Thursday, April 29, 2010

Damned Anonymity!

"Mute all zero day accounts!"

That was the advice recently when Ratcloner amused himself using his toys to crash other users. It was pretty good advice too. A well-timed mute makes most griefers impotent.

It made me a bit sad though, because muting all zero day accounts means that there are innocent new users going through their first days on Secondlife with no one speaking to them, all because of some retard with script-kiddy tools on his hard-drive.

Anonymity is one of the conditions of Secondlife, so is the ability to create more than one account, and both exist for perfectly logical and legitimate reasons. After a while though, it's a bit sad that you can't meet a new avatar without wondering if it's someone you've met before.

Sometimes they'll tell you up front who they are. Once I complimented an avatar I didn't know on their cool satyr outfit and their response was, "Hey, I'm Sha Jinx." Other times, you may know an alt for a long time without knowing who their root account was. Nero once adopted an avatar as his online "bebie", only to find out later it was really an alt of his arch nemesis.

Sometimes you can tell by the way a new avatar acts that they really are new because they don't know how to do anything. Despite Secondlife's reputation for eating noobs whole, most people actually are nice and helpful to new users. I've seen even the worst griefers extend a helping hand to genuine noobs.

At the moment, Linden Labs says they will extend their policy of allowing multiple accounts into the future, and they probably will. It's a perfectly useful ability, even though some people abuse it, but people abuse every ability the Lindens give us.

As long as alt accounts are possible, we'll be stuck with the dilemma of meeting new accounts and wondering "do I know you already?"

As far as muting zero day accounts goes, it's probably still a good idea and will remove most griefers and trolls from your Secondlife, just be sure and unmute them when they hit two or three days old.

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