Age 검증업체 was introduced to residents of Second Life during 2009 as an optional means of confirming that you are old enough to play Second Life and thus access the adult regions. It remains to this day entirely optional.
The process works by allowing a resident of Second Life to login to their account and enter either their passport number, social security number or other type of identity card number (many European ID cards are now accepted too). This information is sent instantly to a third party that checks that the holder of that particular identity means is above the age of 18. Linden Lab (Second Life’s creators and owners) do not keep the number itself on file. What they get is a code that confirms the user is old enough, or confirms that they are not. This was set up to increase security and lower concerns about the amount of data that Linden Lab has on file about any individual. But what are the pros and cons of Second Life age verification?
Well, to start with the positives, this is a means of filtering out, to some extent, the problem of underage users. While a registrant must be 18 years of age or older to use the main Second Life grid, it’s common knowledge that people younger than that lie during registration in order to access it. This is also, in part, owing to the fact that the teen grid for 13 – 18 year olds, is somewhat under populated and neglected by Linden Lab to some extent.
The main grid therefore holds much more appeal to youngsters seeking to experience the virtual world. With age verification came the introduction of “adult” regions. All adult content was moved into these regions and only age verified accounts (or those with payment info on file stating that they are above 18) were able to access the regions. This, again, goes some way to dealing with the issue. Another major benefit of any form of identity verification in a virtual world like Second Life is in business. There are a huge number of very real financial business transactions taking place on a day to day basis in Second Life. In dealing with someone who has proven an element of their identity, you often feel safer. This can add a level of trust to business in Second Life.
However, there are downsides too. As well as concerns over how the data is held, there are those who worry about underage teenagers stealing identity cards (from family, strangers or friends) in order to use the number and ‘verify’ their age. But the major downside of age verification is that it remains optional. While this remains optional, there are those who will access the grid under the age of 18 without encountering any challenge to it all. Of course, there are always ways for people to flout the rules, but I firmly believe that Linden Lab should be making it as difficult as possible for people to do this. Compulsory age verification is one such way in which that can be achieved.