A rebuttal to one-dimensional writing

Sarawak by Loverdag on Flickr, one of the images used in my rebuttal to Marlon McDonald's article on SLSarawak by Loverdag on Flickr, one of the images used in my rebuttal to Marlon McDonald’s article on SL

On Friday, November 14th, erstwhile contributor to Moviepilot,com Marlon McDonald wrote an article about Second Life which, is to say the least, predictably one-dimensional.

The item in question, entitled These Strange Stories Prove Second Life Isn’t The Dreamworld You Believed… takes as its rather predictable focus, the subject of pornography in Second Life. It’s lead to a fair level of upset among SL users – and rightly so; Mr. McDonald goes to considerable lengths to make his case by apparently passing on the opportunity to try the platform for himself, and instead dig through Google searches for articles that are anything up to seven years old (and none more recently written than three years ago).

Marlon McDonald: one-dimensional article
Marlon McDonald: one-dimensional article

There is much that is wrong with the piece; not only does it present a one-side view of SL, it’s clearly intended as clickbait – if not for Moviepilot.com directly (although it doesn’t hurt them!), then certainly for Mr. McDonald himself, a regular contributor there, Most of what is wrong is easy to spot and cane be said through a comment on the piece. However, I opted to present a more direct rebuttal to the article through Moviepilot’s own pages, in the hopes of also reaching Mr. McDonald’s intended audience and perhaps persuading them to look on SL differently.

You can read the article over on Moviepilot.com.

I don’t usually ask for page views – but in this case, I am. Not for myself, but to help the article get right up there alongside Mr. McDonald’s piece and truly give Moviepilot users an alternative point of view on SL. So please, if you wouldn’t mind, follow the link and have a read, Or if you’re tired of my writing – just follow the link and go make yourself a cup of tea / coffee!



21 thoughts on “A rebuttal to one-dimensional writing

  1. There is porn if you look for it. There is much more disgusting porn to find compared to what this man wrote about in Second Life even today. Many people have sexual interests so what?

    Adult is still climbing at the moment. I believe 20% of regions is now Adult these days compared to 10% a couple of years back.

    When you visit a porn site such as kink.com you will find a lot more disgusting content compared to what you find in Second Life but yes Second Life does also have porn in it, it is not just cute Yo Yardley and virtual Berlin or the pictures you post Inara.

    Linden Lab and the fangirls always like to mention education, charity, social friendships but there is also porn and gambling and when some man decides to write about that so be it.
    Linden Lab likes to take the money from the porn they endorse so they should accept the articles about the porn money they take as well.

    No need to be a hypocrite, when virtual Amsterdam sold for 50000 US$ plenty of articles and media attention, well that was a sim about sex and porn.

    I myself do not mind porn in Second Life and it should not be banned or hidden when it is allowed. I do not participate in it but I do not mind it and do not look strange to residents who are into that. I did blink however when I saw a guy with a horse avatar and he had a huge ………………………….


    1. And if you’re read the article I’ve posted, you would see that I don’t deny there is porn in SL. I actually point-out that there is – just like there is porn right across the Internet.

      My point, in case it escaped you, is that in focusing solely on the issue of porn as Mr McDonald does (and very badly, I might add, given the age of the articles he cites) is only presenting one very narrow aspect of Second Life, when there are other broader stories that are there to be told. The picks I post aren’t there because they are “cute” – they’re there to demonstrate the very many faces Second Life has. Nothing more, nothing less.

      You may consider offering up a more balanced perspective on SL as being a “fangirl”; Again, we’ll have to differ. I see it as simply…. offering up a more balanced perspective on SL by mentioning some of the many things Mr. McDonald might have written about had he at all being genuinely interested in his subject.


  2. After a decade the general public is aware what Second Life is about. These days there are many specific 3D worlds just for sex so nobody cares much or will be shocked. You never write about sex or porn in Second Life Inara so Mr McDonald does bring balance into that for whatever his motivations might be. You were provoked enough to write a big post yourself on that website.

