It’s getting so the virtual world isn’t any fun any more. Isn’t the whole point of an imaginary universe that you can toy with the laws of nature, by doing things like flying? Apparently some laws aren’t meant to be broken, however — such as the law that says teenagers can’t play Second Life. Or at least not the adult version anyway. Former Microsoft PR blogger Robert Scoble seems to have run afoul (again) of the lawmakers in the virtual world of SL, by allowing his 12-year-old son to play the adult version of the game.
The Scobleizer says that he got his son to build some objects in Second Life while he was moderating a panel at the Gnomedex conference. Unfortunately for Scoble, a Linden Labs employee (Linden runs Second Life) was in the audience and put two and two together, then confronted Scoble junior (in the game) and after the panel spoke to Scoble as well. She said Scoble’s account would be banned, and that he was not entitled to a refund of the $100 worth of Second Life objects he had purchased, including a virtual Mac computer. The uber-blogger must have known it was coming, however, since he has been down this road before.
It’s obvious that Scoble has an issue with the age restrictions on Second Life. He has written before about how he thinks it should be up to the individual parent whether they let their child play the game, and where they let them go. From Second Life’s point of view, however, it is an invitation to a lawsuit, much like the $30-million one that MySpace is now fighting because a teen was molested by someone she allegedly met through the social network. I tend to agree with Scoble though, who said in one post: “This is a virtual world. Why do we need to live with first-world rules?” My M-lister pal Kent Newsome disagrees though.