Rep. Kirk Slams Second Life On House Floor

Rep. Mark Kirk, who wants to ban Second Life from public schools and libraries, invoked the specter of virtual suicide, human sacrifice and rape in a House speech Wednesday railing against the virtual world for posing dangers to minors:

"Second Life. It's not just a new job or a new start, it's a virtual world online with over six million people. Run by the San Francisco company Linden Lab, Second Life allows anyone in their world to do anything. And the Labs make $1 million each night. And what is offered in Second Life? My staff found rooms leading to people to commit suicide, satanic worship, buying assault weapons, leading human sacrifice and rape rooms. Game players choose to rape or be raped. This content is totally inappropriate and leads to the objectification lessons that are especially inappropriate for young boys. Linden Lab claims it provides a teen area, but the fine print of their user agreement clearly states that adults prowl in the children's area and children are in the adult area. Second Life's K Street lobbyists say, trust us, but I think we should trust informed and aware parents."



Kirk has also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to warn parents of Second Life.

Linden Lab has responded to Kirk's attacks by noting that it requires its members to verify their age before joining.

Read a snippet here, courtesy of Virtual Worlds News:

"As with many online service providers, the sheer volume of in-world activity and the ephemeral nature of the creative content prevents Linden Lab from policing all in-world activities at any given moment. However, while Linden Lab itself does not create most of the content within Second Life -- which is designed by its Residents -- we do work hard to ensure that our Residents' experience is enjoyable, safe and legal."