BURN2 Rangers Manual
Updated February 2023
Interested in becoming a BURN2 Ranger? There are some prerequisites that you must meet:
- Be active in other departments for at least 1 year, including the Octoburn and at least 2 other weekend-type events.
- Have a recommendation from another Department Lead attesting to the candidate’s reliability, level-headedness, and non-authoritarian approach to situations.
You will then be required to do the following:
- Attend all training sessions. Training is usually held in the spring/summer and then early fall prior to Octoburn. Training is LONG. There is a lengthy manual to be read and reflected upon, which mirrors the BRC Ranger’s manual. There are 4-6 hours of in-world training which includes basic mediation skills. Then there are 4-6 hours of role-play situations which promote problem solving with Ranger tools/special abilities, and collaboration among the Rangers. There is annual training for all Rangers.
- Ideally, the basic training will occur early enough in the summer so that Alpha (new) Rangers have an opportunity to shadow senior Rangers at Conception and/or Virtual Burn events. This provides experience for the Alpha Ranger to make a decision if being a Ranger is a good fit for them. Being a Ranger is not a compatible role for everyone.
- BRC Rangers (after verification of being in good standing) must attend the same training as Alpha Rangers. Once they feel comfortable with the Second Life tools and viewer, and have been active in Burn2 for 1 year, they may be considered “Senior Rangers.”
This document and any attachments comprise the written portion of the training and guide for the BURN2 Rangers. Familiarity with the terms, concepts, and practices of the Rangers will make the in-world training and on-playa time more enjoyable and effective. BURN2 Rangers are encouraged to keep the link to this manual handy as they go about their patrols to use as a reference. Rangers, whether they serve in the physical world Burning Man or the virtual BURN2 event, are known for their calm management, analysis, and resolution of interpersonal issues. We welcome your best efforts on behalf of the citizens of BURN2.
History and Role of the Rangers
Origin of the Black Rock Rangers
The Black Rock Rangers were founded in the physical world environment of Burning Man in 1992 by Danger Ranger; "M2Danger Ranger" in Second Life™ (SL). The Rangers’ initial role was as a desert search-and-rescue organization, which was expanded to the current role of guardians of community standards as the Burning Man community grew. Rangers are not a police force, but rather a community-based mediation organization whose only authority is that which is granted by the community. Rangers now work at regional Burner events worldwide and in the virtual world of SL's BURN2 (B2). They've now come full circle and span the Multiverse of virtual worlds, blurring all lines.
Role of the BURN2 Rangers
First and foremost, Rangers are participants in the Burning Man and BURN2 ethos, perhaps explained best by the 10 Principles. From that foundation grows the ego-less helpful actions of a BURN2 Ranger.
BURN2 Rangers are traditional guardians of the shared values of the Burner community. We are empowered by the community to address concerns, mediate disputes, and resolve conflicts if they cannot be resolved by the participants themselves and, rarely, respond to non-consensual assaults (griefing). Rangers encourage both personal agency and a community of shared responsibility and assist only as needed. The 11th principle - Consent - applies here, too. Members of the community need to be encouraged to exercise their right to say no, not only to touch, but also to unwanted conversations or discussions. The role of the Ranger has been aptly described as "riding the edge of chaos."
How Do We Ranger?
- A Ranger's focus is outside of him- or herself – it’s not about us.
- We mediate, influence, and persuade rather than dictate, enforce or dominate.
- We defuse tense situations.
- We are non-confrontational in our interactions with participants.
- Rangers only have perceived authority that the community gives us.
- We provide a helping hand when we can, but mostly we help participants help themselves.
- We are a source of solid information when needed.
- Good Rangers know when to walk away, especially since they’ve kept their ego out of it.
A Ranger's first reaction to most scenes is to do nothing. "Doing nothing" is an active process that we'll talk more about later.
- Rangers let whatever it is that is happening play out in front of them until we have an initial assessment of the situation, know that we need to intervene, and that a good plan for intervention has presented itself.
- Generally speaking, we try to intervene to the least degree possible in order to achieve whatever needs to be accomplished.
- Our goal is, when possible, to get participants to solve their own problems instead of fixing things for them.
What We Do
What might you do on your shift as a Ranger?
- Mediate a boundary dispute between two camps.
- Listen to someone who is upset because the fly ability is turned off and explain the reasoning behind it.
- Help someone find a camp.
- Help a builder find a lost prim.
- Answer questions in BurningMan 2.0 or BURN2 Access group chat.
- Explain BURN2’s nude avatar policy.
- Educate builders about BURN2’s Builders Guidelines.
- Educate a new avatar about Second Life and/or BURN2 culture.
- Educate participants about how to deal with individuals or objects that they find offensive or disruptive.
- Return MOOP (Matter Out Of Place).
- And more.
What We Do NOT Do
We are not cops:
- We don’t battle griefers.
- We don’t enforce builder guidelines.
- We don’t enforce prim limits.
- We don’t enforce rules.
- We don’t enforce Linden Lab’s Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Standards (CS).
- We don’t enforce anything!
We are not cops, nor are we a security force.
Remember the Ten Principles? That’s why we’re here! You may be asked to mediate someone who is not in compliance with prim limits or builder guidelines, or you may need to contact someone who is being disruptive and ask him or her to modify behavior, but we don’t go searching these issues out, nor are they our default roles.
Preferably, Rangers will patrol the playa in pairs when possible. A Ranger dispatcher, called “Khaki,” may assign people to patrol specific areas, or he/she may instruct Rangers to "wander." If there is a Khaki on shift, when calls come in through group chats, Khaki will assign the call to a Ranger or pair of Rangers. If there is no Khaki (1 or 2 Rangers) then Rangers on shift can self-dispatch, deciding amongst themselves who will take the call, if needed.
Meet and Greet
While on patrol, keep moving. Meet and greet the campers, stop in and talk to them or sit at their campfires for a brief visit and then go on to the next. Talk to people. If you like their builds, comment on them. Send them IMs if they’re offline, and be sure to identify yourself as a Ranger. (e.g. “Hey, I’m a BURN2 Ranger, and I was out on patrol and noticed your build. This is really... I really like...”) This is important and helps break down the walls of "us and them," creating a sense of community and trust. It will also let them know someone is around they can call on if they need help. Let them know how to contact a Ranger (e.g. BURN2 Access group chat). If a problem occurs, you may have already developed relationships that can help mediate more easily.
Remember: When you are out on patrol, you are the most visible part of the Rangers.
In being first contact, you ARE the BURN2 Rangers.
Keep your mini-map open and watch for the stacks of little green dots. Griefers often target groups of people rather than individuals. Go to where the stacks of dots are in your patrol area. If there's an event going on, stay for a while and mingle. Enjoy the show. But always be mindful of what's going on around you. If a situation develops that makes you feel uncomfortable or that may become more volatile, do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
While we prefer to have Rangers work in pairs, it doesn't always work out that way. If you find yourself walking the BURN2 playa alone, there will be times when it is appropriate to request assistance from another Ranger via Ranger radio or BURN2 Rangers group chat, if for no other reason than to have another individual there as a witness.
Other BURN2 staff members may also fulfill this role if they are online and feel comfortable helping you with the particular situation. You can find BURN2 Staff in the "Roles" tab of the BURN2 Access group info window. However, these staff are not necessarily Rangers, so we may ask them to assist, but we should not expect it. They may refuse if they feel uncomfortable or unable to fill the role. Nor should we expect them to know the fine points of Rangering.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first time Ranger on patrol,
your presence and perception are valuable team assets.
~ Black Rock Ranger Death Valley Kelly 1998
Conflict Resolution - F.L.A.M.E. it!
FLAME is a mediation technique based on active listening.
Ranger skills are the techniques employed when engaging in conflict mediation and resolution.
Rangers need to be personally immune to the griefer’s toolkit.
Strive to do nothing first.
Rule #1: Do Nothing.
Click Here to Close
F - Find Out
- First, do nothing; observe the situation before jumping to conclusions.
- Be aware of scene safety, your body language, your mindset, and your assumptions.
- Be aware of the resources you have, and resources you might need.
- It is better to get it right than be fast.
- And… if cows are falling from the sky but no one is complaining… then keep doing nothing.
L - Listen
- Active listening.
- There will always be at least three sides: the individuals involved and an impartial third perspective (the “Truth”).
- You are not done with this step until everyone involved is spoken with (if possible).
- Always remember… Everyone has good reasons for what they do and the actions they take. Assume everyone is doing his or her best, at least from their individual viewpoints.
- Consider, too, that when people are stressed, they may not clearly understand or discern the future ramifications of their actions. Critical thinking comes to a halt during stress and the protective prehistoric parts of the brain come into play… to fight or flee.
A - Analyze
- Gather information.
- Only start to Analyze the situation after you have gathered all the information that you can.
- Discuss with your partner.
- At this point, you should have enough information to begin mediating the situation.
- Most all situations have more than one appropriate response. In SL, time is on our side. Rarely, if ever, do we encounter life threatening situations. Take time to analyze, consult, and talk again to individuals if an approach is not immediately clear.
M - Mediate
- Allow the participants to determine/decide the resolution.
- Find out where there’s wiggle room and point it out.
- You’re the neutral third party.
- Do the best you can to guide, rather than direct.
- This is the act of allowing the participants involved to participate in a solution to their problem. The best, most effective solution is one they create and implement. Compromise is your friend. It is vital that it be a solution that they are willing to live with, rather than one that you thought should be the answer.
E - Explain
- Explain the outcome to the parties directly involved.
- This might include having the conflicted parties explain to you and to each other what the agreed solution is, or write down an agreement.
- Explain the resolution to Khaki.
- Create an incident (LSD and/or AR) report if needed.
- Keep personal information private.
- Notify Khaki of the what/where/when/how of conflicts and their outcomes during or immediately after your shift. Alert the Khaki if you filed a LSD and/or an AR.
- New information and new perspectives can often send you back to find out more, listen to new stakeholders, or analyze facts that you didn’t have when you began FLAME-ing the situation.
MUCH, MUCH more about the FLAME technique will be covered in the training you will attend.
Rangering is not about you, but rather about community harmony, and problem resolution. Each person has hot-button (trigger) issues which, when encountered, make dispassionate analysis and mediation impossible. Know your trigger issues. Also learn to recognize how you feel when you are being triggered since you may find some new ones. When triggered, or at any other time that you are in doubt about what to do or are out of your comfort zone, ask for help. "Kick it sideways" to a colleague. Remember there are NO life-threatening emergencies in SL - except if someone is threatening suicide.
If Someone Threatens Suicide
If someone is threatening suicide, this IS a life-threatening situation and should be taken seriously.
The US National Hotline: https://988lifeline.org/
TEXT to 988
International Suicide Hotline: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
Text Crisis Line (trained crisis counsellors for escalation and resources): https://www.crisistextline.org/
There are groups in Second Life™ with individuals trained for these situations, one is Survivors of Suicide group (SOS) group key: 859a9cf5-741d-b178-d83d-91f3c986dc03.
Ask the person if you can put him or her in touch with someone s/he can talk to.
Many US communities use a 211 emergency hotline dialing system for other social services.
Additional resource - Sexual Assault: https://rainn.org/
Some key points:
- Always take time to evaluate the situation before taking action.
- Use active listening skills.
- Treat everyone with respect.
- Don't get suckered into debates.
- Let them have the last word.
- Use "we" and "us" to generate a connection with participants.
- Never issue a command to someone. Use the power of mediation to convince them to take an action or cease an action.
- The less ego you show, the more control you will have over the situation.
- Never lose self-control.
- Unless someone is threatening suicide, it is not an emergency.
Approach those involved slowly without getting too close. Stand slightly to one side; avoid close face-to-face confrontation or a threatening pose. Choose poses for your Animation Overrider (AO) that communicate friendliness and openness. If more than one Ranger is present, one should go in and make contact while the rest remain at a distance to avoid the appearance of “ganging up on a participant”, unless you determine multiple Rangers would be helpful, such as in separating feuding participants. No outward display of bravado or power is needed.
Communication is not just speaking, it's both speaking and listening. Do your best to be clear and unambiguous. If your message is not clear, it can be interpreted in different ways. Speak calmly and slow down the pace of communications. Fast typing, like fast speaking, can indicate stress or excitement and can escalate an already tense situation. So slow down your typing, be deliberate in your responses. By slowing down your responses, you can slow down the tempo of the situation and have a calming effect. It also shows you are listening and paying attention to the other parties, rather than trying to type over the tops of them. Use complete sentences and avoid typing shortcuts.
Also, timing can exacerbate misunderstandings and confusion in SL. Be aware that not everyone may see the same chat at the same time you do. Most of the lag people experience is not caused by SL, but rather caused locally by their own computers and Internet connections. They may see chat in a different order than you, and you or they may experience difficulty sending chat. Chat lag can increase tension in an already stressful situation. If you find yourself experiencing chat lag, see if another Ranger can step in to assist. Don't be afraid to “kick it sideways”, but if you do, be sure to let the other parties know why you're doing this. If you are not able to communicate this to the other participants, ask the other Ranger to do so. Sometimes chat will work best in private IM windows, and other times, in local chat windows. If possible, move to a less congested sim.
Sitting down on the ground or in a chair is an excellent way to slow and calm an interaction, in both the physical world and virtual worlds!
Examine your personal biases and assumptions about the issues you're encountering. Disclose your own interests and agendas at some point in the conversation. The receivers will quickly tune you out if they suspect you have a hidden agenda. By being authentic and transparent, you will gain credibility, which is essential for effective mediation. Avoid negative statements. Present ideas in a positive, affirmative manner. Sometimes, a good mediation tactic is to ask them what a solution to the conflict or issue could be and make them think out a successful outcome to the problem. Ask the participants themselves how things can be made to work.
And use active listening skills:
- Mirror: paraphrase what the person has said; restate his or her message with fewer words. This tests your understanding of what the person has said and makes a positive connection when you get it right.
- Clarify what the person has said to bring vague statements into focus. This helps get to the heart of the matter.
- Request verification of your perceptions to give and receive feedback.
- Summarize what the person said to pull together major ideas, facts, and feelings. DO NOT add new ideas.
- Be empathetic… reflect the other person's meaning and feelings.
If a person appears emotionally distressed, remember, you don't know his or her story – don't assume the person is just an asshole. You or another participant may have just been the final straw in that person's day. If you are uncomfortable dealing with an emotionally distressed person, “kick it sideways”. Ask on the Ranger Radio and in the Ranger chat group (BURN2 Rangers) for a Ranger experienced with such situations to step in. There are several with experience and special training in peer support and crisis intervention.
Also, people who do not speak or understand your language may appear emotionally distressed because they are confused. Try to avoid colloquial expressions, plays on words, contractions, or too much slang. Feel free to ask the person what his/her language is and/or check the person's profile for clues. Use a translator or a translation website, if desired:
If you don't understand a participant and your translation method only creates more confusion, contact Khaki for assistance. Khaki may be able to locate a Ranger who speaks that language or call upon a volunteer linguist. If Khaki is unavailable, request interpreter assistance in the BURN2 Rangers group or other BURN2 groups, if necessary.
Local Chat versus Instant Message (IM)
Be aware that not all participants know how to use Instant Messaging (IM), especially those new to Second Life. If you IM someone and don't get a response, get within local chat range (20 meters) and try contacting the person via local chat. Be sure to use his or her name so the person knows who you're addressing. If you need to discuss something sensitive with the participant, use local chat to explain how to use private IM windows and then continue the conversation in private IM when the person is able.
The Rangers are a "do-ocracy": when you see something that needs to be done, you do it. This is reflected in our lack of in-world roles.
Rangers encourage a community of shared responsibility.
Any Ranger who patrols the playa. All Rangers are Dirt Rangers first.
A participant who has expressed a desire to become a Ranger, but has not yet completed training.
A veteran who has history and experience performing as a Ranger at BURN2 and may also have experience as a Black Rock Ranger in RL at Burning Man. This is not a special group tag, nor does it confer special powers. You will know the Senior Rangers by their stories and the experience they share with others. These people are founts of information and experience. If you are a new Ranger, ask to buddy up with a Senior Ranger! Senior Rangers get their training first, so we can get them to work right away.
An on-duty role, the person currently acting as a shift point-person and dispatcher, committed to monitoring communications and coordinating any needed Ranger activities. This position is often performed by a Senior Ranger, but can be taken on by any Ranger who is good at multitasking. When 3 or more Rangers are on the Playa, a Khaki must be designated. The Khaki will perform a roll call and coordinate communication. You do not need to know who the current Khaki is in order to ask for information or orientation. Simply ask for "Khaki" on your Ranger radio. If no one answers, the Rangers can decide among themselves who will be Khaki. Khaki should keep track of who is going on- or off-shift, and remind Rangers coming off an interaction to "Take their LSD." See below 😉
Ranger Leadership - Co-Leads
Burn2 Ranger leadership is provided by two equal Leads. This demonstrates that Ranger Leadership is not about one person, power, or authority, but collaboration, cooperation, and mutual respect. Leads provide time pre and post events to get things done, decided, built, and organized. They will divide up tasks of training, creating notices, communication between departments, and any other aspects of Ranger operation. One or both of the leaders will attend the weekly planning meeting (either Thursday or Sunday), the bi-monthly leads meeting, and event planning meetings." In cases where matters require a vote between departments, if both are present, there is .5 for each, or 1 if only one lead is present or available for a vote. We also recently added the role of Lead Assistant (3 positions). These Senior Rangers are able to post notices and direct operations when both of the two Co-Leads are unavailable for critical and/or extended times.
These are Rangers with the authority to ban an avatar (beyond a 24 hour emergency ban) from the Burn2 Regions. Banning avatars from the Burning Man sims (Estate bans) are very serious actions that happen very rarely on the Burning Man/BURN2 sims--an average of one or two new problem people per year--and only as an action of last resort, after a thorough investigation has taken place and after multiple mediation attempts and other interventions have taken place and failed. A ban from the Burner community is considered a form of creative death. At Burning Man 2000, RL Black Rock Rangers began referring to the ability to execute a ban by invoking the James Bond Movie “007- License to Kill”. Consequently, people with the authority to decide estate bans are called 007s, just like our RL Burning Man counterparts.
The 007s are a team made up of the most long-standing and highly respected individuals in Burn2. The identities of the 007s are confidential. The primary responsibility of the 007s is that they perform a final review on bans. They operate on consensus. All 007s are Ranger trained and use the Rangers’ FLAME process. By protocol, they thoroughly discuss and analyze all aspects of an issue before deciding whether an avatar should be banned.
Note that 007 is not necessarily a Ranger role, but may be an Estate Manager role with Ranger and special 007 training.
Second Life Group Memberships
BURN2 Rangers Group
The BURN2 Rangers group (B2R) is the primary communication group for the BURN2 Rangers. This group consists of all Rangers who have completed training within the past twelve months. Membership in this group is mandatory because it is our primary means of communication year-round, and our secondary means of communication during events.
Rangers who have not completed training within the previous twelve months will be removed from the group. If you wish to continue to receive Ranger announcements and updates, please ask for an invitation to the BURN2 Alpha Rangers group.
Membership in the BURN2 Rangers group is by invitation only. If you need an invitation to the group, contact a BURN2 Rangers Lead. You must have completed BURN2 Ranger or Black Rock Ranger training within the previous 12 months to be in this group. Those who have completed Black Rock Ranger training will need to provide their BRC Ranger call sign so their training status can be verified. (Email the information to rangers (at) burn2 (dot) org.) If you have not completed training within the previous 12 months, contact a BURN2 Rangers Lead for an invitation to the BURN2 Alpha Rangers group.
This group will be cleared of all Rangers who do not complete training for the current year (usually in September). Rangers who have gone inactive may be invited to join the BURN2 Alpha Rangers group with a special group tag denoting their retired or inactive status.
BURN2 Alpha Rangers Group
The BURN2 Alpha Rangers group (B2AR) is the BURN2 Rangers recruiting group. Ranger recruits who have not yet completed training and inactive Rangers may request to join this group for updates, news, and the opportunity to get to know fellow new recruits. After completing training, Alpha Rangers will be moved to the regular Rangers group.
Membership in the BURN2 Alpha Rangers group is by invitation only. Prospective Rangers will need to be active as a volunteer at Burn2 for at least 1 year, including OctoBurn, and have a positive recommendation from a lead. Exceptions are returning Burn2 Rangers, BRC and other regional Rangers who have been vetted as to their current status.
It is not necessary to have membership in both the BURN2 Rangers and BURN2 Alpha Rangers group.
BURN2 Access Group
The BURN2 Access group (B2A) owns the BURN2 plots, and membership is mandatory during BURN2 events. Your BURN2 Access group Ranger role will give you special abilities that enable you to do your job, and it will enable your radio to function on B2A group owned plots. In addition, participants may place requests for Ranger assistance in BURN2 Access group chat.
However, membership is not mandatory in between events, and before any event that requires a Ranger presence, those who have signed up to work will be re-added to the group in the Ranger role. Any Rangers in the BURN2 Access group during events at which they will not be working may have their Ranger role removed to prevent participant confusion. If you find your Ranger role removed or if you find yourself removed from the B2A group, do not be alarmed. This group is constantly changing, and you will be re-added to the group in the appropriate role when needed.
Membership in the BURN2 Access group is by invitation only. If you need an invitation to the group, contact a BURN2 Ranger Lead. You must have the B2A Ranger role to have special Ranger abilities. Please check to make sure you have both the B2A group and the B2A Ranger role before going on shift at any event. Be sure to have your BURN2 Access group Rangers tag active whenever you are on patrol so people can easily identify you.
BurningMan 2.0 Group
The BurningMan 2.0 group (BM2) is the general BURN2 group. Membership is mandatory during any BURN2 events because participants may place requests for Ranger assistance in BurningMan 2.0 group chat. It is not mandatory in between events, however.
This group is open-enrollment and anyone may join it at will. All Rangers should join this group to get BURN2 announcements, including those for recruitment opportunities. Any active Rangers can request the Ranger role tag.
Rangers who need to drop groups in between events may wish to keep the BURN2 Rangers group and drop the BurningMan 2.0 and BURN2 Access groups. However, be aware you may miss important BurningMan 2.0 announcements as these are NOT usually sent out to the Rangers group.
Burn2 SL Rangers Discord Server
Joining the Ranger Discord or keeping up with conversations is not mandatory. Links to documents and notices will still occur through the SL Ranger group. It is an effective mode of communication, especially if a Ranger cannot log into SL.
Ranger Resources on the Playa
Ranger Headquarters aka HQ
During the weeks leading up to and including the main BURN2 event each Fall, Rangers will have a temporary headquarters on the Playa, just as at Burning Man. If so, this will be the main Ranger HQ during this event.
If the Rangers do not have a temporary HQ during BURN2 events, then we will operate out of the Gerlach Burning Man HQ.
Rangers may also have a temporary "alternative" outpost HQ (usually referred to as "Alt HQ") in one of the lower lag regions during the week of BURN2. This is something that will be determined on an as-needed basis. Generally, Alt HQ is used when traffic around Gate Road and Center Camp is heaviest. If lag at Ranger HQ becomes unbearable and communication breaks down, then it may be appropriate to move to this alternative location.
Please sign up for specific shifts, if you can. Before each event an Ops Lead will request everyone sign up for two-hour shifts, and the information will be added to a Google Docs spreadsheet that will be accessible to the group and may also be displayed on a viewer at HQ. You may sign up for multiple two-hour shifts, and you are more than welcome to work beyond the times for which you have committed.
Honor the shifts you've scheduled; provide ample notice if you can't make it. Contact Khaki, IM someone in the BURN2 Rangers group, or email email@example.com. If RL springs up to trump your shift, please let the Khaki know the reason for your absence the next time you log on. Long explanations are not necessary; a family member was sick, you had to stay late at work, car broke down, whatever. It is better to let someone know, even if your reason was "I forgot," than to not say anything.
