Many of you know I have an alt that’s a child avatar. I’ve talked about her, and about the whole idea of child avies, in the past; so my feelings and thoughts on and approach to the matter are probably already pretty much understood. In a nutshell: yes, there are pervs out there, but for the most part child avatars are an innocent and (to me) fun idea.
Well I got to talking today with a friend (and reader of this blog! HI!) who has a skin & shape shop. She’s in the process of moving/expanding and I offered a friendly suggestion: “KID SHAPES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.”
I went on to say that what few skins and shapes for kids are out there seem to be the overly made-up “pageant kid” look (which creeps the bejeezus out of me). Six-year-olds should NOT wear lipstick and eyeliner, if you ask me. And it doesn’t matter if you did ask me because it’s my blog so nyah-nyah. Sorry, heh, slipped into character for a moment. But, seriously, there’s NO good reason there can’t be kid faces that look like KID faces, and kid bodies that look like KID bodies.
Her response intrigued me though; it was something I’d not considered and it makes me wonder if more skin/shape shops feel similarly and that that is the reason for lack of supply: the idea that having kid-themed skins and shapes would attract “pervy” clientelle to the shop.
My argument is that you’re going to get pervy people anyway. Rule 34* and what have you. But I can also see the point. We all have our things that set off our gag reflex: for example for me it’s slavery, for others it’s furries, for still others it’s kids. And while none of the above is necessarily sexual in nature, any one of them can be. The difference with the latter is that it’s illegal, forbidden by ToS, and in my opinion immoral because it lacks the two words that have to be present for a sexual situation to be ok in my book: consenting adults (actually the lack of “consenting” sums up my problem with the first one). If you have a shop with slavery/Gor/BDSM/whatever supplies in it, it’s likely that your products will be used for sexual ends. If you have a shop with furry supplies, it’s certainly not unlikely that your products will be used for sexual ends. If you have a shop with kid avatar supplies, yes, it’s possible that a customer could use those products, too, for sexual means. The idea of that possibility may be what’s stopping so many content creators from touching goods (such as skins & shapes) for kids with a ten-foot cursor. I can appreciate that concern, even though as a consumer it frustrates the bejeezus out of me.
So maybe it makes for a Catch-22 type situation: people don’t want to make kid avatar skins and shapes and market them just for kids, so people with kid avatars have to settle for too “adult” looking skins, and makes kids look pervy, and so on…
But maybe, just maybe, a skin creator might consider a non-made-up and youthful looking skin that *could* be used for kids if the customer so wanted. Not necessarily market it for kid avatars, mind you. I don’t know. It’s a thought.
*Rule 34: if it exists, then somewhere on the Internet someone is getting off on it.