A page has gone up on the blog of a Teen Second Life resident calling for the unification of the two grids (actually, the ability of teens to travel to the PG zones of the MG). Global Kids has picked up the story and published a blog entry for it. I am posting it here for both the information it carries, and as an example of a teen taking a stance on the important issue of the two separate grids.
I don’t personally see a way to truly unify the two grids in the way that Alex is calling for, but I do see the need for an area/zone where residents from both grids could coexist and conduct business with each other. We have the problem on the PacRimX Islands that our students are automatically removed when they turn 18. MANY students turn 18 before they graduate from High School. At the moment, with the existing TOS’s of the two grids, there is no realistic way to allow these students to stay (short of going through a full background check) after their 18th birthday.
I’ve copied my reply to this proposal below, and it summarizes the setting up of a zone on the MG that would blend residents from the two grids. This solution mitigates many of the problems with allowing teens access to the PG zones of the MG. This proposal would also fix the problems with objects brought from the MG to the TG, and the breaking of said objects because of the limited communication between the grids by objects.
I hope that Alex’s proposal spurs debate among residents, especially those who work in education on both grids. Some form of unification or blending will go a long way to resolving the transition and access issues that we face as K12 educators in SL.
Here’s my reply that was posted to the Global Kids article:
The ONLY way that this could work, unifying the grids/allowing teens on the PG lots of the MG, is if you had an age verification methodology in place that was both accurate and verifiable. And it would require an entire reworking of the MG, much in the same way as the Teen Grid is about to be restructured. To force this upon the SL MG user community would result in mass chaos.
However, there is a solution that might work. In the network world we refer to the buffer zone between a network and the Internet as the DMZ. Real estate in a new zone on the Main Grid could be opened and made available to those land owners that want to open shops for both groups (MG/TG). This land could be owned by adults or teens, or both.
Not sure how difficult it would be, but maybe the Lindens can come up with a plot relocation tool to move plots intact to the new zone. Ditto for Teen Grid operators who want real estate to open up shops for MG buyers. You could name this new area the “Community Zone”, “Shared Zone”, or “Resident Zone”.
This opening of a new zone would accomplish two things. It would open up new land in the existing MG for new land owners that more closely match the existing neighborhoods. It would allow for a blending of residents into a new combined area between the grids. It would then be only in this area that residents of the two grids could meet up, do business, and interact in a social setting.
It (buffer/DMZ zone) would solve a HUGE issue we have on PacRimX Island with our students being automatically booted upon turning 18. A private island in this shared zone would allow these students to continue until graduation.
This is the only realistic way that I can see this happening without major pain and suffering on the MG, and huge liability for LL. This would allow adults travelling to this area to know that they are in the company of students, and to act appropriately.
Allowing teens to travel to the existing MG-PG areas is not realistic in any way, shape or form. There’s far too much “adult” content, even in the PG areas. The potential liability from encounters of both avatars and objects on the MG with teens is too severe to even consider it in reality (and I am sure LL already knows this).