You are MORE than welcome to work unassigned shifts in addition to the shifts for which you are scheduled. If you do, just announce your presence when you go on and off patrol so the other Rangers and Khaki know you're there and available. Also PLEASE add your name to the schedule, even if in ½ hour increments. This allows us to see who was on duty at particular times.
Rangers wear costumes (costuforms), not uniforms. This costume grew out of the original desert environment of Burning Man – broad brimmed hats for sun protection and khaki clothing the color of desert playa dust. (The desert on which Burning Man is held is a long-dried-up lake bed; a fine alkali dust, not sand, confronts event participants.) Rangers must be identifiable and wear the Ranger insignia, but are free to add embellishments, patches, ornamentation and to develop their own unique style. Upon completing Ranger training, you will be given a Ranger's kit containing such items as a hat, a radio, and several different shirts. The radio is a Second Life™ communications device, keeping you in touch with the rest of the Ranger cadre. (Furries and other non-human avatars may wear just the hat and radio.)
You must wear the hat, radio/walkie, role tag, and shirt while on duty. DO NOT wear the Rangers’ hat, shirt and role tag, if you do not intend to be “on duty”. If you are on the Playa in another role, such as Lamplighter, Greeter, Stage Manager, etc, and wish to keep access/awareness to the Rangers via the radio, you may wear the radio inconspicuously.
Remember: B2 Rangers are NOT a police force. A Ranger should appear friendly and approachable. Military camouflage or dark authoritarian police colors are not to be used. Accessories that send a message of hostility or aggression are to be avoided. Rangers do not carry weapons, guns, knives, large flashlights or clubs, nor do Rangers use scripted shields or other forms of Second Life™ defense (such as send home HUDS). Rangers do not push or nudge a seemingly AFK avatar unless a consensus among the Rangers on duty has taken place, and it is agreed that the avatar is blocking a performance or right of way on the road. Accessories that are utilitarian or display humor and/or art are encouraged. You may not be naked or appear overtly sexual on duty. Please also refrain from driving military-type vehicles.
Each Ranger will be given a Ranger radio. The radio is used to communicate with other Rangers on duty and functions on an estate-wide channel (as opposed to the group chat, which goes out to everyone in the Rangers group regardless of where they are on the grid). By using the radio, you agree to allow all chat sent over this system to be logged for reference by other Rangers.
Use the radio to speak with Rangers who are on-shift and on-playa. Use BURN2 Rangers group chat to ask for more Rangers to come on shift, or for social purposes, or if radio communication becomes ineffective.
If you are on playa and not on shift, but wish to be available if needed, you may wear just the handheld radio. This way, you can listen to radio traffic while still being part of the mediation.
Basic Radio Protocol
In order to broadcast on the Ranger radio text chat channel, you must first type /(current channel #) in the local chat window, followed by your message. When you come on shift, please send a quick message over the Rangers radio:
Coming on shift: /channel # On comm in [region]
Taking a break: /channel # Off comm, back in [approximate # of minutes, hour, whatever]
Coming back from break: /channel # On comm in [region]
Going off shift: /channel # Off comm
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE announce yourself when you come on and off shift, ask who is Khaki? This lets Khaki and/or other Rangers know you're out there. It also makes a note in the log of your being on shift so when we compile statistics at the end of the event, you're counted and get credit for having worked the event.
If you need to discuss something sensitive, personal, or confidential, please take it to a private chat or private chat conference. DO NOT DISCUSS IT OVER THE RADIO.
On occasion, the radio may go down, such as if a transmitter is moved/removed or during Burn time when scripting may be disabled to cut down on lag. When radios go down, use the BURN2 Rangers group as the backup communication tool.
Threatening to ban is almost never a good tactic.
Griefing is generally defined as intentionally antisocial online behavior. Generally, there are three types of griefer.
- One is the psychotic who derives pleasure from causing pain.
- Another is the griefer whose underlying purpose is to poke fun at the seriousness with which many people pursue their online lives. They will spend hundreds of hours trying to destroy your investment in virtual worlds, whether those investments are financial or investments of your time and volunteer energy. Their motto is the sarcastic statement “The Internet is Serious Business.” But most griefers use the same general toolkit to try to impact others.
- The third type is the revenge griefer, who acts to avenge a perceived wrongdoing.
Rangers need to be personally immune to the griefers toolkit. If you have ever used the term “microagression” in a non-sarcastic manner, rangering really is not the job for you. If you have a lot of “triggers”, rangering really is not the job for you. Rangers must be able to ignore violent images, references to rape, to Nazi iconography, to racial insults of the foulest kind. The Ranger needs to understand that these are nothing more than the tools used by griefers to achieve their ends… getting others upset. The Lab has given us tools to counter these things. Rangers advise others how to use them. Rangers may or may not be able to use these countering measures themselves, because they will no longer know what is happening or who is doing it, therefore rangers must be immune to these taunts. Before you continue your Ranger training, please consider whether you can divorce your psyche from such attacks.
Griefing Mitigation Process
When dealing with griefing, it is vital to use good Ranger techniques including mediation, active listening, and creative problem solving. Thoroughly FLAME the situation, applying the assumption that everyone is doing his or her best.
Handling a Minor “Griefing” Incident
The first rule of Rangering is “do nothing”. Burners have a far more liberal definition of griefing than most people do. If penis toys are falling from the sky and no one has complained, the incident is Artistic Expression, and you do not need to be reading this.
If you do receive a complaint, first ask yourself (and the complainer!), “Is this activity really hurting anything?” If the response is, “Well, I guess not”, then consider it Artistic Expression. Pranking is a hallowed tradition in Burner Culture… it is not considered griefing.
If the complainer insists that there is a problem, proceed to the next section.
Moderate Griefing- Common Examples
Moderate griefing is griefing that the Lab gives us obvious menu tools to mitigate. Some examples of moderate griefing include:
- Playing annoying sounds repeatedly
- Filling the sky with particles, prims or images
- Standing or clowning on a stage during someone else’s scheduled performance
- Saying rude or annoying things in chat, IM, or voice
- Dominating a field of vision (commandeering, controlling or filling a computer screen for an unreasonable length of time)
Moderate griefing sometimes includes TOS violations such as adult imagery or discriminatory slurs. However, there is plenty of time to FLAME the situation and offer options and solutions.
Moderate Griefing- Tips to give Participants
Suggest to the complainer that they practice Radical Self Reliance by simply leaving the area and going to look at something else for a while. Burn2 has a lot to look at, and griefers get bored with no audience. Everyone has the tools to avoid most types of harassment.
If the griefing is occurring at a stage, leaving the area is not practical. Griefers know this; a stage is therefore an “attractive nuisance” often targeted for its built-in audience. Try the following steps to solve the problem. Don’t forget to suggest these to musicians as well! It’s their artistic expression that is being interfered with. Pass them directions in IM, and suggest they pause between songs to apply them. (Generally, griefers cannot affect enjoyment of the music performance itself, it is carried on a separate stream. They can only affect the stage environment.)
- First, if the griefing is sound, particle or chat based, suggest to the complainer(s) that they block/mute the offending avatar or objects. This stops the flow of information between the griefer and the complainer(s). Blissful silence (or the music from the stage) will resume!
• (Right-click avatar → Block)
- If the griefing is avatar based (like an irritating avatar wearing large objects that block the view), suggest that the complainer(s) derender the offending avatar. This makes the offender, (and all their worn stuff), vanish from the complainers’ view.
• (Right-click avatar → Mute or Block (depending on your viewer)
- If the source of the grief cannot easily be seen or located, or it’s a gang of dang griefing griefers, toggle volume rendering off. This quick fix will remove all prims and builds from your scene, leaving only the avatars and the music! Cool! (If the performance is a stage play, or anything that requires the stage and props to be visible, volume derendering is not practical.)
• Control-Alt-Shift-9 (PC) or Control-Option-Shift-9 (Mac) Repeat to turn render back on.
It’s handy to have a notecard ready to explain these procedures; either ‘give” the notecard or paste the contents into local chat or IM.
