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Town Hall 12/16/04

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Town Hall with Robin Linden
12/16/04
Topic: Teen Grid/Version of Second Life.

You = Haney Linden

Robin Linden: Hi everyone -- I'm guessing from the signs and the chat that we're in for a pretty lively conversation!
Robin Linden: I'm going to answer a lot of questions that have been on the forums over the last week
Robin Linden: hopefully I'll hit all the main points
Robin Linden: then we'll open the floor to you -- IM you questions to Haney and I'll do my best to answer them

Robin Linden: Why SL for teens, and why now? We've been turning away teens since the beginning, and closing their accounts as we find them in SL.
Robin Linden: We know there's a huge interest in SL among them, but we also believe that having a large population of teens in SL proper would dramatically change the environment and the culture.
Robin Linden: We remain committed to keeping the SL main grid 18+.
Robin Linden: But as someone said in the forums, "It's a great place to learn programming, architecture, business principals, 3D modeling, social interaction".
Robin Linden: Recently we opened an exhibit in a museum designed to introduce kids to virtual worlds. It's been enormously popular and proved again that the creative possibilities of SL are tailor-made for teens.
Robin Linden: We've had many requests from schools for access to SL for their students. So while we agree that teens don't belong in SL, we do think a separate place, made for them exclusively, will be very exciting .

Robin Linden: How will we limit access to SL by teens?
Robin Linden: Essentially the same way we do now, by requiring a birthdate at registration, and making it clear in the Terms of Service that the main grid is 18+ and that anyone found in SL who is underage is violating the TOS and will be removed.
Robin Linden: We are also changing the registration process and the terms of service to make sure parents are aware that their children are creating a Second Life account and that they will be in a separate world designed just for them.

Robin Linden: How will we limit access to teen grid by adults?
Robin Linden: No one over the age of 18 will be allowed on the teen grid except Linden staff. For now, no parents, no teachers. If we find someone over 18 impersonating a teen to access the teen grid they will be immediately banned,
Robin Linden: permanently from both the teen grid and the Second Life main grid.
Robin Linden: We are putting in a special help line for kids, similar to Live Help, which will connect them immediately with Linden staff. If it's clear to us that there has been inappropriate activity, the individual involved will be immediately removed from the teen grid.
Robin Linden: and if proven guilty, from both grids permanently. Any activity that is illegal in the real world will be reported to the National Association for Missing and Exploited Children.

Robin Linden: How will we manage content?
Robin Linden: All sims in the teen grid will be rated PG. Profanity and mature content will not be allowed. We will rely on abuse reports as we do now, in addition to liaison supervision, to make sure that content meets the standards in the community standards.

Robin Linden: How will we manage behavior problems?
Robin Linden: The teen grid will have its own liaison staff who have been chosen for their experience in working with kids. They, as well as the main grid liaisons, will be supervised by Char Linden in a new, full-time role. Her part-time liaison position on the main grid will be filled by a new liaison.
Robin Linden: At the same time, we are continuing to add liaisons on the main grid as we move as quickly as possible to 24/7 coverage.
Robin Linden: Discipline in the teen grid will be straightforward -- 3 strikes and you're out. We will be using a somewhat different version of the community standards, written to be more specific about behaviors and the disciplinary repercussions. The teen grid wil
Robin Linden: We will be using a somewhat different version of the community standards, written to be more specific about behaviors and the disciplinary repercussions.
Robin Linden: The teen grid will have a separate queue of abuse reports.
Robin Linden: Initially the teen grid will have limited hours, coinciding with liaison hours on the main grid.
Robin Linden: In this way we can ensure there is always an adult readily available to support any problems on the teen grid.

Robin Linden: Can we sell to the teen grid?
Robin Linden: We're still looking at ways to allow content to be traded between the grids.
Robin Linden: We need to make sure that content has been vetted for PG/M rating, that permissions are respected, and that L$ go to the right people.
Robin Linden: In the short term we really appreciate all the 'hand-me-downs' that have been passed to the teen grid.
Robin Linden: Longer term we hope we'll be able to work out a way to allow content to move back and forth between the two grids.

