Limitations of the Second Life Mobile App Due to Adult Content Restrictions

Adult related club at Second Life

As Second Life's iOS/Android app nears its public launch, an important announcement has emerged from the mobile alpha testing phase. Linden Lab has informed users that, in compliance with app store requirements, the mobile app will not provide access to Adult-rated regions within Second Life.

This decision stems from the need to adhere to the content policies of major app stores like Apple's App Store, which impose strict guidelines on the types of content that can be displayed. Specifically, these guidelines prohibit apps from including material that is offensive, overly sexual, or depicts violence and illegal activities in a way that could be deemed inappropriate.

Consequently, users attempting to visit Adult-rated areas in the mobile app will encounter a message stating: "The location you selected exceeds the content maturity limit on this device. App stores restrict the type of content that can be displayed in apps."

This move is significant given that a substantial portion of Second Life's virtual land is designated as Adult-rated, even if the content isn't explicitly pornographic. Many landowners choose the Adult rating to avoid potential penalties for unexpected explicit content appearing in public areas.

Despite the restrictions, Linden Lab is exploring the implementation of more nuanced controls for content maturity. The goal is to balance creative freedom with the need to comply with app store policies. However, the feasibility of such controls remains to be seen, especially given the complexity and unpredictability of user-generated content.

In summary, while the transition of Second Life to mobile platforms marks an exciting expansion, it also brings significant limitations due to adult content restrictions. Users and creators alike will need to navigate these constraints to fully leverage the new opportunities presented by the mobile app.

Adding to this context, the proportion of Adult-rated regions in Second Life has been steadily increasing. In 2019, Adult-rated regions rose by 20 to 6000, accounting for 25.3% of the grid, while General-rated regions increased by 7 to 2951, making up 12.4%. This marks the first time a full quarter of Second Life's total landmass is Adult-rated, including private islands. Comparatively, in 2013, Adult-rated sims represented about 17% of the world, but that percentage has been gradually rising since then.


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