If you are an Estate Manager, and a problem is filling the entire estate, try “Send Message to Estate” teaching participants to use appropriate defensive tools. Estate Managers can also use “Return Objects Owned by User” if they are SURE the griefer is aware of their actions. (A legitimate camp builder may have something attached to them without realizing it. This would also return their entire camp!)
Tips for Addressing the Griefer
Next, try to communicate with the offender. Try private IM first. If they do not respond, try local chat to direct them to IM. After establishing communication, ask them nicely to stop or if they need help stopping; they may have something attached to them that they don’t know how to remove, or they might not realize they are standing on a stage. Use all your training and mediation techniques. Remain calm, no one is going to die from griefing. Some things to try: Explaining as early and as simply as possible reasons for the request. Suggest options: (go to a properly rated sim, remove the erection for a flaccid penis, arrange for a performance that has less impact on our sim). Invite them to participate in our community after they have cleared up the issues. Or they may choose to come back with an alternate, non griefing avatar.
If these steps fail, Rangers have the group ability to freeze an avatar, or eject/move the offender off the current land parcel. If you resort to this, follow them and continue FLAMEing, using your mediation skills to determine if this is a community member just horsing around (convince them not to) or a bona-fide griefer just trying to harass.
If the griefing avatar returns to the scene of their exploit several times and people continue to complain (if everyone has taken defensive steps, they may no longer see the offender, or even care), suggest to those still affected that they may Abuse Report the person.
If the behavior escalates, especially if it contains blatant violations of the 10 Principles or Terms of Service (such as portraying intensely violent acts, or content that is obscene, hateful, racially or ethnically divisive) proceed to the next section, Major Griefing.
When all attempts to curb moderate and ongoing griefing have failed, or there is concern the sim may crash, (watch your Statistics window) you have Major Griefing. Immediately request that all participants should file Abuse Reports against the trouble maker (right-click their avatar → Report), even if they have already done it once. A flood of ARs will be noticed by Linden Labs. Pictures are important in ARs, with the person’s name and location in the address bar. You may use gyazo. Khaki will assign who is to do the LSD report and who is to send the email to the 007s. (YOU may be Khaki). If no 007s are available to help, major griefing incidents should still use the Linden Labs default: all affected participants should file an Abuse Report on the trouble maker. LSD reports should still be filed, and 007s will follow up on the email and make a determination later whether to add the avatars’ name to the ban list.
Banning avatars from the Burning Man sims (Estate bans) are very serious actions that happen very rarely on the Burning Man/BURN2 sims--an average of one or two new problem people per year--and only as an action of last resort, after a thorough investigation has taken place and after multiple mediation attempts and other interventions have taken place and failed. A ban from the Burner community is considered a form of creative death. At Burning Man 2000, RL Black Rock Rangers began referring to the ability to execute a ban by invoking the James Bond Movie “007- License to Kill”. Consequently, people with the authority to decide estate bans are called 007s, just like our RL Burning Man counterparts.
The 007s are a team made up of the most long-standing and highly respected individuals in Burn2. The identities of the 007s are confidential. The primary responsibility of the 007s is that they perform a final review on bans. They operate on consensus. All 007s are Ranger trained and use the Rangers’ FLAME process. By protocol, they thoroughly discuss and analyze all aspects of an issue before deciding whether an avatar should be banned.
Temporary, emergency bans may be instituted by a Senior Ranger and an Estate Manager (who has the ability to ban). The 007 team will review the ban within 24 hours, consider extending the ban and/or continue the mediation process, or remove the ban.
There are several reasons for which a ban may be implemented on an avatar. Burn2 007s align with the BRC Rangers in that they are the only group in Black Rock City empowered to evict participants. The most obvious of those is that the person presents a threat or has inflicted serious harm upon members of the community or presents a threat to the regional. There is no all-inclusive list of every thing that could constitute a bannable action, but a ban is such a serious thing that it is an action of last resort; the 007s recognise that a ban excludes an avatar from participating in any and all activities of the regional.
Recent changes in 007 procedure include that a 007 will be assigned as incident manager to coordinate the investigation and communication regarding the request for banning within 24 hours of an email being sent. All parties involved (the accuser/victim/perpetrator) in a request for banning will be also notified. 007s being called in does not mean that a ban is in progress. When 007s arrive on a scene, they FLAME the situation with a fresh perspective. Should the 007 team be unable to craft any other workable solution to the issue and they agree by consensus, that the only (or best) solution is banning from Burn2, the participant will be banned.
During your Ranger training, a list of current Estate Managers will be shared with you. In the case of an emergency, a ban can be instituted by an Estate Manager (ability to ban) and a Senior Ranger. Khaki also needs to see that a LSD AND an email to the 007s was completed. The email address will also be shared in the training.
Ejecting and Freezing
These actions are equivalent to putting your hands on someone, and should be only done when patrolling in pairs and reserved for extreme incidents.
From the Black Rock Ranger Manual: Intervention and Escalation
We talked about “first do nothing.” But sometimes we need to do something. In general, we start with the least intrusive intervention (unless it’s an emergency) and move to more direct interventions if/when it becomes necessary.
There is a spectrum of intervention techniques, from less intrusive to more intrusive like this:
- Do nothing, say nothing, quietly observe.
- Say hi and/or introduce yourself. (This can be a very subtle intervention; just by calling attention to your presence you can influence things.)
- “Sorry to bother you, are you doing ok? Do you need any help?”
- “Hey, could you do me a favor?” (A very polite request; makes it clear it’s strictly optional for them to comply. It’s a favor, after all.)
- “You should know that if you do this...” (Explain consequences)
- “Please don’t do that.” (Directly request action)
- “I need you to stay back / slow down / not drive here.” (Demand action)
- STOP!” (Urgently demand action in a dangerous situation)
- Physical intervention for safety if all else fails—What’s the one job in Rangers where this is actually part of the job description? Answer: Sandmen. (from DiverDave)
In Second Life we rarely, if ever, have a true life threatening situation.
However, Rangers on patrol may eject Away from Keyboard avatars AFK or unresponsive avatars from Lamplighter routes and Burn regions if they are unresponsive to requests to move out of the way for an event. Rangers will communicate to Khaki when such an action is needed, and follow-up with a note card to the AFK/non-responsive avatar. This is not so unlike assisting a passed out person at BRC to a place of safety and out of the crowd.
Freezing an avatar is a last resort response to an avatar that is ignoring requests to talk and continues to engage in griefing behavior that causes several participants to request a Ranger to intervene. This may be rezzing object after object on public land using their access tag, running into other avatars, throwing objects or particles, dancing on a stage and interfering with a performance after repeated requests from performers and stage crew, etc. Freezing should be done in pairs, as one Ranger starts, and the other starts again when the freeze has worn off, all the time trying to communicate with the avatar. Rangers need to keep Khaki aware of the situation. Khaki can request 007 assistance, and/or an emergency ban.
In the case of an avatar on the stage and being unresponsive, the 2 Rangers at the scene can make a determination to eject the avatar after exhausting attempts to speak with the avatar. This should ONLY be done at the request of the performer and the OK from Khaki.
A new development during 2022, was that Music/Performer plots could utilize a device provided by the performance department and eject/boot to the edge of the plot an avatar that was menacing the performance. This device sends an email to Rangers. The first Ranger to intercept the email will logg it on a page/tab with the Ranger Shift sign ups. This allows a quick look at what problems are reported from the performance department. Follow-up needs to occur ONLY if there was a conflict not quickly resolved. If there are repeated uses of the device on a particular avatar, follow-up MUST occur.
MOST annoying behaviors by avatars at public events, (Snide comments in local, wearing a really big hat, throwing too much fire, being on a large horse should be dealt with by requesting that the complainer use their system tools such as derendering and muting (see mild/moderate griefing above).
Some newer avatars are unaware of IMs. One method to figure out if an avatar is AFK or ignoring you is to stand in front of the avatar, but at least a good arm’s distance away, and like in RL try to make eye contact. Continue to try to communicate in IM and in local. They will move or speak with you if they are not AFK.
