Even in Second Life, we need to create a peaceful surrounding for ourselves. One way this is accomplished is by either renting or buying land inworld, and creating a virtual habitat that offers privacy, a space to dress, as well as a space to entertain friends and family.
However, there are people out there that do not think paying real life cash inworld is worth it. In fact, the idea of creating a private, peaceful surrounding for oneself, is viewed as neither justified nor fair. These people–rather one calls them griefers or protestors–not only believe that Linden Labs should not have any financial prowess in world nor in Real Life, but that those that buy virtual land enable Linden Labs to continually oppress the Second Life masses. These individuals, along with those who believe that too many SL community members take Second Life too seriously, deliberately encroach upon the land of another in the name of personal freedom and belief.
In fact, one of many methods of protests employed involves teleporting into an unsuspecting avatar’s home. Upon arrival, the protestor(s) find the most sexually explicit furniture in the dwelling, and (either with a partner in tow or even sexually parlaying on another’s property solo) proceed to have sex right then and there. Jeanne Anne Decosta echoes this sentiment by saying, “I think there is a whole subculture of people who [go into other people’s virtual homes and have pixel sex] because there are tons of people who spend Lindens in SL….and there’s kind of a thrill in it…[the] risk of being caught while doing it… it’s kind of a way of making fun of people who spend a lot of money on things others get for free…and it’s also an anti-capitalist gesture…”
II. Breaking and Virtually Entering SL Dwellings: Decosta is One of Many
Jeanne Anne Decosta is one of perhaps many who think that Linden Labs should not charge SL community members money for land purchases, and that the buying SL public takes land ownership too seriously. She says, “…when I was all into SL and ‘married’ to a Scottish guy I’d never met in RL…him and I used to go into houses ‘owned’ by people who were offline and have virtual sex on their sex beds & in their hot tubs…I don’t think we were ever ‘caught’ at it but really don’t remember…[I do remember that] we never left a mess…”
Gleefully smiling in her IM’s, she continues, “…it’s all just pixelated code in a leased server, [anyway]…getting all proprietary about those pixels is stupid [because] Linden Labs just [laughs] as they rake in your money :D!”
When asked if SL consumers had a right to respect, more so if they are business owners that feel the need to establish virtual sex boundaries on parcels they have bought and invested in, Decosta dismisses this question by saying, “…it’s ridiculous to become all territorial and possessive over cartoons you know?”
III. Alluding to Capitalism In SL To Show A Bigger Point
While some may deliberately go onto the virtual property of another as a form of protest, there are others out there that go because they want to capitalize on a story. One instance of this happening is in the “RPS In Second Life: An Orgasmic Bellowing” article. Written by Quintin Smith in February 2010, the article discusses the role sex plays in generating a profit for Linden Labs. Yet, unknowingly Smith mentions an incident that happened to him while visiting SL Land.
Smith says, “….my friend and I were poking around SL on Monday [and] we stumbled across this charming pair:
Once Smith refers to the picture above, he continues: “My friend and I cordially introduced ourselves as Quinns Raymation and Snaps Tremor, [and] chose to politely ignore [the couple’s] discourteous mention that we were on private land…and promptly found ourselves rudely catapulted into space.”
The SL Parade poses the following question in relation to the above quote, “Why is it rude to tell someone that they are trespassing on land that is privately owned, and why is it considered rude to be kicked off of said land and ‘sent into space’?” This question, though rhetorical in nature, reflects an ongoing discourse that shows how fine of a line is regularly drawn between protesting the capitalism inherent in Second Life versus the invasion of virtual privacy.
IV. Virtual Home Invasion: Protesting Those That Take Second Life Too Seriously
Another reason to enter a virtual home without permission is to rattle those that take Second Life a little too seriously. This could easily be categorized as griefing, but many may say otherwise. And, while there are many documented forms of media that highlight in world home invasion, one example that truly shows the reasoning behind invading a person’s virtual home can be seen in the video below. Be mindful that though this video is four years old, it is one of many reminders related to the reason how virtual home invasion can be used as a way to protest…rather the protests centers around challenging the financial capitalism allegedly inherent in Second Life, to question the notion of privacy, or to simply annoy Second Life players that “take the game too seriously.”
After watching the video below, please tell us your thoughts on using virtual home invasion as a means of protesting…