Pet Peeve #6

6.  People that think that the word “Master” and submissive gestures and postures were invented by John Norman.

Before I get started on this one, and before you start bitching at me about morals and right and wrong, I do want to note that I do not condone slavery nor human trafficking in real life.  I also want to note that BDSM and/or D/s relationships have nothing to do with force, kidnapping, rape, abuse or slavery in it’s true form.  That my posts here are about ROLEPLAY, about FANTASY, about letting go of reality for a little while and submersing yourself into a different world, a PRETEND world, make-believe.  GET IT?  I’ve already covered the type of sick fuckers that abound in Second Life in another post and I’m not gonna go over all that again, we all know it’s all for shits and giggles anyway.  Okay?

The other thing I want to clarify–and yes, I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m not gonna apologize for my rants, but you must know that they are that… RANTS.  Shit to get off my mesh body boobies, and that though the situations I’ve explained in my RANTS really happened, they might be extreme examples of an issue–much like runway models wear 5-foot shoulder pads to let us know that shoulder pads are coming back in vogue (please gods, no!).

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder Pads

So now, back to Pet Peeve #6

A few years ago I was checking out this medieval sim and one of the first rules was that slavery was prohibited, with a little added remark that it was not a Gorean sim.  Now I do enjoy playing “small folk” – servant, slave, serf, etc.  Second Life is FULL of princesses, and it’s not a role that is appealing to me. The whole thing also kinda tickled my spine, and not in a good way.  See, contrary to the belief of those that like to stick to pageantry and brocade gowns, slavery was alive and well during the middle ages in various forms.  In fact, that rich, fine embroidery on Lady Mary Sue’s gown was probably SLAVED over, night and day, by some serf or slave, who was paid with a meal of whatever was left over in the pot after Lord Marty Stu fed his knights in shining armor.  And, by the way, that armor was probably crafted and polished by… nevermind.

In any case, the rule just led me to believe that the sim owner and his or her administrators didn’t know history, and should probably just stick to something they fucking knew like tringo or gesturbating at some pixel stripper club.  It was probably harsh judgment on my part, but whatever.

But the sim was beautiful, as many of these medieval sims tend to be.  And though I am a stickler for a bit of realism, I can follow rules and I can RP in a sanitized “historical” environment, so I decided to give it a shot.  I created a peasant character, not too clean, uneducated as most people in medieval times would be, a little rough around the edges.  And there I go, la la la rp’ing, having fun.  Shit happens, as it happens in RP (if you wanna have any fun, shit’s gotta happen), and my character gets captured by some Evil Chick.  Evil Chick binds my character’s wrists behind her back and dragged her to the woods where she proceeded to give her a shove from behind.  Off-balance, my character landed on her knees with her hands bound behind her.  So yeah, there’s a pose that is commonly used in Gor or other BDSM themes called “bracelets” that is exactly like that.  I happened to have it, so I used it.

Next thing you know I have an admin in my IM’s reminding me that it was not a Gorean sim and that Gorean poses and the like were not allowed.

So I’m just gonna say this:

asdlfjajfas;jfa;fjas;dlj

or this:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I want to note that I was not within chat range of anybody.  In fact, the admin that IM’d me, wasn’t even on sim.  So some little shit cammed in on me, saw me, and reported that I was using a ‘Gorean’ pose.  I politely explained to the admin that it was NOT a Gorean or slave themed scene, but that this Evil Chick was probably going to try to kill me and I sent a snapshot.  The admin INSISTED that it was a Gorean slave pose and I should use something else, and even passed over some poses for me to use–poses in which I was only on one knee, like I was fucking proposing to Evil Chick or something.

Right.

I have visited other “medieval” sims, many with similar Anti-Gor rules, and one of them went as far as stating in their rules that people could be slaves, but collars or the use of GOREAN WORDS like “master” were not allowed.

So…(I kinda like that word, ‘so’), just to let folks know slavery predates John Norman by a few thousand years.  For those that don’t know (if you do, don’t get your mesh panties in a wad, I’m clearly stating that it’s for those that DON’T KNOW), even that really Old Bestseller that has been around for EVER has instructions on slave behavior and how a MASTER (OMG SRSLY? That word?) should treat his or her SLAVES.

Titus 2: 9 – Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative

HAH!  Sounds like Gor, huh?  And that’s the Newer Part of The Book, you can go dig around the Old Part yourself and go back a few more thousand years.  And lets not even get into Vikings, Romans, the Barbary Coast, etc, etc, etc.

NOT as old as The Other Old Book

NOT as old as The Good Book

Now before you jump down my throat for that, I only mean to make a point, and that is that this shit was not “invented” by John Norman for his books.  That using the word “Master”, kneeling, or slavery in itself, has nothing to do with Gor orginally.  That not all low-tech-slavery-allowed-environments are Gorean.  That this man created a fictional world, a counter-culture of sorts on a different FREAKING PLANET, with elements borrowed from our real-life human, Earth HISTORY, and that a medieval sim that allows slavery is NOT necessarily GOR or Gor-Evolved (WTF-ever that means).

And before you go accusing me of boohooing because I wasn’t allowed to play a sex slave (shame on you if you already did), I would let you know that I have, on more than one occasion, played a slave with absolutely no sex or BDSM themes involved (someone had to scrub the pots and tend the garden), and that if I wanted to get my SL sex on all I have to do is go to that [secretsex society] that is not-so-fucking-secret because everyone that paid L$450 to get in it has it on their profile.