Robin Linden: What happens when someone on the teen grid turns 18?
Robin Linden: People 18 and over are not allowed in the teen grid
Robin Linden: Once someone turns 18, they will graduate, and move, with inventory, to the main grid.
Robin Linden: Like all rites of passage, we anticipate this move will be a bitter-sweet one, but necessary. We'll try to ease the pain by making a celebration of it, like graduation in real life.

Robin Linden: Will the economy be shared with SL, and what about GOM/IGE?
Robin Linden: The economy will be shared, and the teen grid will have Linden currency commensurate with its population.
Robin Linden: We're still working out the details for currency exchange with GOM and IGE,
Robin Linden: but I assume they'll handle these accounts in the same way they do all accounts for people under 18, whom they do business with regularly.
Robin Linden: Neither GOM nor IGE will have access to the teen grid. Their ATMs will be placed on the grid by Linden staff.
Robin Linden: Similarly, if SL Exchange or another SL company decides to do teen specific business,
Robin Linden: we will work with them to help them set up their ATMs, but they will not have access to the grid.

Robin Linden: Will the teens have their own website and forums?
Robin Linden: We're putting together a separate forum for teens, along with web content that's specific to them.

Robin Linden: How will we manage pricing and controlling expenditures?
Robin Linden: When someone sets up a teen account they'll be paying the same amount for a membership as other SL users.
Robin Linden: However, the card holder on the account will be notified that the account has been set up.
Robin Linden: In a similar way, if a teen wants to increase their land tier, the card holder on the account will be notified in time to stop the tier increase.
Robin Linden: Teens will not be eligible to bid in SL auctions, but will purchase land in relatively small parcels directly from Governor Linden for Linden currency.
Donnie Donovan: no teeny barons!
Robin Linden: I don't have a launch date yet. As you can see we still have some work to do so it all goes smoothly.
Robin Linden: hehe -- teeny barons. Funny thought
Robin Linden: That's it for the canned stuff. Questions? Comments?

You: Taco Rubio: "Is it moral for a company to target an audience for profit when the stated company's goals (indeed it's title) is to created a 2nd life? Shouldn't kids, by definition, be developing their 1st life?
Robin Linden: The question of morality is an interesting one that I suppose you can ask any company that makes and sell something to children.
Robin Linden: Frankly I think Second Life is a phenomenal teaching tool, and that we'll be surprised at
Robin Linden: how fast the kids pick up the skills and learn

You: Terin Martov: How will you address the concerns that more teens will make their way to SL, here?
Robin Linden: I think fewer teens will make there way here, because they'll have somewhere else to go
Robin Linden: Right now we have teens begging to come in and we have to turn them away

You: DebbieAnn Fairplay: how do you verify people's ages... its easy to lie about your age on line
Robin Linden: When the new registration process goes into effect it will ask for a birthdate which we can use for verification
Robin Linden: If we have any reason to suspect that someone is lying we immediately put their account on hold while we get verification
Robin Linden: I know people can lie, but wherever we can put precautions in to prevent that we have

You: Millie Thompson: Will teens be able to own land on the teen grid and what would happen once they transfer to the main grid? Will they keep their land or start from square one?
Robin Linden: Good question. They'll be able to own land, although they won't get it through the auction process.
Robin Linden: When they transfer to the main grid I assume they'll sell it. They'll be able to keep their L$ and inventories

You: Terin Martov: If we are all using Linden dollars, how do you see that affecting the value?
Robin Linden: The Linden dollar supply is linked to the population, so it shouldn't be affected -- more money, but also more people with a use for it

You: Can you anonymously ask about amnesty?
Robin Linden: Yes
Robin Linden: Is that it?
You: I think the Q is - will kids now in SL get amnesty?
Robin Linden: Well hopefully there aren't very many if any. If so, I'd prefer they ask for amnesty anonymously than continue to lie

