab to choose the maturity rating of content you want to see.  For more information, see Accessing Adult land and content.

Maturity ratings and media access

Your own maturity setting, as well as the maturity setting of land parcels near you, can affect your ability to hear sounds and voices.

Voice and maturity ratings

Regions that use the Adult maturity rating use a separate estate channel for voice communication. This means that if you are in an Adult region, you can only speak with other Residents who are also in nearby Adult regions. If you are in an Adult region and you stand near the border of a  General or  Moderate region, Residents in the other region cannot hear you speak, and you will be unable to hear them speak. Text chat crosses region borders normally, regardless of maturity ratings.

Note: Group and private voice chats are not affected by region maturity ratings, and always function the same way regardless of your location.


Gestures, sounds, and maturity ratings

Gestures and other sounds played in Second Life are handled differently than voice chat; your personal maturity rating determines whether or not you are able to hear sounds originating from a Moderate or Adult region. Your personal maturity rating must meet or exceed the maturity rating on the region you wish to hear sounds from.

Examples

  • If your rating is set to General, you can only hear sounds and gestures that originate from a region that is also rated General.
  • If your rating is set to Moderate, you can hear sounds and gestures that originate from regions that are rated General or Moderate.
  • If you have verifed that you are at least 18 years old and your maturity rating is set to Adult, you can hear sounds and gestures originating from any nearby region, including Adult regions.


Parcel media and maturity ratings

By definition, Land parcel media is confined to the parcel for which it is set. If your avatar is not authorized to enter a land parcel, you cannot view or hear streaming media playing on that parcel.

Maturity ratings and search

The Second Life Viewer filters search results based upon your current maturity preferences and the maturity ratings of the discovered content, while the Second Life website shows only results with a General rating.  For information on how maturity ratings affeect search results, see Maturity ratings and search.

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