Icky story about Pedophiles on Second Life

From TechCrunch comes this story, Virtual Pedophilia Report Bad News for Second Life. Follow the link for the full story, though I personally find it kind of icky and unpleasant (which is why I suppose people should know about it). This is the sort of thing that might fit into my English 516 class since I am sure we’ll talk at least a bit about gaming, though I don’t know if we’ll talk much about Second Life and I really don’t know if I want to go down the path of talking about this aspect of Second Life. I have had students in the not so distant past, especially secondary school teachers coming back for their MAs, who see an article like this and then automatically dismiss any possible good things about SL. It’s one of those pieces that motivates a “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” kind of mentality. Anyway, we’ll see.

One thought on “Icky story about Pedophiles on Second Life”

  1. I think that the aspect of this story that disturbs me most is that it implies that some of the avatars could be children, which although not impossible is highly unlikely as Second Life is an adult only community, where members must be 18 years old. In real life many consenting adults do act out fantasies such as the ones described in this article, even if you or I or the general population finds them repulsive. That does not mean they are sexual predators, or even have a predilection for paedophilia. The only time that is the case is when they seek out children to act out such activities with. In Second Life one avatar may appear childlike, but the person behind it engaging in the interaction is an adult. How is that any different than a wife dressing up as a schoolgirl for her husband? As long as the two parties involved are consenting adults, no foul play has occurred.

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