You: Cristiano Midnight: - it seems constantly that Linden Lab does not have enough resources to handle support fully - why would they split off even more resources for a grid that will require far more oversight than the main one does
Robin Linden: Well first I think you're making an assumption that the teen grid will need far more oversight.
Robin Linden: That said, we will have a separate liaison staff for the teen grid, and we will also handle support requests through a separate queue
Robin Linden: There should be no affect on the level of service to the main grid.
Robin Linden: In addition we're adding another CSR this week. You may have also
Robin Linden: seen the list of new Lindens on the forums. One is Uncle Linden, who will be working with you to make sure
Robin Linden: CSR stands for Customer Servide Rep for those of you on repeaters

You: chad Statosky: how many sims will be allotted to teen sl?
Robin Linden: Initially there will be a small grid -- probably about 16. Since it will have a much
Robin Linden: smaller population, less content density and most likely fewer scripts, the machines that we use there will
Robin Linden: be from the older batches. So the new sims will continue to go into the main grid for now

You: chad Statosky: will objects in the teen grid be able to communicate with objects in this sim?
Robin Linden: We're working on that. It won't be easy, but at the moment is possible, so we're looking at how to manage that

You: Newfie Pendragon: If parents are going to be notified, is this expected to be a 100% coverage (all parents) thing, and how will it be verified/proven they've received notification?
Robin Linden: It won't be 100% coverage, but we'll do the best we can to make sure they are informed

You: Schwanson Schlegel: can we have an approximate date? Schwanson Schlegel: days...weeks..months
Robin Linden: I don't have an exact date. There are some things we need to work out still
Robin Linden: the object communication, how to have an orientation island set up in the grid, website content

You: Pituca Chang: Who will be holding building, scripting and texturing classes for the teens?
Robin Linden: We'll have teen mentors.
Robin Linden: I don't know if you remember, but when this grid first opened no one knew how to do anything
Robin Linden: Those who figured it out first taught the others

Robin Linden: I suspect we'll see the kids will catch on very quickly, if the kids we've already seen use Sl are any
Robin Linden: indication
Robin Linden: And with Char at the helm, I suspect there will be mentors in no time!

You: Ontay Drago: why don't we have a supervised sim (supervised by lindens) that us and the teens can go to so they can learn from us, how else can they learn to build and script it is hard to grasps a teens attention(i have a little brother i know)person to p
You: person is bett Ontay Drago: or simpler form y not have a teaching sim that is supervised that we can teach the teens at Ontay Drago: also will we be able to pay the teens like if my brother plays teen SL can i give him L$??
Robin Linden: There won't be any communication between the two grids. This really will be a
Robin Linden: separate version of SL, just for them. They'll figure it out, believe me.

Robin Linden: We've all seen how fast teens pick up new technologies -- it's really exciting
Robin Linden: I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with some wonderful things we haven't even thought of yet

You: Anthony Bijoux: Will Teen SL residents have unique Last names or will they share with the Adult choices?
Robin Linden: They'll share with the adult choices. Each name gets used 150 times, so it does mean
Robin Linden: the family on the main grid might be smaller if it's a popular name with kids
Robin Linden: If for some reason that becomes a problem we can either split the names or add more uses
You: Karizon Hatfield: I think that by linking the economies of the teen and regular SL without offering an easy method for folks to sell back and forth between the two, we're asking for one of these two grids to drag the other down possibly... how will you prevent this?
Robin Linden: Currency can be exchanged at GOM or IGE
Robin Linden: But we'll watch carefully and make sure things remain balanced

You: Ryan Dayton: Will the teen LSL system be limited?
Robin Linden: No
Robin Linden: They'll have the same code branch as you do.

You: DebbieAnn Fairplay: so no sex animations in this world? DebbieAnn Fairplay: not even those created by teens? DebbieAnn Fairplay: wll there be limits on the kinds of stuff the teen can create... will that also be monitored?
Robin Linden: The teen world will be PG. So no sex animations, no mature content, and yes, if we
Robin Linden: find violations there will discipline.

