So then when Master John bought Slave Kat his Free Companion Marianna was all, “Eeeewwww, not ANOTHER slave,” even though the First Girl on his chain Tami was COMPLETELY cool with it!” Yes, there IS gossip on Gor. There are female players, therefore, there WILL be gossip!
I don’t think highly of John Norman as a prose stylist or a philosopher, but I do think he was a genius. His genius lay in his ability to create a world as complex and internally consistent as J. R. R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth, only much more interesting and better, if you’re an adult, most especially if you are female and adult. Because whereas Tolkien kept his focus entirely on warfare (hence spawning World of Warcraft, an obvious Tolkein ripoff) Norman took in the slaveholding aspects of ancient civilizations and used them as the basis for adding dominance and submission (and bondage, of course) sexual fantasy to his world.
And while many guys love video games based strictly on warfare, women like games based on richer, more complex stuff, and Gor was in that respect MUCH richer and more complex than Middle Earth.
And whereas Tolkien’s Middle Earth was almost entirely rooted in European mythology, Norman’s much more extensive body of work (28 Gor novels so far, all very thick tomes) is based on a variety of cultures -- most notably ancient Greece and Rome, but also the Viking, the Indians, the Mongols, the Arabs and others, all convincingly portrayed with great detail as to their lifestyles and habits, yet all with a distinctive difference that does make them an actual alien culture.
As a result, Norman created a world that is so compelling that its Second Life incarnation (known as SL Gor) draws in players who are not even into sexual dominance and submission play. That’s because the combination of a very well thought out alternate world full of adventure, mystery and romance with an intensely felt sexuality that permeates its culture is quite simply explosive in its effect on participants.
SL Gor is orders of magnitude more compelling than any other entertainment I have ever encountered.
Let me try to make what I’m talking about more clear with a concrete example. In a lot of online games like World of Warcraft you can be a member of a group that raids other groups/cities/camps/whatever, and grabs booty -- gold, weapons, armor, food, medicine and whatnot, although there’s not really a lot of whatnot. You go out, you fight, you have a great victory (or a tragic defeat) you head home and tell lies about what you did to anybody who will listen and gear up the for the next raid.
You can really get into the World of Warcraft game because the various cultures and races -- orcs, elves, humans, etc., have well thought out, convincing cultures. It doesn’t feel like it’s just some flimsy excuse for battle, though frankly the game’s emphasis on battle may just obscure that fact a bit.
Now let’s look at how a raid proceeds on SL Gor. You get together with your buddies (of whatever gender, a lot of panthers and such on SL Gor), you go out and fight and have a glorious victory, capture some booty, go home and tell lies about what you did, and have sex with your booty, often while lying to your booty as well.
Only on SL Gor: a sign advertising a blood auction in the City of Fina. Blood auctions are auctions in which the right to sexually use a virginal (white silk) slave for the first time ever is auctioned off. Now That’s a civic event!
Because of course, in SL Gor, with its high proportion of female players, there are a ton of slave girls in most cities, panther camps, outlaw camps and pirate ports, many of them happy for the chance to be whisked away for some captive slave girl roleplay. Most of them just LUUUURRVE to be captured, stripped of all their clothing, tied up,and sexually used because they’re adult women and they like it.
Yes, I am saying that in SL Gor the booty is actual booty … slave girl booty, to be exact, though panthers get captured and used a lot, too.
And even outside the context of raids, the lives of slave girls in SL Gor consist of being used, either by their Master or all Masters, and by used we mean exactly that … the Master controls all aspects of the sex, where and when it will be done, how it will be done, how long it will last, and the slave girl must serve as ordered. (Of course, a player behind a slave girl avatar has the option of ending any scene in SL Gor just by moving her avatar to another location (called TPing out, short for teleporting out). But they rarely do so, because they are playing slave girls for a reason -- they like being used and controlled.
Don’t get me wrong. Although SL Gor is full of sexuality and has many opportunities for combat, that’s hardly all that goes on. Most of the castes represented in the books are representd on SL Gor, with plenty of scribes, bakers, merchants, builders, administrators, metalworkers and whatnot. Free women often play these roles, but there are plenty of male players as well. Though as you might imagine, most men play warriors of some kind and most women play slave girls. Since it’s possible to have more than on avatar however, many players play two or three roles at once, getting to experience a variety of Gorean roleplay instead of constantly being stuck in warrior/slave girl mode. (I don’t see how they do it, but they clearly do.)
The richness and detail of Gorean culture, with its castes, its homestones, its laws of conduct, and its varying groups, means it doesn’t feel like a cheesy backdrop for fighting and sexing -- and it’s not. There are a lot of players who never fight in SL Gor, and many others who never have sex, finding their interests occupied by other parts of the game. The game is rich, deep and involving, in ways others are not. And although players bitch regularly about not getting enough roleplay, or not getting enough sex, or getting too much of either, and many other things besides, they keep coming back.
World of Warcraft and its ilk have plenty of opportunities for combat and some opportunities for roleplay, but NOTHING like the richness and variety of SL Gor. It’s as close to actually living in another world as you can get right now, a DAMN sight closer than anything else I know of.
Damn. I’m only BEGINNING to paint the picture here. But I hope it’s taking shape.
You can visit Second Life and find out for yourself here.