Unspoken rules in Second Life

It has been a long time I did not pick-up one of the Strawberry Singh challenges. I got inspired to do one again reading at the post from my old friend Silky on the same theme.

Here is how Berry introduced the matter:

“Every society has some unspoken rules that the residents try to follow because they are the rules of etiquette, or social norms which are considered acceptable in a group or society. Like in the real world, when riding an escalator you stand on the right and walk on the left. When a new member joins the community, it may take them time to learn all the unspoken rules, usually with some experience.”

So here is my contribution to the SLEtiquette, as some people have judiciously named it.

#1 Do ask before sending a Friend request?

A friend request is an artificial concept in Second Life, it is more actually an exchange of business cards than an actual friendship request. However we are communication beings and getting such a request out of the blue is firstly a bit rude, and secondly there is a high probability that it will be denied.

#2 Dress before accepting or sending a Teleport request

Unless your contact is warned of your state of undress, it is often a bad idea to show-up in your birthday suite … you might put your friend or contact in an uncomfortable situation, if for instance, he or she is not alone at your landing point … and you will make a fool of yourself. Over-dressed is always the best option.

#3 Do not spam the main chat

Spamming the chat with character drawings or capital letters (often used with the gestures) does not contribute to the well-being of others. You will basically prevent anybody to discuss, occupying all the communication space. This is rude and you can expect people to flee very soon.

#4 Do not look where you should not

Cameras in Second Life are a very powerful tool. You can basically look everywhere and pass through the walls like a ghost. This is not because you can that you should. Spying on a couple sharing an intimate moment or up the skirt of the charming lady you are talking to is an absolute no no!

#5 Say good bye when you leave

Do not logout or TP away without saying good bye to the people you were talking to. Of course crashes can happen but in that case it is better to login back and to explain what happened. How would you react in real life if the person you are talking to suddenly leaves the room without any word … Second Life is no different.

Here are the best practices I thought of. However I am not perfect myself, who is? Let’s just try to respect each others and common sense will give us the rules to apply.

Thank you Berry for this very good challenge.


4 thoughts on “Unspoken rules in Second Life

  1. These are all very good rules, but I do take issue with #4. In my experience, if people are being intimate in a public place then they are at least partially turned on by the exhibitionist aspect of their actions and don’t mind people looking. However, it is a good idea to be aware that there is an option to enable sight-lines in SL, so that you can see exactly what people are looking at, so one should never assume that one is ever looking ‘secretly.’ I always assume that everyone can see in what direction I’m looking; it’s safer that way.

    1. Hi Aaron!
      you are probably right about rule #4 … it is not so obvious if people are actually expecting to be watched or not … well I assume that if they are in a private property, they want some privacy. Otherwise, on a public place … I would say, it’s more fun and more “honest” to walk discreetly to the place … at least you are sure they are aware of your presence … and you will see what happens next. Who knows?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *