Reaction to “Avatar” episode of Law & Order: SVU

October 2, 2007

Although graphically different from SL and given the name Another Youniverse, the virtual world in this episode was essentially Second Life, and not surprisingly, they focused on the sex side of the platform (a given, since this is SVU). Also not surprisingly, the sex taking place in world that led to the crime was a woman playing an underage avie running a sex club.

As with the news stories about underage sex going on in world, I’m sure that the uninitiated will come away from this thinking that SL is a haven for perverted, possibly criminal minds (that is, if they can make the link between Another Youniverse and SL, which probably won’t be difficult with a quick internet search). Of course, highlighting the more socially acceptable aspects of the platform wouldn’t be as good for ratings.

I’m never good at predicting what effect something like this will have on SL. It may have none. It may be that it causes another witch hunt (hmm . . . should I increase my avie’s height again?). It may attract more people who are looking for sexual interaction with a minor. I don’t know, but I hope it doesn’t lead to LL feeling more pressure and intruding into everyone’s SLives as a result.

Anyway, did anyone else see the episode? If so, what are your thoughts?



  1. Just based on your comments, I’m a little nervous. While this might grant us more players, but we are going to have deal with more newbies that will be trolling for sex. I think LL has made it more than clear that ageplay isn’t right and will crackdown on players who think that this is a place where you can get that. I think all the bloggers need to get together and really research how many people actually meet others in RL and the reasons why they meet up. I am fairly postive that most people in RL are able to figure what is fantasy and what is real. All this being said, I have yet to see the episode because it has yet to air on my coast.

  2. I posted my reaction on my blog!

    btw. Is this blog on Technorati? I would love some more authority points! lol I’m such an attention whore. lol 🙂

  3. Disregard the btw! lol I just checked on Technorati! lol

  4. I actually have no idea what Technorati or authority points are.

    For someone who blogs so much, I know so little . . . 🙂

  5. I kind of want to comment, but I really should try to watch the episode first, I think. I hate to be one of those people who goes off on a tirade against something that they don’t even know about.

  6. Honestly, my strongest reaction was “So this is why I stopped watching SVU”. It was such a mish-mash of storylines with the sexsomnia, virtual worlds, sexual ageplay, and the murder that wasn’t. The part of the virtual world that stood out to me was the ability to know exactly who the avies had interacted with and trace everything. I could just see people screaming “Big Brother!” and running away.

    The sexual ageplay bit seemed like typical use of virtual worlds or anything online. With the Special Victims Unit, they’re always going to have an emphasis on predators. People who are going to take that and run with it as an indicator of what SL is like probably already thought poorly of online environments already, and people involved in SL or other online communities probably just sighed and/or laughed.

  7. *spoiler*

    What I loved about the episode is that the pedophile built such an accurate representation in world of the RL cabin and surroundings that it could be compared with RL topography maps to locate it. Kind of a weak plot device there. I did like that the head AY fella was afraid to make the sun rise early and freak out his 5 million users. Think LL ever worries about freaking us out? 🙂

    *end spoiler*

    Anyway, Brandy, if this is representative of other episodes, then I *totally* understand why you quit watching.

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