Some second life members have been soliciting sex
to virtual children (avatars) in the virtual world.
Several of them are serving prison time but the
majority remain online.
These virtual children could be adults in the real
world but they could also be real children.
This practice of pretending to be a children (or vice
versa) in Second Life is known as „ageplay‟.
If the solicited virtual child agrees to have sex, the
„virtual‟ child pornography is illegal in many
countries such as the United States and Germany.
Should real life laws apply in Second Life? And
if so, which country‟s laws should apply?
Could the virtual ageplay end in real life child
Would Linden Labs (the company that owns
Second Life) be responsible for real life abuse
that started in Second Life?
There are legal impacts to this problem in
many countries, in Germany, the EU and the
USA the practice of possessing child
pornography (including “realistic virtual child
pornography”) is punishable by jail.
There could be psychological impacts in the
children that are virtual abuse victims which
could end up traumatized.
If the virtual child molestation progresses to a
real life one, then the victims would now face
psychological and health impacts.
Several Germans where found engaging in
Second Life Ageplay in 2007. The German child
abusers were sent to jail for three years .
1 in 5 children internet users receive a
solicitation from a child molester.
Because policies do not seem to work in these cases
a feasible solution to the issue is to create an age
algorithm that looks for looks and other
characteristics of the avatars in order to evaluate
the approximate age of the avatar and ban the
virtual sex function to those avatars under 18.
The algorithm would also record and report the
sex solicitation to Second Life in order for them to
target the members who are soliciting virtual sex
with a child. Linden Labs could then report the
most common solicitors to the police.
The algorithm would look for height, face
patterns and clothing in order to determine the
avatar‟s approximate age. It could also analyze
the language used by the users. This would
work because it would detect the threat and
expose it before any child becomes affected or