Today I came to a degree of clarity about the role-playing situation in Caledon, the Victorian Steampunk region of Second Life. Here’s the entry I posted to caledonforums this evening:
Dear friends and neighbors,
I have today come to the conclusion that I can no longer support Caledon’s military activities. While the original goals are nothing but laudable, and many of you have poured untold hours of heart and soul into the activities of the current situation, I have chosen to visit abroad with my cousin Mr Paderborn until Caledon returns to a state of peace.
Perhaps it may be that I will find a way to contribute to the larger cause by taking some humanitarian role, and I may return from time to time for functions that are purely social in nature.
I look forward to the day when Caledon becomes once again a place of uncomplicated peace and contentment, and I return to my home in Tamrannoch, and to my lakeside cabin in the Highlands.
Miss Hermione Fussbudget
End of roleplay
As Miss Fussbudget has noted above, the creators of the current scenario have shown nothing but the highest of ideals and best of intentions. I, however, have felt increasingly confused and put off not only by the activities within SL, but by the discourse concerning the affair on these forums and in the blogs that are fleshing out the story.
I don’t like feeling confused, and so I am choosing to absent myself from the situation.
One of my confusions is the on-again, off-again nature of the role-playing. It is unfortunate that, once having taken up the burden of villainy for the laudable purposes of the scenario, the typists of said villains seem to tire of the role. Having no experience of that burden myself, I hesitate to complain, but I feel it is rude to ask the rest of us to treat them now this way, now that way, and indeed to complain (via these forums and on blogs) when others, within SL, respond in a way appropriate to the role of the villain.
A much greater sense of confusion, all along, has been the question of whether any good can come of playing at war. In RL I have spent most of my adult life as a practicing Quaker. Quakers, as you may know, bear a corporate testimony against war. But I thought, this is just RP, and it makes for some fun opportunities for play-acting, and it’s all just make-believe, right?
But in fact, the choice of a war scenario to raise funds for SLRFL has led directly to ill will and real-life conflict and disaffection. I now believe that these RL ramifications are a result not only of inexperience (which is surely one part of the problem, as described by Her Grace of Loch Avie elsewhere in these forums), but also inherent in the choice of plot.
the typist for Hermione Fussbudget
3 Replies to “RP Redux”
I stopped playing paper and pencil RPG’s partially due to this — in a game so grounded in violence, even if it is in your imagination, is ... well, “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
I find it interesting you refer to yourself as the “typist” for Hermione, is that placing will into this character in the spirit of light RP?
I usually try to only put 1 comment on a blog post if I feel moved to write anything, but this post has got me thinking.
I must admit, this post has me thinking. I have an avatar that engages in some more hard core Role Playing — which seems to be harmless fantasy — but is it?
Granted the SIMs I participate in are not terribly violent (one is a SIM based upon Frank Herbert’s “Dune” books which is more about intrigue, the other is more recent and is based in the SIM Suffugium where you play residents in a dystopia trying to survive a brutal dictatorship — which is more psychological, and a third I have not RP’ed in much at all — Lumindor) but in all of them the question that I cannot shake is: How does virtual conflict reflect and endorse conflict in real life?
I have only discovered Quakerism in the last 7 years, and only been more than occasionally involved in the last 2 years, and have always had a great deal of personal difficulty with their Testimony against war (mostly in an abstract sense), but this post has got me thinking and wrestling with this.
Yours is indeed a story to think about. I have not yet taken any part in Second Life, the most important reason lack of time, but you make me, for the first time wondering what I am missing. Not that I miss aggression or greed etc., but this role playing can indeed tell a lot about yourself and the other ‘people’ you meet in the virtual reality.
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