Linden Lab on Wednesday announced the creation of PG, Mature, and Adult content categories that will allow all users, who are supposed to be 18 or older, to filter content accordingly. Company CEO Mark Kingdon said in a press release that the decision was driven by "preferences and community standards" that "vary tremendously across industries, countries, and cultures."
As part of this change, Linden Lab has also implemented a new account verification system for allowing access to adult search results and regions, which will be migrated to a newly created continent. The Mature category will be the default for all Second Life users, while only those with verified accounts will be able to access the Adult regions. A teen version of Second Life is available for younger users.
These new changes won't take place right away, however: they're part of version 1.23 of the Second Life software, which Linden will soon make available as a release candidate. The developer plans to spend a month discussing the changes with Second Life residents, after which time "we'll be ready to lay out the specifics of the plan and begin moving ahead with this initiative," it said in an FAQ on its site. Another document lays out how Linden defines content that falls under the three categories.