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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Second Life Gor Evolved By The Book


"Well, I WAS going to roleplay baking some poison-laced cookies for a black caste assassin today, but he IS much better at pointing and clicking his mouse than I am!" Image source: Fucking Dungeon.com.

The original split in Second Life Gor happened about seven years ago, maybe six years. Second Life Gor was in its early stages first characterized by the growth of sims featuring Gorean roleplay, mostly involving cities. Almost as soon as that happened, outlaws, pirates and panther groups arose. Their natural opponents, other than each other, were the cities of Second Life Gor. Because the outlaws, panthers and pirates were more prone to fight, by the nature of their groups, than the cities, which had all kinds of peaceful roles (scribes, merchants, bakers, candlemakers, administrators, etc.) the outlaw groups tended to win fights most of the time. Eventually, they began to win almost all the time.

The problem was exacebated by the tendency of male players to enjoy combat more and for female players to enjoy roleplay more, and the tendency of the pirates, panthers and outlaws to ally to attack the cities. And there were also Xenas, players who disliked Gor and who played Gor, became outlaws, pirates or panthers and expressed their feelings by thoroughly kicking the asses of the big, bad Gorean Masters in the cities, in game. The end result, to hear some tell it, was that cities got rolled over on an almost hourly basis by wave after endless wave of hordes of fighting outlaws, panthers and pirates, making roleplay impossible (ninjas were apparently the only holdout here, though I did hear a rumor that such a raid did occur once).

Eventually, the cities enacted rules on their sims that female outlaws with bows (the most effective weapon in SL Gor you will recall) could not visit their cities, as such women were not seen in the Gor novels. Also, panther bands could not attack cities in large numbers because in the books panther bands and outlaw bands were small, weak groups that could never have matched the warriors who guarded a city in numbers or military prowess. Since in SL Gor it was the outlaws and friends that had the numbers and the fighting prowess, so the Gorean city sims just used their banning powers to kick out anyone who did not play on their terms.

Since the Gorean city roleplayers claimed that they were expelling the outlaws on the grounds that they were not "by the book" (I have a lot of reservations with this claim) such city sims because known as "by the book" Gor. The bow-toting female outlaws and pirates and panther girls called themselves Gor Evolved, I guess in the sense that they felt they had evolved into something beyond by the book Gor. (I personally think that it's quite reasonable to assume the existence of female warriors and large bands of outlaws and pirates that might take over a city given the way Gor's culture and level of civilization is described in the Gor novels, so I see no need to add the term "Evolved" for accuracy, though it works just fine as a descriptive term so I use it because it's what everyone uses.)

And you might figure that since I play in Gor Evolved (GE Gor) I might be completely on the side of Gor Evolved, but I'm not. Mainly because I see the roleplayers' point: if you are intent on building up any kind of story type roleplay, being captured and forced to do hostage/prisoner/captive/slave roleplay all the time is a huge pain in the ass (possibly literally, if rape/torture roleplay is involved, as it sometimes is). Bakers and scribes and such probably did not constantly get captured even in as warlike a place as Gor is. And cities probably were able to fend off outlaws gangs most of the time, else they would not be cities for long. If you are trying to build up a complex character with a complex storyline, you can see how it would be annoying to have your roleplay constantly interrupted by someone who feels he had a right to take over your storyline because he (or she) has practiced playing Second Life Gor as an arcade game more than you have.

Some Gor Evolved advocates claim that the real reason that cities outlaws femlaws (female outlaws armed with bows) is that the by the book Gorean warriors were just butthurt over getting their asses kicked repeatedly in battle, which, let's face it, is kind of supported by that particular prohibition about female outlaws using the most powerful weapon in Second Life Gor roleplay. Others call by the book Gor "tea party Gor," which implies that by the book Gor is basically a dress-up tea party using the best dolls ever. There may be elements of truth to both implications, especially "tea party Gor" since cities tend to attract female players to a much greater degree than male players so much so that some female players have played male warriors, not because they found it appealing, but so that the other female players would have male warriors to interact with. Guys just don't want to play in that tea party.

I'm not an advocate of either of these views, Gor Evolved works for me because raiding is the MOST FUN EVAH! And I find that the downtime between raids is great for the other parts of Gorean roleplay, which in my case is doing funny stuff. Sometimes, funny, raunchy stuff, but mostly I enjoy parodying the hell out of the heroic Gorean warrior. My character is greedy, self-serving, loves to claim credit for what others achieve and vain, though he does fight bravely enough, not out of valor, but just because he thinks fighting is fun. Often all it requires is bragging artfully after a raid ... or during one. Easy enough to do between raids, and fun, fun, fun!

I wish the split between by the book cities and Gor Evolved outlaws were not so binary, and it's not really, because here's the dirty little secret of Second Life Gor: practically everyone has alts, that is, they have more than one avatar (Second Life allows players with free accounts to have up to eight avatars with different avatar names). So it's very possible to have a male warrior alt, a panther girl alt and a paga slut alt, if you want to do that. You can play in by the book Gor, Gor Evolved AND anything else you want to, if you have the time.

Wait a minute. Male warrior alt AND panther girl? Sure, I SAID some female players do that. I've even heard they are supposed to be tremendously good at playing male warriors, so much so that slavegirls players fall in love with the character. Which leads us to our next topic: OOC and IC.

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