Saturday, June 16, 2012

What makes voodoo so special?

recently I had been looking through bixyls blog for articles on SL9B so I could get a sneak peak of whats there, I could get in early as a blogger but would rather not abuse their system of press to get in early, I decided I would wait until SL9B would open up.

I decided I would view back articles on bixyls blog as well when I came across an article on a controversy over a game called Byngo, which Linden Labs when they become involved in the controversy closed it for wagering.

Anyhow I took the voodoo issue into consideration with this and wanted to point at the gambling policy Linden Labs has against gambling:

From the current page:

It is a violation of this policy to wager in games in the Second Life® environment operated on Linden Lab servers if such games:

   1. Rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner,


   2. Rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,

AND provide a payout in

   1. Linden Dollars (L$)


   2. Any real-world currency or thing of value.

This includes (but is not limited to), for example, Casino Games such as:

    * Baccarat
    * Blackjack
    * Craps
    * Faro


    * Keno
    * Pachinko
    * Pai Gow
    * Poker


    * Roulette
    * Sic Bo
    * Slot machines

This policy also includes sports books or sports betting, including the placing of bets on actual sporting events against a book-maker or through a betting exchange.

Linden Lab will actively enforce this policy. If we discover gambling activities that violate the policy, we will remove all related objects from the inworld environment, may suspend or terminate the accounts of residents involved without refund or payment, and may report any relevant details, including user information, to authorities and financial institutions.

End of pages content

anyhow there is a list of games, but these games are just examples of what your not allowed to do as the statement before the list is "This includes (but is not limited to)" but oddly enough we notice some wagering games go on despite not being limited to that list, like VooDoo's sploders which get reported repeatedly but still continue to run on the grid with impudence.

many people running wagering based games such as that Byngo which was put in the link above, are forced to add an element of skill and decision making to be allowed however, what skill is needed to play a sploder such as the one by voodoo? you pay in, and hope for a bigger payout than what you payed in, its purely a game of chance, yet specifically card games where an element of skill is included such as blackjack, require much more skill and an estimating of chances to be allowed, if I was to make a blackjack table that accepts payments, the content would surely be destroyed and I would be taken off the grid, yet it is much more a game of skill than any sploder. Sploders are purely a game of chance, relying on a pay in, and a random chance of payout, they are quite comparable to slot machines. given that I would like to re-iterate on a previous incident.

I was attending an event at a place that has since gone called "park galleries of fine art" we were holding a fund-raising event for the relay in memory of a dear friend that had been lost to cancer, while attending the event someone sent everyone in the gallery an unsolicited advertisement via a notecard advertising the casino they had just opened up in the sim next door looking at whom the notecard came from, to my dismay I had spotted a casino building with 4 rooms each with "tipjars" which claimed you had a chance of being payed back double of what you payed in, in the room there were tipjars for 10L 25L 50L 100L etc each advertising the same thing. panning the camera through the casino I found in each room there were tipjars much exactly the same, I of course didnt take kindly to a charity event being spammed with ad's for illegal gambling and filed an Abuse report for wagering, towards the end of the event, a linden showed up I suspected what they were there for, and they flew then went into hidden mode where they were unviewable, I panned the camera back into the room where the illegal games were to see them removed, however the exact same game had remained present in all the other rooms and was not dealt with, it is unknown as to whether or not they were eventually removed because it was a closing event for park gallery and I never had reason to return. the games were removed because they were compared to slots in the abuse report, however many illegal games still remain on the grid, such as voodoo, and voodoo even gets away with sending out ad's and threats, really what makes them so special? Let's Speculate on that a moment!

I really feel its not about whether or not its a game of skill, many of the example games as to what is banned have a much higher element of skill than the games allowed to continue to run on the grid, I really feel the choice of whom is allowed to continue to operate wagering games more so comes down to how easily the game can be identified by law enforcement.

looking at someones SL screen seeing someone right click a floating object and it burst into particle effects even if dollar signs and what not, really isn't easily identified as gambling even if it gets posted on like a youtube video and heres why, nobody with an untrained eye who is unfamiliar with secondlife can tell whats going on or for that matter something that can be traded for real money, the linden dollars are being payed in, so to the untrained eye, it just looks like an odd goofy game. meanwhile if someone was to start putting blackjack out there, its easily identified as a game people typically play while wagering, really it seems the bigger part of enforcement on Linden Labs gambling policies is how easily law enforcement can Identify it.

for example if I was to go to a law enforcement agency and load secondlife on one of their computers, or brought a computer of mine to connect and show it off and demonstrate a complaint they would think nothing of the sploder system and think I was some crazy talking about some odd game, I would probably be in trouble for filing a false police report if I was to do such a thing just due to their lack of understanding of the game, however on the other hand, if I was to show a blackjack table, or something of the like, its likely the agency im complaining too, would see it as a typical gambling game, and would investigate to see if anything of value was being wagered as its online gambling.

the point is in short, I really feel having seen voodoo operate with impudence, while other games are shut down, its more about how easily its identified as a wagering game, than being a policy to stop illegal wagering.