So it's SLCC this weekend. I'm not really sure what it is, but I get the impression from looking at the website that it's like a fan convention for Second Life, put together by residents, but endorsed by Linden Lab.
Philip went. He announced that they were shutting down the Teen Grid. I'd like to think that at the same time as that bombshell was dropped, a dark silent figure right-clicked and Touched Blue Linden's virtual grave and set a fast rotation script off.
So this probably means that the main grid will now become populated by teens who talk in 'txt speak', hassle you for money a lot more and generally think they're cleverer than you. Word up, kids: you're not.
It also means that kids will be walking freely amongst groups of adults, unsupervised, having conversations with adults unsupervised and generally being open to everything that already goes on in the Main Grid - unsupervised. I'm sure (read: hoping) that LL are planning some protocols to safeguard underage residents from the potential dangers of online grooming, but it hasn't taken people long to realise the dangers already. My pal Toxic Menges worked for Habbo, a social networking world specifically aimed at teenagers and was quick to point out some of the problems she had to work around via a series of (always interesting) Tweets.
Another big thing that got mentioned was 'meshes'. A whole bunch of Lindens were laid off the week before SLCC too and Qarl Linden was one high-profile casualty of the latest round of redundancies (perhaps deflecting from the fact that up to ten others had also been given their marching orders). Apparently Qarl was the person who made sculpties possible and was working on or towards bringing 'meshes' in-world. I've no clue what they are or how meshes work, so I can't comment on that, but better educated geeks tend to rave about them, so I'll assume they are a big deal. However, the fact that they were talked about at SLCC almost seemed to indicate that someone at the Lab had actually listened to the outcry of residents upon Qarl's departure and sought to calm the mob. Or maybe I'm being optimistic. It's a shame that another obviously incredibly talented person has gone. Sculpties are good fun to play with, and they have certainly helped shape (no pun intended) SL in a far more creative way.
Anyway, I lead a bunch of tinies - Escape Unplugged, Patience Littleboots, Clover Denzo and others - to the SLCC sims on Saturday night, just before speeches were about to resume. We hid beneath the stage before climbing onto the tables and riverdancing to the audience below. We'd done three dances before a moderator told us all to leave the stage. In retrospect, maybe he'd seen us earlier and thought that although it was the most entertaining thing that had happened there all weekend, three dances was enough.