Friday, May 13, 2011

"Why don't you leave the gamers alone?!"

(May 2011. Blogger is finally back up and we are getting close to the finish, here. This essay below was first written around the turn of the century. As always, enjoy.)

What follows is my reply to one of the characters/screen names of a Yahooian who tried to claim on a chat-board to a slave that a group of people using gor as a roleplaying venue had no effect at all on those few of us who actually live as gorean men and women in this society. Sadly, despite how weak that opinion is, it is a rather safe and comfortable one, and his opinion is in the majority with those who use the word "gorean" in relation to themselves online. My reply is complete and speaks for itself and after all this time I have only one thing to add to it.

I've come to the painful realization that unless you actually do try to live as a gorean man or woman in this society and unless "gor" means more to you than chat boards, playing characters, and chatting up lonely housewives claiming to be "kajira" then you probably will never understand why those of us who do live this do take offense when someone plays "Dungeons and Dragons with tits" with the philosophy and facets of the culture we strive to direct our lives by.

Rest assured that I understand that the vast majority of those who have read and would ever read this fall into the former category. For those people who do and still loudly go about the net claiming to be "gorean" I say: Shame on you, you are the gamers. And for the few people whom I love, who also have bent the truth in order to "get along" with others and to "grow the community" and who have surrendered to this P.C. mindset I say: I still love you, although you cost the ideal that I have dedicated my life to dearly. I still love you -- but I weep for us both.

Tal folks,

Here we are again, this comes up about once every two months. 

"Why can't you leave the gamers alone, *I* game in Shadowrun /Vampyre/Dungeons and Dragons and it harms no one..."

Okay, I will bite again, this time. I will respond to you and once more explain *WHY* this kind of conduct harms the community. Remember, the issue is not about the *right* to game, but what *harm* it causes us as a community. Once you get the gamers and their apologists to *see* that, then it is up to the individuals sense of honor to dictate what they do.

And we have all seen, online at least, what kind of a sense of honor that is.

"Laugh? Cry? Why do either? Nothing they're doing has anything to do with you."

Obviously, you are incorrect in this. People pretending to be what we are, and pubilically posting issues concerning Gorean philosophy and tradition within the rules for a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game, has a lot to do with us.

They're not hurting the community.

That is total and utter bullshit. By reducing the concept of "Gor" to a roleplaying game, they make it that much harder - by each person who stumbles on them - for us to gain any amount of initial respect or understanding from someone who then subsequently comes across us.

"Oh yeah, Goreans, that's that 'Fantasy Roleplaying' thing I saw the rules for on the net..."

While he many not have had this exact experience, I suggest you read the threads of Ox here recently (Note: This refers to a man who entered a lifestyle chat venue in the guise of a character -- this was what he thought "gor" was all about since all he ever saw on the net was a role-playing game) for an example.

They're not deceiving anyone.

Again, utter bullshit. They are deceiving anyone who stumbles on them without knowing that this is a rich, demanding and adult alternative lifestyle into thinking it is just a version of Dungeons and Dragons with tits and ass.

There is no potential for misunderstandings leading to pain.

No? How many girls come crying to you, each week, because their "masters" turn out to be boys who become enamored of the game, and do not realize until too late that it is and becomes more than that to some? How many weep in front of you, their hearts crumbling, because their "master", the man who begged them to take a collar, was actually married and playing a "character", but his wife now found out, and they have not heard from him in weeks? How many do you have to console, deal with, and try to put them back on the path to healing when they are attacked by people on and offline, because "Gor" is just a "fantasy game" played by "computer geeks"? 

When you have some of those experiences and have dedicated a large part of your life to living in and serving this lifestyle community on and offline, then you can talk about how there is "no potential for misunderstandings leading to pain" and not look foolish.

They're not even calling themselves or the world they're playing in Gorean.

Obviously, you did not read the site. I quote:

"The world is based mostly on John Norman’s series about Gor, with some generic fantasy elements."


"Other notes. Desecration of the homestone(sic) calls for an immediate death penalty. Use of magic in public is forbidden."

Now you tell me... on second thought, don't. Just read the site before you put fingers to keys next time.

They are honest roleplayers, playing a roleplaying game in a world that resembles one we know. Yes, the world of Tragoth has a lot of features taken from the novels Norman wrote... so what?

See replies above.

>>>These people are not coming into Gorean lifestyle chat rooms.

My being Gorean does not start and end in "Gorean lifestyle chat rooms", thanks. I *LIVE* this lifestyle and *IDENTIFY* myself on and offline as doing so. Unlike some then, I and others like me *obviously* have an issue with those who would have people who have never considered the concept of being Gorean see it as a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game.

They are playing a game, with each other, according to mutually agreed-to and understood rules, each knowing exactly what is roleplay and what is real. 

They indicate on the site, very little that is "real". It is all a game, nowhere do they speak of anything else. Perhaps we read two different sites?

They're having fun, and harming no-one.

For the third time, utter bullshit. They might not be harming many, since there are few goreans in existance, but I assure you that they are certainly harming the few Gorean men and women who struggle for a chance to walk their path in this society with head held high.

Are they Gorean? They would laugh at the question, and answer "I'm playing a character in Tragoth." So what? No harm, no foul.

No harm no foul till those who look at "gor" find that place, and paint us all with the same brush. Doesn't happen? Walk into some bdsm channels (or any other, for that matter) and tell them that you are Gorean and see what they think of it - I have watched that opinion change over the last few years, all because of the posers online (which these people are not) and the gamers who by their very game rob us of the chance to be seen honestly and openly for what we are.

If you take a moment to read through the page, it becomes obvious that they're not even playing online- this is a tabletop roleplaying group, which meets in person for a weekly gaming seesion, which happens to have posted their background information on the web so that all members of the group will have easy access to it.

Which will then show up, eventually, on search engines listing "Gor", "John Norman", "Kajira", "slave", etc.

As I noted to you before, my being Gorean does not stop and start online, so where they play is immmaterial. The simple fact is that because they put information on the web that depicts "gor" as a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game, they do the small community of *actual* Gorean men and women who exist, harm.

In short: save your laughter, tears, scorn, or mockery for those who are actually deserving of them, girl. And take a second look, next time.

I would suggest also that you take a second look. These people are as deserving as many, and a bit less than most. While they do not prey on others while posing as Gorean (that we know of), they do harm this community by taking some of the concepts and traditions we hold dear, and using them in a manner that will cause us as Gorean men and women, hardship and pain.

There is no amount of wishing, wiggling, or sand deep enough to stick your head into, that will change that simple fact.