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  Protecting Celebrity In ‘The Lounge’  
Posted 2006-10-25 by Tony Walsh
Adverworld The Lounge was originally launched to promote Interscope/Universal recording artists Pussycat Dolls, and seems to enjoy the patronage of under a thousand teens, each of whom must create a unique avatar to use in the branded, 3D space. Being an official promotional environment, freedom of expression is limited. Teens were recently informed of restrictions to usernames and behaviour by Doppleganger, developer and maintainer of The Lounge:
    "1) single first names of dolls or celebs, and single first names with a little puncuation here and there -- for example: kimberly. (note the 'period') -- are not acceptable. Those accounts will be banned.
    2) more importantly, no matter what username you choose, impersonating celebs is a big no-no. Please do not tell others you are someone you are not, even if you are joking."
Doppleganger's heavy-handed approach seems geared not only towards protecting the Pussycat Dolls from "impersonation" (if having the same name as one of them counts as impersonation), but also towards limiting the company's legal liability in general--the idea seems to be that if no user shares a first name with any known "celeb," no celeb would have reason to sue Doppleganger. The punishment for sharing a first name with a celebrity is banning--this seems harsh considering how loosey-goosey the parameters for "infringement" are. I wonder how the residents of The Lounge feel about this?
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Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
October 25, 2006 @ 10:05 am
Hey, this is like the Soup Nazi, "No U2 for you!!!"
Comment posted by rikomatic
October 25, 2006 @ 10:50 am
I did a quick scan of The Lounge forums, which seem largely unmoderated / uncensored. The main complaints / suggestions relate to:
* more clothes
* more animations (holding hands, dances, etc)
* more avatar customization

I.e. kids want to express themselves.

There are some who want to add more functionality to the world, including someone who has hacked to client to add custom clothes textures, and another who is asking for user created areas and is shot down (nicely.) Another person wants in-world jobs believe it or not. Who says the Protestant Work Ethic is dead?
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