    On Hamlet Au his blog a hardcore Second Life user writes: “Linden Lab are not the ones bringing the sexual content, it is the users who make the sexual content and the porn” that is just how it is, a certain amount of the residents does have an interest in porn and sexual content and that is fine. It is not just sailing, fashion, social chat, charity, education and LEA. There is also sex and porn because residents want that as well in their virtual life

    About a month ago while visiting Bay City of all places I did see the most disgusting type of perversion in Second Life I ever saw on the grid, which made me wonder what goes on in the mind of certain people. They were not even hiding it and it was made with great detail in fancy new mesh. So McDonald his article does not bother me, it is there and has always been there and it is part of the grid.

    McDonald does not lie, he just wrote a specific article about the porn in Second Life and that does not bother me.


    1. I didn’t say Mr. McDonald did lie. I said his article was one-sided – and used as its foundation articles ranging from between one and seven years of age, without demonstrating any evidence at all that he did any more than Google the articles in question, much less step in-world for himself. So yes, his piece is one-sided and lacks any objectivity, being solely geared towards generating page views. Wider than that, his effort is symptomatic of a malaise in the on-line media which substitutes sensationalism over substance.


      1. ROFL!

        Yes, that was my profile pic for a good few years as well, as regular visitors here know only too well. I also wrote a D/s blog focused on SL for several years. Doesn’t change anything about my article in Moviepilot one iota. So as points go, this one falls well wide of the ball park.


  3. Also look who we have here in her kinky latex outfit, getting ready for sailing or church right?


    1. Inara has been polite to you, but politeness to people like you is totally unwarranted. What you’re doing here is an ad hominem attack. You are trying to denigrate and discredit someone by saying “ooooh, so-and-so has been involved in ‘kinky pixel sex’, so they have no right to call out Marlon McDonald.” Don’t deny it. That’s what you’re doing.

      Now, I’m going to address your “hypocrite” allegations. You know, the only hypocrite here is YOU. Yes, YOU. Like it or not. And I’ll tell you why: You’re doing exactly what I had written about in this post, and even in its opening paragraph, at that:

      I guess you haven’t really arrived as a Second Life blogger or commentator unless you’ve reached the point where you frown upon “pixel sex”, openly sexualised avatars, or the “skanky” nature of female avatars’ attire in SL. It seems to me that coming to view your in-world romantic and sexual escapades (if any) with feelings of shame actually gives you bonus points. And the sooner you’ve denounced your desire to explore your sexuality in-world, the more respect you’re going to garner. Apparently, your opinions can’t be taken seriously if you’re viewed by others as a sexual person.

      Yes, Stephanie, you are a hypocrite. Because you’re trying to tell people Inara can’t be taken seriously because – shock horror! – she’s used SL to explore her sexual side. Of course, her being a woman makes her an even easier target for you, which shows your sexist side as well. Yes, SL has a sexual side, and there’s porn in it. Yes, people use SL to engage in sexual activities and to explore their sexual fantasies. So does the internet, but I don’t see you jumping to defend articles saying “the internet is bad, because OMFG PORN!”. So does RL, for crying out loud, but I don’t see you jumping up and down saying how much life sucks “because OMFG PORN”. Deal with it and get over it.

      You, Stephanie, are one huge hypocrite, because you’re telling us it’s OK to denigrate a platform and its users because there’s sex in it. You’re a blight to SL’s user base and to RL society, because you perpetuate the idea that anyone who has sexual fantasies and acts on them cannot be taken seriously. You say “you have no problem” with the existence of sex and porn in SL. But you use it to bash SL. You use it to defend sensationalist, scandal-mongering tripe. You jumped to defend this drivel!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With respect, politeness is rarely, if ever, “unwarranted”. I’d would also say that Stephanie’s comment are not an “ad hominem attack”. Misguided finger-pointing, yes. But hardly ad hominem.

