Hiding avatars and restricting avatar sounds

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Revision as of 13:10, 14 July 2011 by Rand Linden (Talk | contribs)

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Viewer 2.8 (and a corresponding recent server release candidate) includes two new features that provide greater control to parcel owners:

  • Ability to hide avatars in a parcel from those outside the parcel and vice-versa. This feature enables you to hide avatars and their activities and conversations from those outside a parcel and vice-versa.
  • Ability to restrict sounds emitted by avatars in the parcel.

To set these features for a parcel, you must use Second Life Viewer 2.8 or later. However, if a parcel has hidden avatars or has restricted avatar sounds, you are affected regardless of which Viewer you are using.

KBnote.png Note: As of 7-14-2011, this feature is available on only ten percent (10%) of Second Life regions (those running the BlueSteel release candidate build). Soon, the feature will be rolled out to the remainder of the grid. If the feature is not enabled in your region, the checkboxes will be disabled; be patient, the feature will be available everywhere in a few weeks.


Hiding avatars in a parcel may be useful for:

  • Meetings and classrooms - when you want to meet with people without being observed or overheard by others in the region.
  • Home dressing rooms - you can experiment with clothing, skins or avatars outside your neighbors' view.
  • Store dressing rooms - retail establishments can provide areas in which customers can try outfits, skins and avatars without exposure to other shoppers.

Restricting sounds in a parcel may prevent them from disrupting an immersive experience or being used for griefing. Enabling this feature is analogous to muting all cell phones in a theater. It may be used to minimize unwanted distractions in performance settings.

Hiding avatars

The owner of a parcel (or, for group-owned land, a group member with the necessary rights) can hide avatars and their chat from those outside the parcel. By default, parcels DO NOT have hidden avatars.

When enabled:

  • Those outside the parcel can't see avatars in the parcel and vice-versa.
Other objects are not affected (EXCEPTION: vehicles ridden by hidden avatars are also hidden.)
  • Those outside the parcel can't see nearby text chat from those in the parcel, and vice-versa.
Group text chat is not affected.

To be clear, when a parcel has avatars hidden, anyone outside the parcel cannot see (or communicate with) those in the parcel; conversely, if you are in the parcel, you can't see (or communicate with) anyone outside of it. The communication restrictions apply only to nearby (regular) chat, not group chat.

The world map and mini-map are unaffected. LSL sensors function normally, and detect the presence of avatars on parcels with this setting enabled.

How to hide avatars for a parcel


To hide avatars in a parcel:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land or right-click on the parcel and choose About Land.
  2. Click the OPTIONS tab.
  3. Clear the Allow other Residents to / See and chat with residents on this parcel checkbox. By default, this checkbox is selected.

How to know when you are in a parcel with hidden avatars


Viewer 2.8 also has a new icon in the navigation bar that shows the status of this setting for the current parcel: The icon appears when you are on a parcel with hidden avatars, and will not be displayed otherwise.

The Places Profile sidebar displays the same icon.


Pass the PARCEL_DETAILS_SEE_AVATARS parameter to llGetParcelDetails(), and it will now return an integer flag indicating if the avatars are hidden for the parcel.

Restricting avatar sounds

This release also adds the ability to restrict avatar sounds emitted in a parcel, which include sounds from:

  • Gestures
  • Objects rezzed from inventory
  • Scripts on attachments

You can set a parcel to allow sounds to be played by everyone (the default), only by group members, or by no one.

How to restrict avatar sounds


To restrict sounds from avatars in a parcel:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land or right-click on the parcel and choose About Land.
  2. Click the SOUND tab.
    By default, avatar sounds are not restricted, and the Everyone checkbox is selected.
  3. To permit sounds to be played by
    • No one:
    Clear both the Everyone and Group checkboxes.
    • Group members only:
    Clear the Everyone checkbox, leaving Group selected.