Imbecilic Avatar Names

We’ve been getting some concern over “imbecilic” avatars names. I’m not going to point them out (though I’m sorely tempted to), but you all know who you are.

Imbecilic Avatar Names are problematic because we said not that we’re 18+, anything goes except for hate speech, etc, etc. Once we go beyond that, we run into the age old problem of what offends who, and in what language, and in what context.

The other problem with Imbecilic Avatar names is that even if you ignore them, their Avatar name still shows up, which I guess accomplishes their goal of shouting out to the world “I AM AN IMBECILE”.

After chatting with SamSyn, I think we have a fine solution. When you ignore an Imbecile (or anyone else), their nametag will now say “Ignored” and appear slightly dimmed. Of course, you can still click on the nametag to see who they REALLY are (or, if you want a good dose of imbecility in your day).

You can see the proposed effect in the screenshot below. Please be aware that “Fier” was just chosen as an example, no doubt “Fier” is perfectly wonderful person who has (unwittingly) volunteered for this demonstration.

Let us know what you think. And Fier, thanks for volunteering.

P.S. I wanted to add a couple of comments to this:

  1. One of my rules, which I heard from a very smart man years ago, is “Make Tools, not Rules, and Get Out of the Way”. This change is a tool, designed to make it less important to have a rule. In the new There, you can assume we’re going to work hard to make the right tools, and only make rules as a last resort. We WILL make rules if we have to, but we’d prefer not to.
  2. There have been suggestions that we go back to the old scheme of censoring Avatar names. Right now, unless it falls under the category of hate speech, etc, we’re not going to do that. The problem is, the censorship never really worked well: It was trivial to get around, it was problematic for names like “Sassy” (contains “Ass”), and culturally it was impossible to please everyone (“PigLover” is a person with interesting taste in pets in the US, and an insult in some Islamic countries.
  3. We don’t have the staff to police the world as we did before. If people want us to go back to the old scheme, then that will last about 3 months, and then we’ll close again, this time for ever.

Of course, we’re going to see how this tool works, and possibly make adjustments going forward. I know that’s not what some people want, but that’s the approach we’re taking now.

  1. #1 by Giordana on 2012.06.24 - 5:35 pm

    “Ignore” is fine. But since when did we THEREIANS vote to allow sexually suggestive or outright pornographic names in the THERE survey? We voted on the age restriction because all of us got fed up with the kid drama in the original THERE, where under 18 was allowed. We also voted on paying monthly membership fees, which are now in place. There are still TOS in place on the THERE’s site. They haven’t changed. For example:

    1) is not a game. is a service provided by Company to you (“Member” or β€œyou”). It is a shared experience that allows people to create and control characters called “Avatars” that interact in an online society. In order for members to have the most enjoyable experience, you should approach other members/Avatars with the same courtesy and respect that would be expected in any real life group of people of mixed ages, races, cultures, genders and beliefs.

    2) Pornographic and obscene images and language are not permitted in text chat, public areas, public messages (such as in – world signs that may be read by others) private messages (such as Instant Message) or via external hyperlinks or anchors.

    3) Offensive and indecent names or descriptions used for Avatars, Club Houses, Events or any other in world communication are not allowed and will be blocked, and the member will be suspended.

    4) Failure to comply with the guidelines detailed herein can lead to notifications, sanctions, or your account(s) being suspended (your log in will be inactivated) from the There service(s) temporarily or permanently without warning.

    Bear in mind, “imbecilic” names are simply stupid names. But, I’m seeing very vulgar avie names about female body parts, sexual actions one does in private, etc. This is what is found on SL, Red Light Center (RLC), and UTHERVERSE. In fact, those “adult sites” let each potential member know to expect this BEFORE s/he registers for an avie. THERE hasn’t done that. On these sites, there are no limits regarding sexual behavior, names, nudity, etc. and these things can be obtained also without paying. I don’t think THERE wants to blend into the “adult VW” like this. I understood the age restriction to be ONLY for the purpose of blocking out the teen drama. In addition, if I am expected to abide by the TOS in place, then I also expect THERE to abide by its own TOS AND enforce them.

