Friday, January 29, 2010

Gorean Roleplay and the Gor Movies

I recently ran across a post from a fellow who was discouraged because he felt the roleplay in SL Gor wasn't sufficiently Gorean, that it feel far short of what it should be. That got me thinking about other attempts to capture the Gorean spirit, and I wrote a response that may be of interest to all:

Well. one point you may wish to consider is that it is damn hard to do a proper job of creating realistic Gorean roleplay, even with the best will in the world. And even so, I feel that SL Gor is so much better than any other medium that I've pretty much lost all interest in them. Books, movies, plays, nothing else even comes close. The intense pleasure I get from acting out the Gor novels, putting my own stamp on a character, making him move and breathe, making Gorean scenes come to life in conjunction with other people, really brings the experience home to me in a way that nothing else does.

Think of it this way. The people who made the Gor movies: "Gor" and "Outlaw of Gor" were presumably much more motivated than your average SL Gor roleplayer: they were being given money, there is always the promise of much more money and great fame if the project succeeds. They stand to gain fame and fortune if they do well. Presumably they are participating in the movie in hopes of becoming famous movie stars, famous and successful directors, actors and writers, etc. ... just how motivated can you get?

And yet those movies were abysmal horrors, no more true to the Gor novels than the most wretches excesses of Gor Evolved. (And some of the outliers of Gor Evolved are truly bad ... the other day I saw blue avatars on a supposedly Gorean sim. Blue avatars!). The Gor movies were lame-brained, pathetic excuses for movies that completely missed out on the spirit of Gor and also weren't even interesting stories in any respect. They sucked, they sucked hard, despite all that motivation.

The point is ... it's damned hard to capture the essence of the Gor novels and bring it to life even if you have huge RL motivators for doing so.

I feel that SL Gor has huge room for improvement, and yet even as it is, it's beautiful, a wonderful living world, brought to life by the people who have followed Norman's lead and tried in their various ways to fill the roles he unwittingly created for them. Even if many of them are doing it very badly, some are doing it very well, and damn ... most of us are having great fun at it, to be honest.

Recognize that getting Gor right is a very difficult thing and enjoy it on your own terms, is what I would recommend. There's a lot to enjoy.

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