Decentraland Districts and the Drama of The Red Light District

Tara Annison
6 min readMar 22


Decentraland has 90,601 parcels of land; a mixture of developments and greenfield spaces yet to be built on.

There are 9 plazas (the green areas of the map) which are owned by the Decentraland Foundation and created for common use — think of these like parks in the real world. Genesis Plaza is where you pop up as you initially enter Decentraland and is worth a visit to get your bearings and a good sense of what interactions and builds are within the virtual world. The other plazas are themed and contain everything from an infinite art gallery (from OpenSea), an underwater reef complete with whale swimming around the watery sky, cherry blossom forest in Asian Plaza, alien-esque sand and white structure in the AngZaar Outpost, a spooky forest which is in a permanent state of Halloween (and where the Decentraland Halloween quests were), the festival ground for the Decentraland Music Festival (which was EPIC) and the colourful forest to explore in Forest Plaza.

The dark grey land is privately owned and the world is your oyster when it comes to the creativity of what you build on land you own. I’ve covered many builds in my previous metaverse pieces and there’s now more brands recognising the advertising potential and community engagement angle by building their own spaces.

Then there’s the purple land- districts. These are owned by collectives and intended to be built around a theme. Initially there were 56 districts each ranging in size and with themes from a Vegas style gambling area to Chinese culture spaces, from a giant shopping mall to a conference district, and even a red light district, which I will go into further detail about in this piece. Each district was created after a proposal was put forward that outlined what the goal for the district was, how much land was required, and how district community members would benefit from being involved in the district. The community could then ‘invest’ in the districts by voting with 1000 MANA and later contributing their land to expand the district.

Successful district proposals were sent LAND by the Decentraland Foundation and could then establish their own rules and district roadmap.

However by January 2019 (~1.5 years after the districts were established), 17 had been dissolved as the district leaders/leadership team had failed to establish their communities and meet the minimum district establishment standards.

As of today there are 39 districts and whilst many have continued to fulfil their ambitions and direction from initial proposal, some districts have changed course. One of these is District X, initially planned to be a red light district of adult content within Decentraland.

A “red-light district” within the Decentraland to help contain/manage/curate Adult services such as; Adult Live-chat, VR pornography, dating services and Adult themes e-stores

District X is located on the upper west side of the map, a 2001 parcel district with the original purpose of being:

A “red-light district” within the Decentraland to help contain/manage/curate Adult services such as; Adult Live-chat, VR pornography, dating services and Adult themes e-stores

It was initially proposed in Sept 2017 by a user called v1nc3nz0 with the virtuous aim of:

This would help to contain adult-related content into a singular area or district allowing for easier management and to keep it away from younger users accidentally stumbling across it. I would suggest distributing the harder adult content towards the center of said district, and kept indoors to minimize unwanted exposure.

A number of community members stepped forward to help take the proposal forward and 2,001 pieces of land were eventually contributed from 339 different addresses. By December 2017 a leadership team called Seven7 VR was created (headed by a user called SAAM.I.AM) and they put forward a proposal to the land contributors:

1. The right to a percentage of the District Pool revenue share commensurate to the percentage of Land contributed by token-holding members;

2. The right to cast one vote per district item in the voting block;

3. The right to claim and build on and manage a commensurate amount of Land within the district;

4. The right to sell their r token with understanding that all other rights associated are transferred to the new token holder exactly the same as it would if the actual Land token itself had been sold.

By early 2018 they had launched their own governance token, D7C, but a dramatic falling out between district leader SAAM.I.AM and another prominent district member RobL leads to a reported $50k from the project being syphoned out by SAAM.I.AM. Following this, another user OKCupid takes the reigns and puts forward a proposal for the district which receives an 85.7% approval vote. However the drama begins again when in August 2018, RobL files for District X LAND Holding LLC in Wyoming, effectively claiming legal ownership of the project and ousts OKCupid in January 2019 alongside the announcement that the district will no longer focus on x-rated content and instead it will be a land rental and management company. A year after the Decentraland metaverse officially launches in 2020, RobL removes the District X channel from the Decentraland Discord server, goes on a censorship spree to ban any dissenting voices, repurposes the DistrictX website and formally announces that stakeholders have no ownership rights.

As expected the district community who had contributed land under the guise of the original proposal were not happy.

They even created a petition to advocate for the Decentraland Foundation to remove RobL from his leadership position as holder of the keys to the DistrictX land and there’s been several posts on the forum asking for the land to be distributed to original stakeholders. However due to his significant land holdings, RobL has a more than 4m voting power which he can use to quash any negatively impacting votes.

So whilst the initial ambition of DistrictX may have been a red light district to house adult themed content, it’s now just another generic district albeit one with a dramatic history and controversial leader.

The only adult-content I could find from exploring and googling was:

I also found reference to a Gentleman’s Club called “Temptation” which was due to launch in 2019 but the plot of land is empty.

Originally published at