    • #2 by ImageMaker on 2012.06.28 - 2:30 am

      Actually, as I understood it, the primary reason for the age restriction was to avoid having to hire huge numbers of “hall monitors” to keep the world “safe” for legal children. I’m not sure I agree that banning “imbecilic” names is a good idea — they provide fair warning to others that the person behind the so-named avatar is likely to be worthy of the ignore button. And honestly, if you’re so sensitive that you can’t stand to read other people labeling themselves as idiots (thereby saving you the trouble of assessing their personalities through their actions), perhaps you should stick with Neopets (a made-for-children site riddles with Flash games).

  2. #3 by Saje on 2012.06.23 - 4:31 pm

    ‘Names my character ‘Ignored”

  3. #4 by ARTIE on 2012.06.23 - 11:02 am

    EXCELENT IDEA ! ! ! I like my imbecelic name … but if my name offends you then ignore me and leave me be. … WISE MOVE THERE . . . no more needing to moderate a name . . . just let the community of moron haters ignore who they want and shut their mouths and stop complaining.

  4. #5 by ImageMaker on 2012.06.22 - 2:32 pm

    Excellent idea indeed — not that I have a long ignore list, but being able to instantly see if someone is ignored when I encounter a bunch of folks might be useful (if only to know that those who are convivial with my ignores are likely new candidates for the ignore button). Am I correct in thinking that if I ignore someone, I also can’t hear their voice transmission? If not, how hard would it be to add that?

  5. #6 by Sassybeme There on 2012.06.22 - 12:04 pm

    I sort of like this idea. Also sort of wish it was more then their name that fades. I’m not sure I ever put some one on iggy just cause of their name. Mostly cause they were beyond annoying. Bad behaviors took away the ability to remove ignores from our paz’s. I miss that. Like giving someone a restraining order.
    I do not care if my iggy would see me online or not. Or read what I write. Only cause after put on iggy, that is how they will learn they just been place on iggy. Last words they would get directly from me.
    However, IF I’m building, and someone wants to be the fool jumping about being more annoying. It would be nice if when placed on iggy they would fade or disappear to me so they don’t bother me in my task. I think that would help greatly. AND if they are invisible, that it be coded that I can place an object even if they’re in the way. The ignores should not be able to continue to interfere with me. NO more then I should be able to use an object to interfere with others play. I’m not sure how that would work on a hoverboard though. Trying to knock you around while your trying to build…..hmmm Guess nothings perfect.

    I didn’t know about that buddy only voice setting… thanks pcman I’ll have to check into that setting.

    • #7 by ImageMaker on 2012.06.22 - 2:34 pm

      Your force field still works when you’re building, so you don’t get knocked around — but I sure wise ignoring someone would/could exclude them from a PAZ, else (as you note) they can continue to grief just by standing there…

      • #8 by Sassybeme There on 2012.06.22 - 3:50 pm

        Ha Ha your correct of coarse. Had the doh moment after the fact. It has been rather nice not having to use force when in world. I forgot about it. πŸ˜€

  6. #9 by Escape on 2012.06.22 - 11:29 am


  7. #10 by Drain_Bramaged on 2012.06.22 - 9:22 am

    Samsyn, MW….great idea, and a much needed iimprovement. ‘tu

  8. #11 by Jimmy Kluding (@LegionNinja) on 2012.06.22 - 8:24 am

    I still want an option to make ignores permanant, by disabling the option to “stop ignoring”

  9. #12 by SunnyMusic on 2012.06.22 - 8:11 am

    Nice! Would be cool to have that little blurry thingie that the TV puts over things they are trying to block out from viewers too. ROFL πŸ˜€

    • #13 by David Wayne on 2012.06.25 - 2:17 pm

      What if you accidentally ignored someone?

  10. #14 by Namron Therian on 2012.06.22 - 8:00 am

    I’m generally easy to get along with, but I have occasionally been put on ignore (still don’t now why). On those rare occasions I’ve been frustrated because I didn’t get an explanation as to why I was being ignored and how the avatar who ignored me and I could come to an understanding.

