Inspirational – So, you want to be a writer? – by Charles Bukowski.

The original poem by Charles Bukowski obviously was about writing, but the soul behind the poem easily can be applied to parts of roleplay, or anything in life really. Enjoy.

Advertisements

Sturgeon’s Law in SL Gor

Not many are aware of Sturgeon’s Law and how it applies to almost everything in life. What is Sturgeon’s Law?

Sturgeon’s revelation, commonly referred to as Sturgeon’s law, is an adage commonly cited as “ninety percent of everything is crap.” The phrase was derived from Sturgeon’s observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, it could be noted that the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality and that science fiction was thus no different in that regard to other art.

I don’t think many people need to think deeply before they realize that the same is true about SL Gor. People who roleplay a lot in BtB Gor often state that everything in GE Gor is crap, and those who RP in GE Gor often complain that everything in BtB Gor is crap. While the truth most likely just is that 90% of both of them suck. Which inevitably leads to my own personal opinion that 10% of the highest quality sims in BtB Gor are often very similar to the highest quality roleplay sims in GE Gor, and that often the only main difference between the two is how they are tolerant of female combattants during the meter combat parts of the day, which honestly in both the higher quality BtB and GE sims is a minor part of the daily activities.

Are you a BtB RPer and curious about some of the higher quality GE sims, where they try to offer a believable gorean theme to all the roleplay, then try checking out some of the following places:

– THE ALAR: Jaym Wolfhunter and his crew often brought really interesting and engaging storylines to BtB Gor and they do the same even when they are in GE Gor.

– EINAR: Sadly this sim closed a while ago, but it had a great mix of really creative paragraph roleplayers. This is also the only sim I’ve ever seen in entire SL Gor where there was actually a believable “low caste” society that played out the superstitions and first knowledge of a community in Gor in a very believable and immersive manner. Some of their members are still roleplaying in the ruins over at the Primus sim though if someone is ever up for an adventure.

Are you a GE RPer and curious about some of the higher quality BtB sims where the slaves are allowed to have personality and you don’t hear people constantly whining about this or that not being ‘by the book’ then try checking out some of the following places:

– TARNWALD: This is the only sim I’ve personally have ever known in SL Gor which lets everything about the sim be determined by purely IC roleplay and does not put any OOC constraints in place or is plagued with a control-freakish administrator team. It has a lovely non-victorian rustic build and just roleplays many things which are rare in other places, such as a recent civil war, a non-permanent Ubar system, etc.

– AMHAS CAIRN: Not always very active yet as it’s a new sim, but it is part of an active 4-sim continent and it has a really detailed build and it has the same philosophies and approach towards roleplay as Tarnwald from what I could see.

So there you go… 10% of the sims in both BtB and GE Gor are actually pretty fun and suitable places to go have an authentic gorean experience for your characters. I’m sure there are others I might’ve missed or don’t know about in BtB and GE Gor, but above are just those I know out of personal experience.

The trap of OOC-play

Lately a philosophy is being pushed by a part of the playerbase in SL Gor which can only at best be described as “OOC”-play.

1. WHAT IS OOC-PLAY?

OOC-play basically comes down to the habbit of letting OOC preferences (too) heavily influence and determine the flow of storylines and even the life of your character. It goes against the virtue of creating a breathing, living, dynamic and immersive or engaging roleplay world. People who engage in OOC-play often stop storylines right in their tracks the moment they don’t like where the story is going, wether they are involved or not, they let OOC emotions (too) heavily influence what is allowed to be roleplayed to their characters or not, they let OOC constructions prevent the natural flow of roleplay, they basically let OOC influences determine the flow of storylines instead of letting this be determined by the roleplay and roleplayers itself.

2. WHY IS OOC-PLAY BAD?

It counters the whole purpose of roleplay and turns what is supposed to be an immersive and engaging world into a series of consentual short scenes and staged storylines. Often OOC-players are very selective, or rather cliqueish, in who they roleplay with, and even what they roleplay up to the point that they want everything that is about to be roleplayed spelled out from the start before engaging in it. Basically writing the plot for the staged scene before enacting it.

As should be obvious to many there is nothing virtuous or good-hearted about being cliqueish and selective about who you wish to roleplay. Neither is there anything virtuous about propagating the idea that one is allowed to be overtly selective about anything one wishes to roleplay. SL Gor has already suffered for many years from this habbit of people who refuse to roleplay out storylines the moment it isn’t going their way anymore, back in the days at least people used to shout invalid and pretend or claim that what was being roleplayed was ‘disney’ or ‘not gorean’ or ‘GE’ or whatever other excuse they could find. This new philosophy of OOC-play is no different… We have found over the past few weeks several examples of people who tried to use the philosophy of OOC-play intertwined with the usual excuses. First they try to claim that what is being roleplayed against them is ‘not BtB’ and once that doesn’t work anymore because people had proven them wrong by pointing to the right chapters in the books, they claim they ‘just don’t feel like roleplaying this particular direction of the story’.

As you can see OOC-play is nothing but another excuse to make sure that the people who can not stand playing out the bad parts in the lives of their characters can keep on roleplaying being the invincible super-character.

3. THE TRAP OF OOC-PLAY

Do not fall for the trap of OOC-play. The people who push the philosophy of OOC-play often reason their preference with the following arguments:

a. “We’re just here to have fun”
This is the example of how catchphrases can dumb down people’s reasoning. Obviously nothing sounds wrong with the phrase “we’re just here to have fun”, and people will often quickly jump on the bandwagon to agree with the catchphrase. But it is a rather self-destructive attitude to believe in such a simple phrase. What the OOC-players miss is that ‘fun’ does not come from cherry-picking exactly who and exactly what you’d like to roleplay (by picking only the things you think are fun). Fun comes from engagement, fun comes from sometimes having to deal with the bad parts in your character’s storyline and then enjoying and having even more great fun about the parts of the storyline where things are going your way, like a great reward for effort that has been put in.

Fun does not come from cherry-picking. Fun comes from taking part in an engaging, immersive and dynamic world where you roleplay the storyline of your character out, instead of using OOC tools to pick only the bits and pieces you think would be fun.

b. Seperating IC and OOC
This is an obvious requirement to preserve the integrity and flow of roleplay ofcourse and is indeed a proper virtue. The irony is that OOC-players often claim that those who don’t let their IC influenced by OOC somehow are the ones who do not properly seperate IC and OOC. Nothing is obviously further from the truth.

Roleplayers let storylines and their character’s lives be determined by the flow of the storyline and the decisions of other roleplayers.

OOC-players are the ones who say: “Hey maybe you’re scared that something might happen to your character in RP? Don’t worry here is an emergency exit for your characters”. They do not harness and cherish the deep emotions and emotional investments that roleplay in a pleasant and enjoyable manner can bring, they let OOC too heavily influence IC events.

If you have more questions feel free to ask them in the comments section.