2007 Governor Platform

Back in June 2007, I ran for Governor of Second Life.

Vint Falken started it, passing along news of the election in her blog. Despite the fact that there’s no such position as Governor of Second Life, a fair number of us threw our hats into the ring. Some took it as an opportunity for goofy humor; some as a reason for making campaign posters; some as a platform for satire.

This was shortly after Linden Lab decided to retroactively ban sexual ageplay, and also shortly after I tried quitting SL. I ended up channeling my frustration into a gubernatorial campaign. This included a full in-world campaign HQ, with free ice cream, T-shirts, and a “campaign chair” (a soapbox to stand on and proclaim my campaign slogans, paying out L$1 for five minutes or so).

I set out my platform on Google Pages, which no longer exists as such. The URL that used to go to that site now redirects here. So, for whatever interest this might still hold, the following was my platform. I still maintain that if Linden Lab had done things my way, instead of continuing further down the path of the Dark Side, we’d all be better off.

 


Samantha Poindexter for Governor

For integrity! For freedom! For wildly unpopular causes!

 

I love Second Life.

I love Second Life because it provides the tools for being whatever you want to be, creating whatever you want to create, and doing whatever you want to do.

I love riding the tram through Caledon. I love watching the sun set on the beach. I love… well, let’s just say that I love my SexGen bed and leave the particulars for when my campaign needs a boost, shall we?

 

I hate Second Life.

I hate Second Life because it’s beta software marketed as a fully functional product. I hate Second Life because it’s laggy and because it crashes at the drop of a prim. But mostly I hate Second Life because Linden Lab has no policy other than “we do whatever we feel like, and you have no rights other than copyright.”

As Governor of Second Life, I would… well, my first act would be to change my title to Queen of Second Life. But right after that, I would work to make Second Life a place we can love much more of the time, and to ensure that the aspects we hate are hated by all of us, citizens and Lindens alike.

My platform

Second Life should be treated as a “common carrier.”

Linden Lab has indicated that it supports open standards and hopes to move toward becoming one metaverse service provider on a wider network. The neutrality of that network should be asserted; any legal action should be directed at the specific individuals committing illegal actions. Ageplay, BDSM, yiffing, and so on should be the concern of those who roleplay it or record machinima videos of it, not Linden Lab.

Linden Lab should stay out of all content-based decisions.

If it hinges on moral or political views, it’s content-based.

Adult verification should be put in the hands of the residents. But not immediately.

Strictly speaking, adult verification is a content-based matter, one which Linden Lab properly should not be involved with. But it would be irresponsible to abandon its role as gatekeeper without having a workable alternative in place.

Ideally, Second Life would provide the tools for screening off one’s land from visitors or viewers (including fancy camera tricks) based on any criteria one chose. One would be able to restrict based on age, membership, favorite Muppet, or anything else, using the third-party or in-world-based service of one’s choice. Linden Lab should work on making that possible as soon as it can.

In the meantime, we cannot jeopardize the wide range of adult areas and activities already flourishing throughout the grid. Strip clubs, dungeons, vibrating dildoes… all are wonderful things, and all were made with the understanding that the Main Grid was for adults only. Until the necessary tools are available and residents have had ample opportunity to use them, I call for Linden Lab to accept a range of age verification methods, rather than choosing a single outside provider.

The Teen and Main Grids should be merged. But not immediately.

Once the tools called for in the last section are in place, the Teen and Main Grids should be merged, with adult and teen areas screened off from the common ground.

Technological issues should not be confused with social issues, and vice-versa.

It’s amazing how often the two get confused. Take camping chairs, for example. There is no inherent social problem with them. If people enjoy sitting on their duffs while chatting or IMing and earning a few bucks, that should be their prerogative. The problem is that grid capacity sucks, and the mere presence of a few dozen people doing next to nothing on a sim is enough to make it slow to a crawl. This is a technological issue, which demands a technological solution. Improve the servers, so people can camp or play in peace.

On the other hand, consider bots; that is, avatars controlled by scripts, rather than people. Bots might be used to find content for search engines, to provide shopping assistance, or to buy land with inhuman speed. Unless they create an extraordinary drain on server resources, there is no technological problem with any of this. Any resulting problems are social ones, and should be worked out among the residents with social solutions. Banning bots wholesale is not the answer.

(Granted, the underlying technology needs to provide the tools for social solutions to be possible. Adding the ability to create content flags for purposes devised by residents—including the grid’s equivalent to ROBOTS.TXT—would be helpful in this regard.)

All dealings with residents should involve fair notice and due process.

Linden Lab is mighty, and mighty capricious. Policy changes (sorry, “clarifications”) are imposed seemingly at whim, usually with little or no advance notice. Complaints are handled with no transparency, and the criteria used to deal with them have never been fully explicated, if they even exist. To the extent that Linden Lab retains executive power, it must live up to the community ideals it espouses in its better moments.

I like vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate is a fine flavor, but it should be reserved for the hot fudge poured onto the vanilla goodness.

However, this is one woman’s opinion, not to be imposed on others. You may have chocolate ice cream, if you wish. Or strawberry. Or even rocky road… with nuts. You may have it in a cup. You may have it in a sugar cone. You may spoon it right out of the carton. You may even decline to have any ice cream at all.

It’s your world.

If you agree…

If you agree with my platform, welcome aboard. If you disagree with all of it, I urge you to ask yourself if there’s any point in voting for the lesser of the evils. If you’re somewhere in the middle, check out the rest of the field and vote your heart. Thank you.

About the candidate

Samantha Poindexter has been a Tringo host, an escort, host of her own trivia game, a manager at a brothel, a designer of Second Life T-shirts, a designer of First Life T-shirts, and a political activist. She just can’t wait to be queen.

My name is Samantha Poindexter, and I approve this message.

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