Taco Rubio: tattoos?
Robin Linden: hehe
Robin Linden: tattoos are fine, as long as they're PG

You: Adel Llewelyn: if they'll be able to bring their inventory with them when they join the main grid, then how do you justify asking merchants to donate their wares to the teen grid, if they expect to be able to profit from thir sales on the main grid?
Robin Linden: If you're worried about losing sales on things that have been donated to the teen grid
Robin Linden: please let Ben know and we won't use it.

You: Terin Martov: Aren't you also making an assumption, when you think that a PG area won't need more attention?
Robin Linden: I think it will need attention. We'll have a more specific set of community standards, and a stricter discipline response. As I mentioned earlier - 3 violations and you're out. That's not the case in the main grid.

You: Millie Thompson: With a new grid comes more network traffic, will the grids be on seperate networks? And will the asset server handle both grids?
Robin Linden: The grids will not be on separate networks. It will be just like we added a small (very small)
Robin Linden: new continent

You: Musimba Yellowknife: Will it be possible to sign an agreement that allows adults to send their AV's to help Teens in their grid
Robin Linden: No. There will be no adults in the teen grid

You: Inez Angelus: any chance the Adult grid will get screenshots of the teen grid? The curiosity is killing me
Robin Linden: Sure -- right now it looks very empty and a lot like some of the sims you've already seen here

You: Jodah Xavier: Will discipline be handled well there? I've seen the havoc 15 yr olds wreak in games like EQ....I'd hate to have these 18 yr olds coming in expecting to have kids rules still and running amok in our sims...
Robin Linden: The kids will have stricter rules.

Robin Linden: Just a minute...
Robin Linden: I wanted to get you a description of the standards for the kid grid
Robin Linden: The kids will have a modified version of the community standards,
Kendra Bancroft is online
Robin Linden: The underlying philosophy of tolerance, collaboration, and free expression will remain unchanged, but language will be modified to address issues of security, privacy, and mature content that are unique to the Kid Grid.
Robin Linden: In other words, they won't come here from a more free environment

You: masterstrik2 Zephyr: why is it sl resident do not get a vote to determine the teen grid...they are after all the public
Robin Linden: Hard question to answer. Voting is a governance thing, and as you know
Robin Linden: we haven't wanted to institute a government
Robin Linden: In addition, the teen grid will be separate from this one, and so shouldn't impact you
Robin Linden: I know there are concerns that there might be service level impacts
Robin Linden: We're going to start small, and grow slowly. Hours will be limited at first,
Robin Linden: and we're seriously considering metering entry so that it doesn't grow too fast

You: milady Guillaume: what is the age teens have to be to join Teen SL? we know 18..what's the youngest age?
Robin Linden: You'll need to be 13 to 17 to be in the teen grid

You: Jeri Zuma: Q> Is Neverland being shut down so you can move it to the Kid Grid?
Robin Linden: No - it was always intended to be temporary, and now it's time to move to the next fun thing

You: Jeri Zuma: Related q: Will the Teen Grid have its own Hamlet Linden?
Robin Linden: Hahah -- I thought about that.
Robin Linden: I guess we'll have to see if a teen blogger shows up!

You: Karizon Hatfield: To restate my question: Linking the economy through GOM/IGE alone is going to cause the affects of one market to wildly fluctuate the other - without linking the two markets we will see something akin to east/west germany suddenly having their economies combined together - where one group is put out and the other makes out like bandits from this system, in theory... What is being done to prevent this?
Robin Linden: The money supply will be monitored as it is now. The money in each grid will be tied to the population of that grid. If we see a sudden transfer of wealth
Robin Linden: we'll have to understand what caused that -- are all the kids selling their L$s? Hard to imagine but
Robin Linden: keeping the economy stable is a critical goal and we'll watch it closely

