Second Life Bans Gambling

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

The free-wheeling, anything-goes nature of the online virtual world Second Life is one of the things which appeals to many residents. Unlike games like The Sims and World of Warcraft, almost everything in Second Life is created by residents, who build and program objects, buy virtual “land” to set up homes and businesses, and interact with (potentially) millions of other in-world avatars. But that free-and-easy world has become a little more regulated, as Second Life operator Linden Labs announces a ban on in-world gambling.

The new Linden Lab policy bans wagering in games which rely on chance or random numbers, or which depend on the outcome of a real-world sporting event. It doesn’t matter whether the wagers pay off in the form of a real-world currency, Second Life’s in-world currency (the Linden Dollar, convertible to U.S. dollars), or any other “thing of value.” The ban applies directly to in-world versions of classic casino games like craps, poker, baccarat, blackjack, pai gow, roulette, and slot machines, as well as betting on real-world sporting events through a bookmaker or exchange.

Although Linden Labs has not delineated the new policy’s impact on specific in-world activities, the language of the ban would seem to bar popular in-world pot-based games like Tringo and Slingo, as well as “sploders” and “raffle balls.” Wagering on in-world games based on skill are apparently still acceptable.

The ban follows a policy change several months ago in which Linden Labs stopped accepting in-world classified ads, location listings, and event listings which appeared to be directly related to online casino activity.

Linden Labs says it will actively enforce the policy, unilaterally removing all wagering-related objects from the world, and potentially suspending accounts of residents involved in wagering activity without refund. Linden Labs says it may also report details of users’ in-world wagering to relevant financial institutions.

Although Linden Labs maintains it is not an online gambling service, the company notes it must comply with federal and state laws regarding online gambling, even if both the in-world players and operators are outside the U.S. and not subject to U.S.-based gambling laws. Linden Labs attributes its ban to the wide variety of conflicting gambling regulations which can be applied to itself and its residents, and reserves the right to modify the policy as it receives feedback from both the Second Life community and legal authorities.

Resident reaction to the gambling ban has been mixed: while some laud the new policy as a way of ridding the world of unethical, predatory casino and gaming operators, others see it as unwarranted government interference and an imposition on personal freedoms.

Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Gaming

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Gaming

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.
Gaming

Get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One

You can get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One from Newegg. Eight different bundles are available for this deal, so you can walk away with Sekiro and another game such as The Division 2 or Anthem.
Gaming

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Gaming

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…
Gaming

PlayStation does the smart thing, stops selling digital codes at physical stores

Sony will no longer offer PlayStation digital full-game downloads at retail stores. The game downloads will now only be available directly from the PlayStation Network's own digital store.