The BURN2 Rangers have a reporting system called LSD (Location, Situation, Determination) which they use to file reports on situations where they are called to assist. They document the issues for historical reference and, when needed, they become input into any cases that may require review by 007s. B2 Rangers are annually trained in the use of the LSD.
Rangers must file LSD reports on the following situations:
- Death, for real death.
- Ideation of harm to self or others, Suicidal ideation.
- Descriptions or acts of sexual assault or non-consensual violence (non-virtual).
- Psychiatric or Physical Emergencies (additionally, refer the individual to appropriate local help sources).
- Elder or child abuse.
- Harassment, Bullying, Lewd/explicit sexual conduct or description.
- Violent, disruptive behavior, ideations of intent to harm the technology platform.
- Avatar non-consensual assault
- Violations of a virtual community ToS, or CS (or Code of Conduct) Including commodification, maturity policy/adult content, harassment or offensive behavior in group chat, etc.
- Anytime you recommend muting and/or blocking an Avatar.
- Anytime a participant is banned or removed from a virtual community ( or communities).
- Anytime an avatar is ejected or frozen. This is like a RL Ranger putting their hands on a participant. Clearing areas for the Man or Temple Burns are an exception. Ejecting AFK or unresponsive avatars should be followed with a notecard. This is like in RL moving a passed out person to a safe area. Rangers do NOT need to file a LSD in these instances unless conflict or a dispute arises around that.
- NEW to Burn2, we have an incident report form available to the public at https://www.burn2.org/policies/burn2-incident-report-form/. This form can be used at any time, and it is especially useful for reporting incidents that occur when there is no Ranger available to assist at the time. Reports through this form will be sent to the Regional Contact and the Ranger Co-leads, who will assign Rangers to follow up and file a record in the LSD. A Ranger Lead will communicate with the reporter and should attempt to speak with all the parties (or assign a Ranger who has more knowledge of the situation) and write the LSD. Any Ranger may be asked to assist with these tasks.
- Anytime a major part of a build or an entire build is returned.
- Reports need to be made on returned MOOP. DO send a notecard if one or both of these situations are included in the situation:
1) The return might have special significance, such as something related to the manipulation of a parcel or a griefing incident, or
2) The participant was not online at the time you sent a notecard and IM to request s/he come get the item. You do NOT need to file a LSD report every MOOP, for instance a stray one or 2 prim object.
Second Life™ Abuse Reports (AR)
Abuse Reports for Second Life must be filed by every Ranger involved in an abuse incident where mediation has failed, such as a griefing incident, and especially anytime 007 assistance is involved. Note: You do not need to file an AR if you are assisting a participant with compliance.
Using your SL Viewer of choice, find the feature in the viewer that assists you in making an Abuse Report. Include a screenshot if the AR involves griefing. Select the appropriate category for your AR; if you're not sure, ask others for advice. Choosing the right category makes a difference in how quickly an AR is processed. Enter the offending avatar's name; if you don't know the avatar's name, enter "Governor Linden" instead. Enter the location of the abuse as a SLURL. If you don’t know how to obtain the SLURL, ask a fellow Ranger. Enter a summary title and then a description of the abuse. Be thorough. Screen shots that include the location bar and names of avatars are highly recommended. Copying chat logs is not advised, but a screenshot of the chat/IM window is a good validation of avatars, dialogue, and date/time. Chat logs belong to Linden Lab and Lindens can look them up and read. Be sure to state on the first line of the description that you are a BURN2 Ranger.
List other avatars involved and/or include chat transcripts. Edit the transcripts for brevity, as necessary. The Linden Lab RESI (Resident Experience Support Inworld) Team can pull the entire transcript from the server logs, if they need it. Keep a copy of the complete chat transcript in a notecard in your inventory. Better yet, enable chat logging and IM logging in your preferences so you can refer to who said what in the future.
If you cannot use chat logging for some reason, notecards are your friends! Anytime you have contact with a questionable individual, copy/paste the chat transcript into a notecard and save it in your inventory. Hint: Create a "BURN2 Rangers 2023" folder in your inventory and keep all your chat transcript notecards and any note cards sent to participants about prim overages, commodification, etc. in that folder. It will make your life easier. Document everything. And don't be surprised if you become the target of an Abuse Report — this is normal. Your documentation will help there, too.
Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities
All BURN2 volunteers should read over the rights and responsibilities section of the BURN2 web site: https://www.burn2.org/who-is-burn2/we-are-volunteers/principles-of-volunteering/.
Ranger Code of Behavior
THIS IS IMPORTANT - STRICTLY ENFORCED
A Ranger is expected to be unfailingly honest, from which all other expectations derive. Do what you say you’ll do. Honor the Ranger role you've taken. Rangers on duty are expected to behave in a manner that expresses the best of Second Life, BURN2, and Burning Man. The following may result in ejection from the Ranger team:
- Losing self-control.
- Misusing your special role or role abilities by throwing your weight around.
- Making demands or making threats and acting unprofessionally.
- Resorting to acts of humiliation or intimidation or taunting or mocking others.
- Abusing the community’s trust.
- Blogging, tweeting, or otherwise publicly posting privileged information. This includes Facebook, GTalk, Skype, and other social media status updates.
- Terms of Service and Community Standards violations found to be true.
- Sexual harassment or misconduct.
- Rangering while altered - drunk or stoned.
- Assault or any other acts of violence.
- Knowingly neglecting a big problem. Alert others if you can’t deal with it! Yes, just kick it sideways.
Harassment is defined as any unwelcome verbal (text or voice chat) or physical conduct engaged in with another avatar. Harassment in any form can and will get you removed from the Ranger cadre and possibly even the BURN2 sims. This includes aggressive, combative, confrontational, or offensive behavior; unwanted sexual advances, spanking, or biting. And, if someone tells you to stop, do so immediately. Also, silence is NOT consent! If you attempt to interact with someone and he or she ignores you, stop.
Silence is NOT consent.
Please remove or disable the following while on shift or in Ranger costume:
- Evil titlers
- Spanking HUDs
- Obscene or offensive gestures
- Shields or combat meters
- Vampire HUDs (Vampires are welcome as Rangers, but no biting while on shift or in Ranger costume.)
- No weapons, disabled or otherwise
If you are in costume, or your Ranger tag is active, then this code applies, whether or not you are on shift.
If You Have A Problem
If you, as a Ranger, either on shift or not, have a problem on playa or with another Ranger, here are some ways you can get assistance.
First, remember that as a Ranger, you, too, are part of the BURN2 community. You can ask for Ranger assistance, just like everyone else. If you get into a situation in which you feel you are in over your head or things are getting out of control, call for help. DON'T let things escalate by trying to handle them yourself. You have special role powers others don't have, even if you are not wearing your Ranger group tag. These special role powers can be very destructive. No one is going to think any less of you for asking for help. And, if you make a mistake or have an accident that affects someone else, 'fess up to the Khaki or a Ranger Lead immediately so we can assist in mediating the situation. Your actions on playa, even when you're off duty, reflect on the entire B2 Rangers organization.
Second, if you have an issue or a disagreement with another Ranger, take it to IM or private voice chat. Do NOT use local chat, local voice chat, any group chat (including BURN2 Rangers group and the Ranger Discord Channel), radio chat, or group notices. No one needs to see or hear Rangers arguing in public. This makes all of us look bad. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with another Ranger in private, but please, keep it respectful. We are all volunteers; we are all here working together for the betterment of the BURN2 community. Keep the goals of the community in mind.
If you cannot come to an agreement with the other Ranger, either civilly agree to disagree and move on, or take your dispute to the Ranger Leads for mediation assistance and/or the BURN2 Regional Contact (3vilyn). You may be advised to take it up the ladder, and The Regional Contact can provide you the method to make that contact. Explain your side of the story. Provide as much detail as you feel comfortable providing. Take the rest of your shift off if you need some down time. Remember, we're all here to have fun.
And, if Khaki or a Lead tells you to take a break, please do so. Please do not argue about it, even if you feel the request is unreasonable. Just step aside, go to your home off playa, meet with friends, or log off your computer, whatever you need. Take a break. Come back in an hour or two or even the next day, if necessary . Your well-being is important, too, and if your stress levels are high, you're not doing anybody any good; especially yourself. If you think the request is unreasonable, present your case at a later time to the Rangers Lead or a Regional Contact.
