Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Hidden Virtual-World Prison Revealed  
 
 
Posted 2006-01-03 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Hidden Virtual-World Prison Revealed
Nimrod Yaffle, a resident of the virtual world Second Life, has revealed details of a bizarre and dark prison Second Life's maker Linden Lab is now using to lock up criminal avatars. Dubbed the "The Corn Field," the moonlit environment contains only rows of corn, two television sets, an aging tractor and a one-way teleport terminal allowing no escape. It exists as an alternative to standard disciplinary measures, which traditionally prevent access to Second Life completely.

After breaking Second Life's rules, Yaffle was informed via email by Linden Lab that he was being sent to The Corn Field. "I thought it was a joke," Yaffle told me in-world. "I never even knew it existed before I went there, and by the looks of it, a lot of other people didn't either." Rumour and speculation about the prison has been running amok in the Second Life community since word of The Corn Field spread, but until recently the prison simulator hadn't been officially confirmed.

"Sometimes when someone is suspended for a short time they are sent to the cornfield," Linden Lab's Senior VP of Community and Support wrote on the official Second Life discussion forums yesterday, adding that building the cornfield didn't require any significant development work and reassuring the community that "Once someone is permanently banned they are no longer welcome in Second Life, anywhere, including the cornfield."

As promised, Nimrod Yaffle was teleported into the middle of prison simulator, finding a tractor in front of him and the errie rows of corn. "I was laughing the whole entire time I was there," he told me. "But in a way, I was also worried that the children of the corn were going to get me...it would be great if the Linden's made scripted children there." Yaffle was disappointed at the "insanely slow" pace of the tractor, and bored by the only channel available on the televisions--a presentation of the 1940 film "Boy in Court," about a troubled teenager on probation trying to avoid a life of crime.

Yaffle tested the limits of the prison, finding that communication to Second Life's "Main Grid" was cut off. He even came up with a scheme to crash the server The Corn Field was running on in order to be teleported to the nearest safe simulator by default, but creating objects in The Corn Field appears to be impossible. Having exhausted his options, Yaffle merely waited around to see if anyone else would show up. A Linden Lab employee did stop by, but was incommunicado. "If I was them, I would have been watching me and laughing," Yaffle told me. "I know I was laughing even though it was a punishment."

The question remains as to whether or not The Corn Field is an effective remedial measure compared to a standard suspension. Yaffle supposes "it's a little better because it made me laugh, but not a whole lot better. There's nothing you can do there except ride a tractor and watch a boring movie, which was black and white anyways." Despite the boredom Second Life's criminals may face, the fact that The Corn Field is an exclusive and normally inaccessible area of the virtual world may not be working in its favour. Second Life's residents are known for their curiosity: Will petty crime increase in a bid to get a first-hand glimpse of The Corn Field?

Perhaps not if its shadowy evil is exposed pictorially. Thanks to Nimrod Yaffle for the photos.

The Corn Field

The Corn Field

The Corn Field

The Corn Field

The Corn Field
 
     
 
   
 
  ... share via email del.icio.us digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
  20 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by electrojones
January 4, 2006 @ 10:35 am
     
 
It's sad that Nimrod Yaffle didn't learn anything from his cornfield experience. The first thing this nimrod thought to do was 'crash the server'. Sadly, this is a perfect specimen of a certain type of gamer, and they are legion.

Other imbecile indicators include "I was laughing THE WHOLE TIME", "it would be great if the Linden's made scripted children there" (you dip- it's not SUPPOSED to be entertaining), and my favorite: "There's nothing you can do there except ride a tractor and watch a boring movie, which was black and white anyways."

Books are usually in black and white too, but NY would probably not sit still long enough to find out. I suspect that this will not be the only trip he makes to the cornfield.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by MaxCase
January 5, 2006 @ 4:25 am
     
 
It's sad that electrojones just doesn't get it.
What did the Lindens think would happen when you send creatives into somewhere like the cornfield. Of course they will try to find loopholes and exits, and push the envelope [including crashing to be teeped to nearest location].
The fact that you think it's not supposed to be entertaining doesn't change the fact that for some of us, it is. The fact that it is unique in SL gives it an intrinsic interest value.
On one level, the cornfield sounds more interesting than a lot of other venues in SL.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by electrojones
January 5, 2006 @ 6:59 am
     
 
I do get it. People who smoke by the gas pumps. People who steal from the cash register or count cards because they have a system. These are the kinds of 'creatives' you're talking about.

Incorrigibles. People who truly 'just don't get it'. And I said it, they didn't. They don't have to say anything- not being able to do anything but wait out his time in the penalty box means that Nimrod was exactly who the designers thought he was, and his 'creativity' did nothing for him. Like having a hissy fit in the middle of the desert- go on and feel free to kick the tractor if you can.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Suzy Udal
January 6, 2006 @ 8:40 pm
     
 
Can anybody please tell me what this Yaffle actually did to get expelled to The Corn Field???
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
January 6, 2006 @ 10:55 pm
     
 
I don't know what the specific crime was, Suzy. All I know is it was too serious for a warning, serious enough for a suspension, but not serious enough for a ban. I didn't want to ask Yaffle about his crime because I was concerned some Second Life residents might try to repeat it in an attempt to visit The Corn Field.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
January 7, 2006 @ 11:56 pm
     
 
Someone I know made a hack to the JEVN vendor system to let you get the items you want. I used it and got items, but I returned the items or paid for what I took afterwards. http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=77230
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 8, 2006 @ 5:30 am
     
 
I'd be interested in a statement from nimrod Yaffle as to whether he is also Lazarus Divine, and if not, why his signs with his name as creator appear together with Lazarus' signs, and whether the fact that Lazarus was in the cornfield, and nimrod was in the cornfield, at exactly the same time, isn't a coincidence of two avatars being in the cornfield, but the case of one person being in the cornfield with 2 avatars.

