One of the things you should really be aware about role play is that it can be quite time consuming. In better sims there is always something going on, you can try hard to achieve perfection in it, you can study a lot, talk a lot and so on. This can lend to the fact that some people are just going to be in the RP sims only for most of their time, neglecting their friends and being there for months.
Then, when the RP phase is over, they need to really start again, since they neglected so many old friends and quite some of them may have removed them from their friends list. So, take the advise, while RP is fun and allright, don't let it become your number one priority, if you haven't started in such a sim directly. You might hurt some people in the process, badly.
One of the toughest and most asked questions around is, if Gor is quite discriminating against women or not. Many just find the whole setup and role play quite disgusting because of the use of slaves, pleasure slaves, their punishments and the role women at whole play in that kind of medieval society.
So, how to approach that? Well, first let us take a look at some facts of Gor:
- John Norman believes in a natural order and thinks that living against that causes quite some trouble. So, this includes that males are being dominant, and women, while most of them are free, either need to choose between freedom or sexual fulfillment as a woman. Some people quite like the idea of such a natural order, because they think, all have there well met place in society, then, and that living against this order is the reason for many today's troubles in society at all.
- There are many slaves around, used for whatever kinds, but both male and female are possible.
- Although there are free women, they are highly appreciated and such, their place in society is of course more hurdlesome than that of free men. They have to wear veils and such and finding a partner is not easy, for them, while though they may use kajirii.
- There are severe punishments, of course, against all kinds bad stuff, but most times it seems that women are often being punished more severe than most men are.
- There are no female warriors on Gor according to the author himself, John Norman.
- Most gamers are going to tell you, when that topic is being raised, that all women on Gor are not stronger than a 12 years old - but of course, then again, a Panther can run around pulling a hard wagon with quite much stuff on it, go figure.
Well, there might be for sure other stuff, but it might give you an idea. The picture of the woman in Gor is quite clear, also that of the man. Gor is a man's world.
So the question is: is Gor about discriminating women or not? Well, this goes twofold:
- The picture of women being drawn in the Gorean novels is something that our society has been thrown away and overcome with in the last century. Women are being equal to men, more or less, and the hard decisions being showed in the book are not necessary, anymore. Also not every woman in reality would find fulfillment in the ways being shown in the books. So some may - and with reason - say, that the picture of women in the society of Gor, being compared with our own society, is something that's quite discriminating against them. Yes. Others of course are then telling you, that they think the Gorean system fits more nicely for them and they like it more that way.
- The other side of the coin is, that no one is being forced to play Gor. So those people playing slaves/women have a reason for being there, to play it, they are all there on their own will, they want to try out something different for a while, looking if it fits for them or not, so if you take that stance, Gor is not about discriminating women at all. All are there on their own will.
So a conclusion in that matter might be: while the picture of a woman in Gor's society might be viewed as quite discriminating compared to the role of a woman in a modern society per se, it really isn't about discriminating women at all, because all are there on their own will, because they want to try it out and the people, who dislike it, are going to leave it then, soon, while the rest of them is going to stay more or less long. In the end it is, again, what you make out of it.
Yesterday M Linden aka Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linde Lab, published an open letter to the community, in which he heralded the nice community base of this world, their devotion and layed out the future plans of Linden Lab for the Open Spaces sims.
In short: no change at all, all he did was just pulling out a bunch of nice word, putting the same old plans in a nice looking, neater soundng package and that's it. The tier change is coming as planned, also in the same amount in the end, it is just happening in two steps instead of one and that's all. Wonder when the next protests are going to show up...
One quite frequent discussion on all Gorean groups and channels in Second
Life is, if there is such a thing like one true Gorean role play or not.
Normally the people then take two main stances.
- There are the people who want to play as according to the books in Second
Life as possible and dislike so called onlineisms. An onlineism
is something, that is simple not there in the books, but became quite common in
certain sims of Second Life.
Examples for it are: there is a common phrase in
the book in the region of Torvaldsland called Jarl, which is
the way to adress a leader of them instead of Ubar. Bondsmaids address all free
men as Jarl, but in the books there is no such phrase as Jarla
to greet free women, but this is something that is quite common on certain sims
in Second Life, so this is a good example. The people who dislike onlineisms
don't ust this phrase at all.
Another example are female warriors. There is
no such thing in the books, even the author itself stated there is no such thing
on Gor, but on quite some Gorean sims in Second Life there are indeed female
warriors. So the people who really play by the books don't acknowledge them at
all as being valid.
- The other party of people is the crowd, which takes the stance, that while
the books are depicting the daily life of the planet Gor, they are only able to
depict small aspects of the whole culture at all, and, while not really
mentioned in the books, quite some stuff is still possible to be there in the whole setting and most likely is there, if you
come to think about it, and therefore should be considered a possible part of
Gorean role play even while not being mentioned in the books at all.
are the people, who don't bother using onlineisms then like "Jarla", perhaps also female
warriors and such.
