Child Avatar

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Important Note

KBcaution.png Important: Please visit the Linden Lab Official:Clarification of policy disallowing ageplay page for official and updated guidance on using child avatars in Second Life.

What is a Child avatar?

Quite simply, a child avatar is any avatar that attempts to present as a youth. This is not limited to humans, and can include furries (referred to in this instance as "cubs" or "babyfur"), neko, vampires, and other avatar selections. Some doll avatars might also fit in this category.

This does not necessarily include fairies (which may be child-like in appearance, as well as smaller than the average avatar), tinies (although human baby-shaped tinies do exist), or those wearing gothic lolita and/or cosplay fashions and styles.

It should be noted that "child" does not exclusively mean "baby." Child avatars come in all ages, including older school aged children and teenagers.

Why play a child in Second Life?

There are a great many reasons to play a child within Second Life, and it is plenty likely that every person playing a child might have their own reasons. Here are six.

1. A way to recapture some of the spirit of youth. Much like the old Twilight Zone episode, "Kick The Can," it allows one to 'be' a child, and run and jump, and play unencumbered with the responsibilities of adulthood.

2. "Re-imagining" bad childhoods. Many SL kids have faced childhoods filled with illness or disability. Many (by no means all) were victims of sexual or other abuses as a child, and this is allowing them to "rewrite" some of those childhood experiences with much healthier ones.

3. Related to the above, many may also want to have childhoods they could not, with all the toys and goodies they may have been denied for some reason. Always wanted that Easy Bake Oven? Go buy or make it in SL. Want the big swingset, or a pony, or whatever? All yours for a few pennies.

4. For fun. It can be a fun type of character to play, allowing for a childlike innocence and whimsey to come to the forefront, and providing for many opportunities to be "silly" that might not otherwise feel comfortable in an adult avatar.

5. A few may feel more comfortable in the role of a child, for whatever reason. While some of these might fall under various "philia" subsets (adult babies, for example), not all do.

6. Some may simply enjoy the roleplaying challenge of playing a kid, which isn't always as easy as one might think.

7. Some avatars may specifically create a child avatar to "escape" from the sexual content in other areas of Second Life. This may include victims of RL child abuse or it may not.

What are Linden Lab's policies towards Child Avatars

As of May 2024, information pertaining to child avatars is found in section 5.8 (viii) of the Second Life Terms & Conditions. This prohibits sexualized situations involving child avatars, also known as "age play", and links to further guidelines and restrictions on child avatars in the Age Play Policy, found here: Linden Lab Official:Clarification of policy disallowing ageplay. Further clarification is found in the official Child Avatar FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

KBcaution.png Important: This page (Child Avatar) is editable and generally maintained by Residents, and while there is a great deal of good information available, please be sure to check with official sources (like the Terms & Conditions and the Age Play Policy official wiki page) to confirm information and guidelines are correct and up to date.

As of May 2024, Child avatars are allowed within Second Life.1. However there are some limitations and guidelines about child avatar usage and behavior. From the Age Play Policy page:

Residents presenting as Child Avatars shall be prohibited from the following:

  • Entering any Region rated Adult. Residents must change to a non-child or non-childlike avatar to visit Adult rated regions.
  • Engaging or participating in any event or location where nudity and/or sexual activity is present, encouraged and/or expected.
  • Wearing genital/sexual attachments including clothing, attachments or HUDs created for and/or worn by child avatars to indicate genitalia, whether visible or not.
  • Being fully nude. Child avatar content creators are required to add a modesty layer which is baked into child avatar skins or bodies, is not transparent, does not match the skin tone, and may not be removed.
  • Child avatars where the focal point of the body is on the breasts, pelvis, or buttocks
  • Participation in lewd or sexual acts in which one or more of the avatars appears to represent minors (or the depiction of such acts in images, video, textures, or text).

For more extensive guidelines on child avatar usage and behavior, please see the Linden Lab Official:Clarification of policy disallowing ageplay and the official Child Avatar FAQ.

Related Links

A further statement from Lewis PR Linden on the Second Life Insider site gave further insight.

Of note from the above: There's nothing objectionable nor illegal in having a child-like avatar in itself and we must assume innocence until proof of the contrary.