In July we noted Google’s (GOOG) Head of 3D Operations Mel Guymon said there’d be no sex in virtual world Lively. Is Google changing its mind?
Lively may be plagued by jerks who drop anvils on each other and harrass the few women who show up, but the service has a simple formula for avoiding Second Life-style gratuitous porn and flying-penis mayhem: only Google and approved partners can create and upload virtual content. Which is why we were surprised to read this interview with Lively User Experience Designer Mark Young:
There is a big demand for the ability to create content. We have a tool that our artists and partners use to publish content after its been exported from off-the-shelf DCC tools like Max, Maya and SketchUp. The publishing tool needs a redesign and documentation before its ready for public consumption.
“Public consumption?” If other virtual worlds are any indicator, we expect the very first things the public will create with these tools are genitalia and sex furniture, followed shortly by scripts expressly designed to annoy and harrass other users.
Are we reading too much into Young’s offhand remarks about opening up Lively’s warehouse of interactive virtual objects to the public? Well, Young’s interviewer coyly adds this to the end of her interview:
Earlier conversations with Young may or may not have involved interface design changes specific to cybersex, but since Google has no official statement on sex in its virtual world, those comments will have to be left to your imaginations
So much for Plan PG.
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