You: Cosmo Drago: Will adult merchants be able to place Linden approved vending machines in the teen grid?
Robin Linden: As I mentioned earlier, we're still working out the terms of object transfers like that
Robin Linden: We're considering having a 'transfer agent' who would collect things from the main grid for sale in the teen grid
Robin Linden: and vice versa.
Robin Linden: The challenge is how to transfer the payments and also how to monitor the content (PG vs. M)

You: Cristiano Midnight: I mean this will all due respect, but aren't you being a bit unrealistic in thinking that hormone filled teenagers are not going to be uploading M content? It is going to require a lot of policing. It seems you are going to take the when it happens, we will discipline them" route instead of recognizing it and being proactive.
Robin Linden: I imagine it won't be too long before we find a virtual Playboy under someone's bed.
Robin Linden: But seriously, I think you're overstating the problem.
Robin Linden: However, that's why we're starting slowly. We'll see

You: Melissa King: Will the teens be allowed to have weapons?
Robin Linden: In unsafe areas, yes.
Robin Linden: There's a replica of Rausch there.

You: OmegaX Zapata: Will the teen sims be created from scratch, or will they be a mirror of the "government land" we have here? Same starting areas, etc.
Robin Linden: The sims will be mirror sims of some of those that exist here.
Robin Linden: Without all the content, of course.

You: Matt Thetan: Let's say you use your credit card for your teen on TeenSL, this credit card is also tied to your main grid AV, if then teen violates rules, do you get banned in the main grid as well?
Robin Linden: The teen will be suspended from the teen grid. You will still be on the main grid unless we suspect that the teen is being allowed to use the account in the main grid.
Robin Linden: Then we'll have to put things on hold while we sort it out.

You: Donnie Donovan: What percentage of the recent investment will be used to promote and maintain the teen grid?
Robin Linden: Since we're using existing sims, it's a very small percentage.

You: So, say I'm a reporter, going underground, how will you stop me from getting into TSL?
Robin Linden: If you lie about your age to get into the teen grid you will be banned
Robin Linden: immediately from both grids.

You: Brenna Llewelyn: Is Teen SL only being released in the States? because if it isnt how will you limit the hours?
Robin Linden: It will be closed from about midnight PST to 7AM PST. Much like it was during beta.

You: Jeri Zuma: Q. Is Teen SL seen as *the* way to grow SL? "Hook them while they're young"? Is Adult SL having problems gaining members? What's the population now?
Robin Linden: This isn't about growing SL, or 'hooking them while they're young
Robin Linden: As I said when we started, it's wonderful to watch kids with Second Life
Robin Linden: They're captivated and excited by all the creativity
Robin Linden: The membership that was recently reported was just over 15K

You: Drift Monde: question: How are you going to keep parents that play SL and have teens from accessing their teen acct to build/script/sell to make a profit in the Teen Grid?
Robin Linden: Adults will not be allowed into SL. At some point perhaps we'll find
Robin Linden: a way to confirm parents or teachers, but for now, if an adult is found
Robin Linden: on the teen grid he/she will be banned immediately from both grids

You: Zonax Delorean: Q: Will there be a daily time limit? Like 1 hr/day or something to prevent kids from addiction?
Robin Linden: No. I'm afraid that's that job of the parents.

You: DebbieAnn Fairplay: Too bad we'll never get to see that... will there ever be an EVENT to display all the great things they create over there over here in a PG area?
Robin Linden: Maybe... we'll see how we might do that.
Robin Linden: Maybe some sort of expo

Robin Linden: One thought we had is an island that moves back and forth between the grids
Robin Linden: it docks at the main grid, you put your stuff on it to sell, then
Robin Linden: the next day it docks at the kid grid and they get to buy
Robin Linden: we could do an 'expo' that way

You: Thank you all for coming - we need to close down at this point.
You: Thanks so much for your questions.
Robin Linden: Thanks everybody. and thanks to all of you listening on repeaters
Robin Linden: and as things develop will keep you posted on the forums

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