If you have an issue with Ranger Leadership, PLEASE TALK TO ANOTHER RANGER LEAD OR TO A BURN2 REGIONAL CONTACT.
BURN2 Access Ranger Role Abilities
Membership in the BURN2 Access Group Ranger roles will give you the following additional abilities, beyond that of the everyone ("Camp Builder") role:
- Eject and freeze participants on parcels. The Eject command only moves the avatar who’s behavior is a problem to the edge of the parcel you are on, but it is helpful in quickly removing an offending avatar from the parcel. Freeze is very useful, especially when a tag-team approach is used, even though it's only effective for 30 seconds. Two Rangers alternately clicking Freeze on someone can keep the avatar immobile for a long time while you attempt to communicate and modify the offending participant's attitude and behavior. This should not be used lightly, as it pretty much defines passive-aggressiveness and can actually escalate some situations! Freezing an avatar is like a physical intervention. We typically save that for Griefers intent on damage.
- Return objects set to group. AVOID using this if at all possible - best to use Return Objects Owned By User
This is primarily used for MOOPing (cleaning up stray Matter Out Of Place), removing abandoned prims and vehicles taking up resources on public land. It may also be useful if a camp or artist with build rights decides to take up griefing as a sideline. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN USING THIS POWER... You can accidentally return roads, stages, and complex linked parts of someone's camp if you are not careful! Yes, you really can destroy builds with this power!!! Yes, it has happened!!! Return non-group objects. This will be useful if a parcel has been left open to public rezzing. If you discover a parcel set like this, contact a Placement person. (Check the BURN2 Access group roles.) It may be an oversight, or it may have been specially set that way to allow interactivity at a camp or art installation. But, any open parcel is subject to extra griefing when discovered by the mischievous.
- Deed objects, such as media players/radios.
- Move group-owned objects.
Linden Lab Protocols
Terms of Service and Community Standards
The Terms of Service (ToS) and Community Standards (CS) are your friends – know them! If you don't, you may find yourself on the unpleasant end of an Abuse Report.
Terms of Service
The ToS details the basic standards of behavior for all SL participants. It deserves at least one reading. Section 4, “Conduct by Users of Second Life™”, summarizes Linden Labs' requirements for continued participation in SL.
The goals of the CS are simple: treat each other with respect and without harassment, adhere to local standards as indicated by General/PG or Moderate/Mature sim rating, or real-world community.
The CS detail six behaviors – the "Big Six" – which will result in suspension, or, with repeated violations, expulsion from the SL Community: intolerance, harassment, assault, disclosure of personal information about another participant, violations of adult maturity definitions and restrictions, and disturbing the peace.
Be advised the ToS and CS are periodically updated, so be sure to check out the most current information.
Be aware that providing copies of chat transcripts to others on Linden Lab-owned servers without the consent of all parties is in violation of ToS. This includes all chat, whether local, group, or private IM. However, it is not a ToS violation to share copies of chat transcripts through other means, such as blogging on non-Linden Lab servers, email, or other non-Linden Lab Instant Messaging (e.g. DISCORD, email, cell phone texting, Google Talk).
Be very familiar with the Maturity Policy of Second Life™: https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/maturity-ratings-r52/.
BURN2 is rated "Moderate/Mature" on all regions. There are no "Adult" or "General/PG" regions here. (On occasion there may be a General/PG sim brought in for an event, so this policy may change periodically.)
Linden Lab Adult Content Policy
Linden Lab defines adult content as the following:
- Representations of intensely violent ACTS, whether or not photo-realistic (for example, depicting death, torture, dismemberment or other severe bodily harm). Note that depictions of death and images of dead bodies are acceptable; images of the act of taking a life or causing bodily harm are not. For example, a photo of a dead body in a puddle of mud, no matter how gross or disturbing, is acceptable according to LL's maturity guidelines, but a photo of someone putting a gun to another's head and pulling the trigger is not. One is a photo of a dead body; the other is an image of an intensely violent act causing harm to someone else.
- Photo-realistic nudity; photo-realistic means that an image either is or cannot be distinguished from a photograph. This refers to images, not avatars. A naked avatar wearing a photorealistic skin is acceptable, but an image of a naked person or avatar that cannot be distinguished from a photograph is considered adult. Naked avatars showing nipples, pubic hair, and genitals in public are acceptable; images showing these are not. (We are not commenting on the rationale of Linden Lab's maturity policy; just explaining it.) However, photorealistic nudity is allowed in areas that are not broadly visible to the public. Builders who wish to display photorealistic images of nudes may do so as long as those images are not easily visible from the public roadways or by passersby.
- Expressly sexually themed content, spaces or activities (whether or not photo-realistic); [Linden Lab] ...broadly defines what is "sexually themed" to include any sexually oriented activities and conduct. "Moderate/Mature" covers "sexy" or "burlesque" content, provided it does not PROMOTE sexual conduct, such as through pose balls.
BURN2 Avatar Nudity Policy
BURN2, like its real-world counterpart Burning Man, will allow avatar nudity as long as it is not shoved in anyone’s face. However, that still does not mean it's a free-for-all. Art work with Mature themes are allowed. The human body and the adult mind are accepted, but not forced upon others.
Depiction of nudity on avatars may include the representation of penis, vulva, or nipples using three dimensional objects. If represented in a natural, but non-aroused state, the depiction is acceptable within the guidelines of the sim. Anything that highlights or draws attention to genitalia, presents them as aroused, draws attention to them (such as wearing just a shirt) may be reason for them to be outside of the sim rating, and the participant may be asked to remove them or leave the Burn. Anyone disregarding a request to change or adjust his or her appearance to comply with these guidelines may have his or her access to the estate revoked.
How BURN2 will work to support this policy (internal process for staff and Rangers): If anything is questionable or we are unsure, we will err on the side of conservatism until we get a ruling from Burning Man.
BURN2 reflects Burning Man culture, which balances the freedom of individual expression with the needs of community harmony. If the depiction of avatars as naked humans offends anyone, we will advise him or her to either walk away or look away.
To clarify (vetted by both Burning Man and Linden Lab):
- Naked avatars are allowed on the Burning Man estate. If someone is offended, ask them to please look away.
- Non-aroused prim attachments (penis, vulva, nipples) are allowed.
- Genitalia cannot be exaggerated (beyond SL norms).
- Genitalia cannot have decorations or elaborations designed to attract attention (e.g. scripted, responding to touch).
- No animations or poses designed to attract attention to genitals or that are sexually overt.
- No shirt cocking! (Wearing a shirt, but no pants, shorts, or underpants.)
- If someone is acting out and no one is complaining, ignore it, unless it is explicitly adult.
Moreover, sexual harassment of any kind is not allowed, either at Burning Man or BURN2 and will be grounds for an Abuse Report. Sexual harassment consists of, but is not limited to, any unwelcome touching, stalking, repeated requests for a date after someone has said "no," continuing to engage in sexual discussion or banter after being asked to stop, or other similar behavior. Putting on an enormous attachment and chasing someone who does not want to be chased is sexual harassment and is not allowed. Verbal abuse will not be tolerated. With freedom comes responsibility; we are adults, but we are polite.
BURN2 is a reflection of a real-world entity and we will follow its conventions, which are stated above. We are all adults here: come dressed as a kid, a Gorean, or a Bovine Lummox... as long as you respect others you will be respected in turn. Child avatars ARE allowed at BURN2; don't let anyone repeat rumors to the contrary.
Yes, child avatars are allowed on Moderate/Mature sims. Child avatars are even allowed on Adult sims. And, child avatars are allowed around nudity. The only restrictions on child avatars are they are not allowed to participate in or be around sexually explicit activities. This question will come up during BURN2. Rumors always abound that child avatars are not allowed. This is simply not true:
- It is NOT a Linden Lab Terms of Service or Community Standard violation for child avatars to be around naked avatars.
- It is only against ToS or CS if the child avatar is engaged in sexual role play.
- If people are offended, they should look away or move to an area of the BURN2 sims in which they feel comfortable.