    What does everyone do in those cases (use someone else as a mediator?) and how will the proposed change make reconciliation easier (hopefully not more difficult!) to do?

  11. #15 by Bob Baxter on 2012.06.22 - 7:48 am

    Great idea, as you continue to do all you can to make THERE the wonderful world that it is. I have no idea as to the complexity of the technology and what is possible or worth considering, but here is an idea if it has any value or practicality. Perhaps as people become aware of how imbecilic their name looks, they might solve the problem themselves by repenting and changing their name if that is possible. I imagine some of them may be embarrassed by their own names, but they have no way to change it without losing their account. Is such a change feasible? Perhaps even at a charge for it?

  12. #16 by Aime on 2012.06.22 - 7:20 am

    Excellent idea, thanks guys!

  13. #17 by Christy Clendenen on 2012.06.22 - 6:20 am

    I like the idea you had a few years ago MW…. to turn all of our ignores into goats : P

  14. #18 by Sputters on 2012.06.22 - 6:18 am

    Honestly, I think “imbecilic” name tags, shouldn’t be allowed.

    When I ran my private servers for a game I once played, I had certain names added to a ‘No-Register’ list. When someone tries to make that name, it would say, “Name prohibited, or for moderator use only!”

    • #19 by TherePercy on 2012.06.22 - 7:26 am

      I am sure if you compiled a list of names you would consider “imbecilic”, I could come up with at least 50 you missed πŸ˜›

      • #20 by Sputters on 2012.06.22 - 7:51 pm

        So the ones that slip the list, will be added at a later date. lol There’s always ways around it.

  15. #21 by arbatas on 2012.06.22 - 5:23 am

    However many of this can be avoided by IGNORING the person instead of sending in a ticket for ways to completely ignore the person. The staff has more better thigns to do than to worry about another person wanting ways to ignore a person. Just thing with all these changes they’re putting in effect cause you want to complain so much is goinig to cost us more to play and when then goes up, I bet you anything it will in time and the ones that complained and the fix was placed you will ( the complaiiner) will quit the game. Just simply ignore the idiot(s) We’re adults seriously lets act like one.

  16. #22 by TherePercy on 2012.06.22 - 5:00 am

    Another thing regarding “ignoring” that is needed, is the fact it should work two ways: if I ignore somebody, they should also NOT be able to see what *I* type, or hear what I say in voice (a simple “privacy” issue)..
    Furthermore (and I know MW for some reason has a problem with that), if I ignore someone, I should be removed from their buddylist (assuming I am on it). It seems completely unfair that they should still be able to see whether I am online or not, which in the current situation is the case. This is NOT a case of “giving me control over somebody elses buddylist”. It is common sense and it gives me control over MY name being on somebody elses list, if they exhibit behaviour that makes them forfeit that right. Mind you, I am talking about when I *ignore* somebody, not if they have me on their list, while I am not on theirs. That is something completely different.

    An extra thing that could be considered (and this ties in with another request made ages ago): make it so that we can adjust the volume of individual avatars’ voice (in regards to what WE hear, not their actual volume in-world). This would make it so that “soft” avatars can be turned up, and “loud” avatars be turned down and in essence also give us the opportunity to “ignore” VOICE ONLY (to get rid of idiots blaring music over voice while standing by themselves), without having to ignore them altogether.

    • #23 by PcMan Hoverboat Pilot on 2012.06.22 - 7:37 am

      Don’t forget if these people that are blaring music through their avatar are not on your buddy list, you can change your in world settings to “buddy only voice”.

      Keep up the great work Samsyn! I like this idea alot for those people that are visually offended by names. πŸ˜€

      • #24 by Greenie on 2012.06.22 - 12:32 pm

        The problem with the buddy only voice is that many times we can be in a conversation group with people not on our buddy list and wanting to hear them too. This makes ‘Buddy Only” voice shut out people we would enjoy having a conversation with for the sake of shutting out the ignore worthy. It’s just another way the ignore worthy have power over us and our activities.

    • #25 by Greenie on 2012.06.22 - 12:27 pm

      Thoughtful addition. Thankyou Team Phoenix!

