Linden Lab will rate parts of Second Life adults only

The move is part of a new plan to allow inhabitants of the virtual world to customize how they see it.

Inhabitants of Second Life, the virtual world run by Linden Lab, will soon have new options to customize how they see the world. The first will be the ability to filter adult content, Linden Lab said on Wednesday.

The base for the filtering is a new three-tiered rating system that will offer the ability to divide Second Life into Adult, Mature and PG regions. Search results will also be filtered according to the new ratings system.

Adult-oriented content will be migrated from the Second Life mainland to a newly created continent. Details on how the migration will be managed and implemented is being finalized, and will be published by the end of June, Linden Lab said.

Linden Lab defines the Adult rating as regions that host conduct or display content that is sexually explicit or intensely violent -- depicting, for example, death, torture, dismemberment or other severe bodily harm -- or involves illicit drug use, according to a tentative policy document on its Web site.

The company's definition of Mature content can, for example, include dance clubs that feature "burlesque" acts, according to the Linden Lab Web site.

To back up the ratings Linden Lab will also implement a new account verification system. Users that want to access Adult regions and search results will have to authenticate their accounts by having payment information on file or by using Linden Lab's age verification system.

Linden Lab will soon make available a release candidate of version 1.23 of the Second Life viewer, which will have controls to let users, for example, set maturity levels for regions, according to a statement.

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