So these are the two main parties, which constantly discuss on Second Life about what real
Gorean role play should be or not, what in it might be or not, sometimes also might engagne in flame wars. And because of this fact alone already, there is not just only one true Gorean role play, but every sim or alliance of sims makes up their own rules about what they consider valid role play or not. So what you get in reality in Second Life is quite a broad range about what real Gorean role play is about and what not, and coming with that, big, different rule sets.
While there are also some, which complain that there isn't such a thing just like one, big, unified Gorean Role Play at all, most other people tend to be at peace with that and just take it pragmatically, meaning playing at that sim which comes most near to their own ideal about what Gorean Role Play should be about and that's it at all, then, so with those two main parties you got in the consequence the opportunity to choice. And if there's no such thing like your ideal then, until today, you also got the opportunity to found such a sim, like all of us have.
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if the light is from within.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Many people are now starting to whine about devaluing their land investments in SL, again. They always tend to do that, e.g. when LL adds land too fast, lowers tier feeds, upfront fees and does other stuff.
Just get one thing into your big skull: owning land in Second Life is not about getting a value. Land is made by the Lindens, as they see fit, you are on their whim there, always, and there is nothing yet to change this. Take it or leave it, but don't always whine about that. Real estate owners with a good business approach should know better than that.
Basically, what the Lindens are telling us about open spaces sims, is that:
one normal sim runs on the core of a quad core server (e.g. Opteron), meaning 4 normal, full blown sims are running on a quad core normally.
An open spaces sim is 1/4 of a normal sim, so four of them are running on one core of a quad core server or 16 at whole, all of them put together serving the same prim count.
Being overused, the underlying maths about Open Spaces sims is that 1/4+1/4+1/4+1/4 is bigger than 1. Now that's at least what the Lindens are trying to tell us, which I for myself don't really believe at all.
In this article I want to talk about some common prejudices the public has normally about Gorean roleplay, well the stuff I've encountered so far yet, and how it is for real or not.
- Gor is for men just all about battling in shiny armour everytime while wielding big, expensive weapons and being proud of it. This is wrong. Normally real battles are mostly for members of the warrior caste, members of other castes tend either to carry weapons only for their job, like hunters, or for self defense, aside heavy armour is uncommon on Gor. Of course, the warrior caste is quite a proud caste, true. But Gorean role play is more than only battling all the time, in fact sims that tend to do only battles fast get a somewhat bad reputation in the community, because this is only one aspect of Gorean culture, an important one, that's true, but you should not narrow it down on that only. The typical weaponry in the novels for a warrior is a sword and a spear while in SL it is a sword and a bow.
- Being a kajira is just all about looking nice, obeying your master and having, sex, sex, sex. Wrong. Being a kajira involves quite many different stuff to do, like house hold chores and other stuff, sex is just one of the aspects about it, also not all kajiraes have a master, but are in ownership of a city. Of course, when you play a kajira, the possibility to get involved into role play featuring sex is there, especially when you are becoming a love slave. If you are playing other roles, though, it is not necessary, you can have it, but don't need to have it.
- All kajiraes are dumb. Wrong again. While many kajiraes tend to speak about themselves only in third person like "This girl likes to please." and such, this is not necessarily required from them at all. Also the training a kajira needs to get at the beginning is one of the most elaborate and complicated you can get in Gorean role play.
- There are only female slaves. Wrong. There are also male slaves around, called kajirus or kajirii in plural, but they are not so common like kajiraes.
- Gor is just there for people who want to have easy sex all around the clock. Wrong. Actually it involes much more than that, though it is part of it, it is not the main part.
- Masters love their slaves. Wrong. While many tend to play it that way and like it like that, this is something others, who are playing more accordingly to the books, despise, because it is against the natural order, with men being dominant and women succumbing to their whim. I guess there is place for both kind of play.
- The caste system is static. Wrong. While you can be born into a caste, according to your abilities you can either raise or lower in the system if necessary or fitting.
- All Goreans are dumb considering how long they live on that planet and they are still in quite some medieval state compared against the state Earth is already in. Wrong. There are actually quite decent people around, also people which try to invent new stuff and such and in some cases also quite some advanced machinery, but the development of new technology is being monitored firmly by the Priest Kings, which e.g. hinder the development of more advanced armor or weaponry. If there's someone developing too much advanced stuff, expect the blue flame death to happen soon on that item. So most Goreans don't even try their hands on that kind of development because they know the consequences would follow quite soon and fast.
- Gorean science lacks in all kind of fields behind Earth great lengths. Wrong, just take a look at the physicians.
- This is all sooo bad... Well, no one is forced to play in that kind of role playing universe, or is he? So all are there voluntarily and has its own reasons for being there, trying to get some fun out of it, which is the way it should be.
- All lifestylers are quite fanatic about Gor and intolerant. Wrong, most I've met so far are a bunch of really nice people and take a relaxed stance on it.
More to come later.
The Lindens have recently announced a new preview of the SLim client, free for download. First you need to download a normal, special prepared, fully blown SL viewer, then you need to download the SLim viewer, too. Both are no leightweight downloads at the moment, so it wonders how "slim" SLim is going to be in the near future.