- Per M2, 2019, updated January 2020, and Burning Man, naked child avatars are NOT allowed (visible in public areas) or on ANY Burn2 regions at any time
Reading and Orientation
Please become familiar with the BURN2 web site to find the answers to many questions you will be asked: http://www.burn2.org/.
Be especially familiar with the Event Policies and the Builders' Guidelines. Guidelines may change for each event. Please look under the "EVENTS" menu item on the website, and the event calendar (to see the specifics for the event).
Consider editing your profile and making picks with these links so you can use these as references and info to all.
Rangers may volunteer to work with event leads to participate in building inspections. Always follow what protocol the lead(s) have in place, and contact the lead(s) if you choose to volunteer. Usually, there is a notecard sent to the builder with what is the problem with the builders' guidelines or infringements of the 10 Principles, and a date/ time to have completed the corrections. There is also a spreadsheet to make notations for this process. Rangers are highly encouraged to interact with builders, get to know them as neighbors and participants during the building weeks. This is a prime time to educate newer builders on our community values and shared ethos of the 10 principles.
The BURN2 Access group owns most of the BURN2 land; only those in the group may build camps or artwork or rez objects there. Stage managers also may be able to turn public scripting or rezzing on or off (to allow certain effects or to control griefing). If you are hanging out at a stage and a member of the stage staff requests your assistance with griefing, ask if he or she has these abilities, and then work out a plan of action. The solution may be as simple as shutting off public scripts.
Auto-return should be set to 2 minutes on every parcel at BURN2. If you find a parcel that is not set to auto-return, please notify a Ranger Lead who can change this. Please do not change this yourself as any objects set to the wrong group will immediately be returned. Auto-return for non-group objects will solve 90 percent of all griefing issues.
Parcel Info & Prim Limits
A common disagreement occurs when some participants are using more than their share of prims in their builds. This may be reported by other participants or noticed independently by Rangers on patrol. Rangers responding to "over prim limit" calls should refer the builders to the Event Coordinator.
Rangers are NOT responsible for monitoring prim counts - only mediating conflicts and referring the parties to the Event Coordinators.
For the most part, the megaprim issue of the past is moot. Builders are allowed to use large prims up to 64m in size, provided they are not one of the old,“dirty” megaprims. If you find a large prim and you are not sure whether it is a megaprim, file an incident (LSD) report and mark it for Lead review.
Leads will review and refer it to Event Coordinators if it is an issue. Megaprims and large prims no longer get an instant return because returning them can destroy weeks of work. Refer found megaprims to Event Coordinators by letting them know you filed an LSD for a possible Megaprim.
MOOP - Matter Out Of Place
Prims which are not within camp or art plot boundaries may be considered MOOP (Matter Out Of Place, trash, stray prims, etc.). Be on the watch for MOOP as you patrol the playa. If you find a MOOP object, notify the owner via IM and notecard if offline, and give him or her 24 hours to come get it. Be sure to file an incident report if the owner is offline so that other Rangers will know contact has been made.
If the object is blocking the roadway and the owner is unable to come get it right away, feel free to return it, along with a nice IM and notecard explaining why.
Also, Rangers returning any MOOP, please know what you're doing! You have the power to do significant damage. If you're not experienced at returning objects, please ask Khaki for assistance, or request assistance in the BURN2 Rangers group. We have plenty of Rangers on staff who would be happy to assist.
Parcel Boundary Overhang
Anyone should be able to drive an art car on all roadways without hitting an object. High overhangs are less of an issue as long as it can be driven under. Non-solid/Phantom objects are not a concern unless a neighbor complains about intrusion into a neighboring parcel. Large prims just slightly over the line can be ignored.
When such prims are over the parcel line, send an IM to the plot owner (and object owner, if different) AND to the Event Lead, explaining that the build is over the line, provide a SLURL, and then allow 24 hours for the owner to fix the issue. If no resolution occurs, then consult with a Senior Ranger or Khaki before taking action.
You can verify a person's prims are properly placed within a parcel if you check About Land -> Objects -> Refresh List button on the roadway around the parcel. If the roadway does NOT list any prims owned by that person, then his/her prims are all counting within his/her parcel.
Vending, Selling & Commodification
The BURN2 and Burning Man cultures are based on a gifting economy. Vending--e.g., selling items for money--is not permitted at BURN2. (Some items will need their sale price to be set to L$0 to be gifted.) Donation boxes, tip jars, etc. are not allowed at BURN2.
No kind of advertising, sponsorships, logos, or anything that lists or names a Second Life commercial entity or Second Life group is allowed, including note cards given out that include a company, entity, or business name or landmark. If people wish to let others know of their skills, it's acceptable for them to state “please see my profile for more information about me” or something to that effect in a notecard, and then include the businesses in their profile picks or profile information.
Please IM and notecard the participant and Event Lead to explain our BURN2 community standards. Give a one-day time limit for compliance during building time, pre-event. Once the event is underway, creatively cover the offending items with something, if possible. Don't cover it completely or the participant may be unable to remove it without assistance. Please include the following rule in your info to the participant:
BURN2 is completely non-commercial. There is no buying or selling in this city. No sponsorships, no logos; only acts of unconditional gift giving. Builds or content that seem like advertising will not be allowed. Advertising or recruiting for your groups will not be allowed, whether commercial, educational, recreational, charitable, or otherwise.
Note: It is not uncommon for participants to unknowingly use items that are set for sale by default in their builds. Be sure you let people know which objects are set for sale, maybe even make a comment to the effect that they are probably unaware of this, especially if the build is obviously not set up as a store. It will help reduce any embarrassment the participant may feel.
Please use your judgment when considering commodification issues. If someone is using an object that has someone else’s company logo on it (e.g., a video player) or the logo from a First Life entity (e.g., Coca Cola or U-Haul), and the person is not personally profiting from the logo’s visibility, then don’t be too concerned about it. Likewise, if someone is streaming a radio station on his or her parcel and it occasionally has advertising, let it slide, provided the person isn’t advertising his or her own services or products. Again, we’re not commodification cops. There are lots of logos at Burning Man. Although we would like for people to cover them up so we’re not constantly bombarded with this type of advertising, it does happen. Unless it’s a direct sale of goods or services, the question to ask yourself is whether the person is personally profiting from it.
Landmarks & TPs off playa
LMs and TPs to off-playa (BURN2 region) areas are not permitted, including TPs and LMs to educational and non-profits. We want people to experience BURN2 in the here and now. If participants really want to advertise something, suggest they keep their profile picks up to date. Anybody really intrigued by something they see at BURN2 will be able to find the creator without TPs or LMs.
Group Joiner Scripts
Scripts or objects that advertise or promote joining non-BURN2 groups, including chatted (in local or group) group invitations, are not permitted. Again, suggest to the participants that they update their profiles so anyone who wants to join their groups can do so.
BURN2 is noisy! It's a festival, so where at all possible help neighbors to self resolve and reach compromise through mediation. Sounds and voice chat coming from one parcel can be heard across parcel lines, just as at Burning Man. Suggest participants adjust their personal sound levels and work with them if they are unfamiliar with how to do this. Or contact a Lead to change parcel settings to prevent sound from leaving the parcel.
Objects that spam in local chat are considered light griefing, though usually through malfunction or ignorance rather than malice. Attempt to IM the owner, and if no response in 15 minutes or so, IM and send a notecard that you need to return it. Let him or her know no offense is intended, but it's driving people mad, and then send it back. In the event of disputes between plot neighbors that Rangers are unable to help mediate a mutually agreeable solution, it may be necessary to move one of the plot owners - in which case the Placement Lead (or Event Placement Lead) should be contacted to take care of this.
Ranger Tips and Tricks
- For looking at plots and trying to find something such as a sound or lost object for someone, try this list.
- For keeping track of a possible mischief maker, get them on your radar, and mark their dot for the map a different color. You can also track someone from that feature. Also open an IM with them, even if you do not speak with them. That way you have access to their profile. You also may try an innocent IM such as “hi there, how are you enjoying the burn so far?” That way you have them in your chat logs.
Last Updated: 09/2020
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