      Excellent points about ignore features Percy. I’ve had griefers on ignore and they continued the griefing and stalking behaviors. Standing just outside of my zone watching and saving texts and listening to voice conversations. Making note of when I log in and out and showing up every time I logged in and griefing my neighborhood tenants and guests when I logged out. Bugging me via my groups on my profile. Following me to events. I’d prefer to have MY ignores not be able to enter my zone/s, including lots within MY hood, as that has been a way of griefing and stalking too. Sending dozens of event notices and invites via the groups I belonged to, joining them for the purposes of griefing and stalking me. It isn’t a matter of controling their buddy list at all. It IS a matter of having some control over my own avatar name, account and activities. I’d like to have the ignore work both ways, removing MY avatar name and have the return of stick figures for the ignored avatars and me a stick figure with no text or voice to them.

  17. #26 by ladybug12312 on 2012.06.22 - 3:36 am

    The only part of the ‘ignore’ option that I don’t like is when I have someone on ignore but they don’t have me on ignore, they can still hear my voice chat even though I can’t hear theirs.

  18. #27 by Taelos Katran on 2012.06.22 - 3:11 am

    Age is no salve for the imbecilic virus. Perhaps a fatal affliction?

  19. #28 by mimi06 on 2012.06.22 - 1:59 am

    Like this alot. I don’t claim to live under a rock, BUT it was beginning to smear the NEW member spawn areas as well as turn some NEW members off.. Thanks for considering this πŸ™‚

  20. #29 by Jonathan5k2006 on 2012.06.22 - 1:54 am

    I think they should turn into a tree or go invisible lol

    • #30 by Michael Wilson on 2012.06.22 - 4:03 am

      Turning them into trees would be best if we also adjusted the male dogs to … Uh, you know … πŸ™‚

      • #31 by mimi06 on 2012.06.22 - 7:04 am


      • #32 by SaltySilver on 2012.06.22 - 1:47 pm

        CATS !!!!!!!

      • #33 by captain_quirk on 2012.06.22 - 2:14 pm

        Yeah! Love that idea………. lol

  21. #34 by Whitelines on 2012.06.22 - 12:33 am

    Sounds like a plan, far too many childish nametags in world right now.

  22. #36 by Okalnix on 2012.06.21 - 11:04 pm

    just a idea.
    if you add 3 types of ignore woot be great.

    1) ignore only voice
    2) ignore voice and chat.
    3) Ignore voice ,chat, zone event.

    Normaly I do a lott event on dune valley and its a open buggy event place for all people.
    If I go to example to zone island and I ignore him what we have now he is also direct ban out on the zone event that I have or on some of the paz.I setup.
    If its posible to let that ignore player can still enter the zone works great,he can have fun in the event.
    Some people do events but do not wanded to talke to that player but let him in the event still

  23. #37 by Ltbigdog There on 2012.06.21 - 8:40 pm

    Ohhhh do we get a option to moderate also. πŸ˜€ Hold on that might be a bad idea

    • #38 by Michael Wilson on 2012.06.21 - 8:54 pm

      Yes. Here’s how that works.

      When you “Moderate” another Avatar, you create a new There Universe in which that avatar is moderated. Of course, this Universe is completely separate from the “real” There Universe, but you don’t know that, and the Moderated Avatar doesn’t know they’ve been moderated in this new timeline.

      Pretty soon, we’ll have There Universe for every registered Avatar. That should do wonders for profitability.

      • #39 by jimony on 2012.06.22 - 3:24 am

        That’s a great idea!! Of course the subscription would have to be adjusted to cover expenses. What would that be? 30,000 a month each?

        The nametag solution sounds like a great idea. It’s just too bad “embecilic” names couldn’t be defaulted to ignored at creation. Maybe with the new private universe system all others would be ignored anyway.

  24. #40 by Deleight on 2012.06.21 - 7:51 pm

    Love it πŸ™‚

  25. #41 by AsifChris on 2012.06.21 - 7:42 pm

    I think it’s a GREAT idea!!!

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