        I also fear you are misunderstanding Stephanie’s argument, which appears not to proceed from any denial on her part, but from an incorrect assumption that I am, in rebutting Mr. McDonald, am somehow denying pornography is present in Second Life. Obviously, given statements in the article itself, I make it clear that pornography does exist in SL – but it is not as in-your-face as Mr. McDonald contends. I also argue that for the majority of SL users, Second Life comprises many, many other pursuits, and that the pornographic element doesn’t actually impact their daily SL lives, a further point which Stephanie appears to have overlooked.

        Indeed, my one failing in the article is to point out that in order to access / witness the vast majority of pornography (and indeed, the vast majority of adult-related activities) in Second Life, one has to make conscious decisions:

        • You have to activate the Adult maturity setting within the viewer
        • You have to expressly search for and teleport to Adult locations (although this is made somewhat easier by the Adult search filter being automatically activated in the search floater when you up your maturity rating, so some adult locations are immediately visible at the top of the web search.

        Nowhere in the more salacious articles about SL are these points ever raised – and my bad for not directly pointing this out in my Moviepilot article – thus, they further offer a misrepresentative view of Second Life. Mr. McDonald does the same.


        1. No. With her kinky-bashing, which is what her reference to your sexuality amounts to, she resorts to the same tactics Niall Ferguson employed with his prolonged gay-bashing against John Maynard Keynes.


          1. It’s not “kinky bashing” it a misguided attempt to claim “hypocrisy” on my part. Misguided because Stephanie appears to feel I’m saying porn doesn’t exist in SL – I’m not. As I’ve already stated, I’m saying it is not as in-your-face as Mr. McDonald represents. It’s further misguided because, as I replied to her, my personal preferences as to what I wear and what I may have done in the past has absolutely no bearing on my post in Moviepilot. In short, its a moot distraction upon which more than enough comment inches have already been wasted here.


        2. As to having to go out of your way to access adult-related content in SL, which we all take for granted, indeed no sensationalist article mentions it. Could it be because the esteemed journalists didn’t even bother to try SL out?


  4. Mona you are to polite to someone that obviously don’t know any about Second Life (she states facts occurred 5 Years ago at least and only tries to endorse that so pseudo journalist called whatever his name.
    Is not about the fact that there is Porn in Second Life (if any of those Illuminati knew better they should be aware that there is media on prim for some time, does allowing any from Sl to access any internet feed and we know how many porn feeds exist!).
    Is about a bad piece written by Googling only, not even bothering to found that some of the sources where not even from Second Life.
    Is about the state of the World today,where ethics and good sense are debouched for self promotion.
    . Congrats Mr McDonald, you are the mirror of the worse that exists on the internet!


  5. Wow…. you girls chasing around the barn in the comments. By the way your latex outfit is hot :). Was just going to say I did click over to MoivePlot. Thought that was a great response. Seems like some out there just want to take cheap shots at Second Life for some reason.


    1. Glad you liked the article – and yes, taking cheap shots is always easier than someone actually taking the time to find out what might have changed in the intervening years between the articles they’re intending to cite and the item they’re aiming for as it is today.


  6. Also posted at Movieplot, but as an extra support for Inara to stand up againts stupidity 🙂

    The article Inara is referring at , the one of Mr. McDonald, clearly is the sad story of a SL n00b , completely obsessed by sex. Sure, if you look for that, you will find it, like in RL and in the media even more. But as we all know and certainly a columnist who pretends to give insight in Second Life should know, is that behind all the crap we are exposed to in our lives, there is the good quality for who puts effort and time in it. This so called review of Second Life best can be compared by a column that tells you that the real life city of Amsterdam is a place where you only will be able to attend perverted and cheap sex and nothing else. The eye of the beholder rule: Mr. McDonald has done a bad job and wrote a crappy article, because of his own limited view and judgements


    1. Mr. McDonald didn’t even try SL out himself. Had he done so, he’d have said “I went here and there and here’s what I saw”, and he’d have snapshots he took himself. Instead, what he did was regurgitate old scandal stories few people cared about even then. The picture he opened his article with was from IMVU, and this tells a lot. He’s an opportunistic bottom-feeder, plain and simple.


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