I think if people are going to perpetuate the kind of menace and destruction that Lazarus Divine has perpetrated in Second Life, on an obvious alt, their mains should step up to the plate and take responsibility and heat for it as well. And if you aren't Lazarus, then why do you support this destructiveness?

Yes I found your two signs together, as have others.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
January 8, 2006 @ 3:52 pm
     
 
I could care less if you think I'm his alt, and I don't see why I would be hiding behind an alt.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by MaxCase
January 8, 2006 @ 4:44 pm
     
 
Don't sweat it nimrod - Prok often accuses people (he disagrees with of being alts.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 8, 2006 @ 4:57 pm
     
 
No, I don't accuse people I "disagree with" of being alts. I'd challenge you to find any instance of this anywhere. It's not about "disagreeing," it's about asking people to take responsiblity for their criminal acts. Ordinarly, I could care less who is an alt and who isn't. I think people should have alts, and I have them myself (mine aren't very secret being in all the same land groups). Alts rule.

What I'm doing here is taking a very extraordinary and exceptional step of challenging someone in a public forum about their being an alt or having some relationship to a rabid public menace who has destroyed hundreds of property values costing hundreds of RL dollars. Linden Lab appears helpless to deal with this menace. I'm hoping the free press outside the LL magic circle can at least discuss it. So I'm discussing it. If you are, or have a relationship with Lazarus Divine, take public responsibility for it. I and hundreds of other people in this world urge you to take down the signs, set the parcels to market levels and not extortionist prices which racketeers to try to get people to remove the menace, and stop harassing everybody for hundreds of sims all over this world. While the Lindens chose not to enforce it (yet), you, or this person you chose to associate with and put signs up with, are in violation of a number of community standards including disturbance of the peace, spamming, harming another's enjoyment of SL, and IMHO, global attacks. Please desist.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
January 8, 2006 @ 9:24 pm
     
 
Ok Prok, now you're treating me like I am his alt, I'm not, but whatever. And yes, I *DID* make a sign, but it was not for griefing, it was a poster I put up with full perms including free to copy. He took a copy and blew it up, whatever, his choice. I'm not even going to defend myself anymore on the alt thing, because I don't really care if you think I'm his alt or not.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eepē
March 7, 2006 @ 1:29 pm
     
 
I'd like to visit the cornfield legitmately but all the Lindens I've asked so far have said no. :/
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
March 7, 2006 @ 1:31 pm
     
 
Well, of course they said no. If you asked them if you could visit the Teen Grid, think they'd say yes? :-P
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eepē
March 7, 2006 @ 1:40 pm
     
 
Not quite the same thing (though, stereotypically, teens are more likely to cause trouble to GET into the cornfield). I simply want to look around and visit. I could easily create an alt to get into the teen grid. I suppose I could just as easily grief enough to get into the cornfield but I'd rather not.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
March 7, 2006 @ 1:42 pm
     
 
*shrug* It's nothing special. XD
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eepē
March 7, 2006 @ 1:47 pm
     
 
Special is relative. It may not be special to you but to someone who hasn't been there it can be (and is to me).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by nimrod yaffle
March 7, 2006 @ 1:49 pm
     
 
This is probably why they didn't announce that it existed, people would (and do) want in and might grief others to get there.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by bannedsl
September 6, 2007 @ 6:11 am
     
 
Well i havent see this "corn field" But i did manage to get banned .. i was involved in a disagrement with a "wispering hush" a rival car builder in sl and it esclated in to a attack each other thing she used an orbet on me so i returned the favor .. and i got booted from sl .. seams that if you are a basic member you dont have any rights on sl, No support No rebuttle No help of any kind. but if your a paying member sl is bias .. i have sent 10 e-mails 7 support tickets and sl hasnt even responded to my questions to the "you can not access second life form this computer" Kinda one sided if you ask me,, i would like to have seen this "corn field" even tho i did nothing but defend myself when attacked .. and i got the boot because whisperng hush knows a linden ,,,, Pfffft i feel this type of bias behaviour by lindens is very sad.. and if i was going to do it over again i would have never invested the hundredes of USD i have put into the game ... so lindens got my money, booted me off the grid and for what ?? No corfield for me .... Just som ones word over mine and because im basic member im automaticly the problem .... Thank you linden labs can i have a kiss wile you bend me over ?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Eepē
September 6, 2007 @ 7:41 am
     
 
Feel free to file a Better Business Bureau report against Linden Lab (LL), who already has a negative reputation ("unsatisfactory record") with them (see http://www.goldengatebbb.org/commonreport.html?bid=57373 ). See http://tnlc.com/eep/sl/ for more info about my unjust banning and my legal attempts to bring action against LL (who definitely need their asses sued off for how they treat their PAYING users) after they refused to give me my content I spent almost 1.5 years creating. Tip: don't create proprietary content if you don't have control over it.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by ElsieBroek
March 17, 2008 @ 6:16 am
     
 
the "Cornfield" may also be inspired by the film "A Boy and his Dog", where dissidents in an underground society of often executed by robot and placed in the cornfield.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL

Accessibility:

TEXT

Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.