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A group of Second Life avatars in a variety of outfitsOne year and one week ago, Second Life’s age-verification was changed to asking you your date-of-birth. This week, there’s been a tiny tweak. It only asks you once, instead of twice.

Technically, it isn’t “age-verification” anymore, either, and that terminology seems to be on the way out.

Before you start jumping up and down at this being a big change, just humour me and take a peek at the article from last year first. It probably covers half of what you’re going to say right there.

Now, what’s actually being done here is that the Second Life account dashboard doesn’t ask you for your date of birth anymore. You already provided that date when you signed up. Asking for it twice seems a bit silly, in retrospect, and opens a bit of a can of worms for the Lab if the one you give them now isn’t the same as the one you signed up with. That creates a certain amount of potential liability for them if they don’t throw your arse out for the discrepancy.

This is far safer for the Lab, microscopically less work for individual users (oh, but the tedium of entering my date-of-birth twice!), and pretty much otherwise changes nothing in practical terms from how things have been for the last year.

Oh, and if you’re a long-time critic of the Lab’s change/QA-processes you can be gleeful and/or entertained and/or resigned that making this tiny change actually did break or reset age/age-access systems for many Second Life users for quite some number of hours. Nobody knows why, and the Lab – as usual – hasn’t offered any information about it. No extra charge.

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