And yet, even after this ranting, I get why “medieval” sims balk away from slavery.  And that is because infinitely ignorant folks will MAKE IT GOREAN, whether it is or not.  If you allow the type of class division and lack of common modern human rights that existed in medieval times the sim will be flooded by “Goreans” who don’t want to be in Gor anymore because of drama or whatever, and we’ll have 5 girl slaves to each Lord on sim, and some idiot will walk through and say it’s “Gor Evolved” or “they wanna be Gor and just not call themselves that”

So, I get it.  But, I’m still right.

It’s All In Your Head

“Where’s good RP?”

I’ve been pondering on what to write for my next post.  It has been a while since I wrote one, a long while, and I just guessed that I had exhausted my reasons to rant during my rant fest last summer/fall.  I’d discussed and gone over every single one of the things that pissed me off in RP.  I know I’d say I’d go over all of my ‘pet-peeves’, and I haven’t gotten to them, so maybe this will be my ice breaker.

I am also going to try to write a more mature, less-ranty piece, as I really want to make my point here, and I do have a few things to say on this topic.

And well, who the fuck am I kidding?  It won’t be intentional, but I’ll probably be as acidic, sarcastic and jaded as ever.  So here goes nothing.

For as long as I’ve been roleplaying, and in as many places that I’ve roleplayed, one of the questions I get asked the most is “how’s roleplay there?”  or “RP any good there?”

I also want to note before I continue that neither Grammarly nor Word 2013 like the words roleplay, roleplayed, roleplayer, etc.  It keeps wanting me to say “role-played”, not to mention that it keeps trying to correct “RP” to “rape”, and considering it’s SL, it may not be too far off.  But they just don’t know us ar-pee-ing peoples.  By the way, “Grammarly”, that’s not a real word either, so fuck you.

Okay, so on topic.

I’ve been roleplaying in a sim for the past four months (if you know me you know which one).   Like a lot of sims, it opened with a big bang, floods of people, then went through a strained lull, and now it’s picking up again.

I stayed through the lull.  Other friends were saying “it’s dead” and trying to coax me to leave.  But I didn’t.  I tend to “marry” a sim.  Put in my prim roots, and hang on until the bitter end when my prims are returned and SL tells me the place is no longer available when I try to tp in.

Maybe when you are done reading this post you’ll understand why.

Today a friend asked me again how was the RP there, asked me to be honest, and I had to think a moment about my answer.

If you’ve read my stuff, you might have read a piece where I rained hell on someone for criticizing RP sims.  This person took it upon themselves to rate sims on a 1-5 scale on various subjects.  Build, Backstory, RP Style, etc.  Whatever.

So really, ask yourselves this first.  What is a SIM?

A SIM is no more than a backdrop, the setting.  You review everything about this place before you decide to join.  You walk around, see the build, you read the rules, the backstory, etc.  Right?  You have to have a feel for it, that much is true.  If the place is not appealing to YOU, you won’t want to RP there.   You look to the environment for inspiration.

So then the real question isn’t if the sim looks good.  It can look painfully horrid to some, and fantastic to others—the question is can YOU write a story for a character in this place?

That is how I explained it.  I want a story about my character, in this PLACE.  The story isn’t ABOUT the place, gentle reader-rp-friend.  The story is about my character.  That is RP, right?  You write for YOUR character.  So, whether the Sim is full or not, I still have a story.  My character lives there.

“What’s the book about?”

“Oh, it’s about a woman who lives… “

“It’s about a guy who goes to this…”

Sound familiar?

Now, now, before you start ranting, it is true that the happenings on a Sim (or lack thereof) would affect my character and yes, we do depend on the sim’s administration to provide them, and of course, no one was to RP alone… like…  monologs and shit.  That would suck really bad.  That would suck like… like… like notecarding chores on a Gorean sim when no one is around.  That would suck ass.

Yet when I was asked if the RP in this place was “good RP” and was asked for an “honest answer” I said:

“Well, “good” is relative.  Honest answer.  I’ve had good rp with just two people in a nearly empty sim (not this one, btw).   It has potential.  In any sim people will come and go.  I got a whole blog full of shitty rp.  There will be shitty rp and good rp, and honestly, all of us that claim to be good rp’rs wander about SL, sim after sim, LOOKING for good RP.  Sometimes we find it, and its good for a bit, and then we, myself very much included, start finding fault.  “Good” rpr’s are spread out.  So… I like the theme, I like the environment.  There are no perfect sims and rp out there… so you MAKE rp good and you fuck the rest.  My RP, my story, is about MY CHARACTER… and it spreads outwards yes…  but it’s about my character.”

As an admin in a few sims, I also witnessed this phenomenon of roleplayers seemingly needing to be hand-held through plots.  I don’t know about you, but I roleplay because I like reading AND writing.  Even when I’m not roleplaying I’m either reading a book or writing– whether it be a blog post or other stories that may never make it to print, I write.

Maybe for some it is necessary to be a star on SIM, not just their character’s story.  Maybe some seek recognition and validation through RP.  Maybe some have the need to be the hottest, the most badass, and the most renowned name on sim.  Maybe some have a need to infiltrate other people’s stories and take them over—which only reminds me of She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned (if I’m gonna keep this blog post sane).

Me?  I want to be the star of my own story.  My character is the protagonist.  Coming from chat-room RP, where there was no visual backdrop, maybe I’m a bit more forgiving when a sim is a little slow.  But this type of storytelling is like a circle to me, with me in the center.  As I move around, my circle overlaps someone else’s circle, but it’s still their circle, their story, and mine is mine.  I’m only an extra in their story.  The chick crossing the street in the background or the girl at the donut shop with five minutes of screentime.  And I’m good with that because I rock my story.  Do you really need 30 people around you to tell a story?  Maybe… maybe you don’t have a story at all and just leech off of others.   Are you so unfulfilled in your RP needs?  Is it because your RP is reactive as opposed to proactive?  Does your story suck without a bunch of people for you to feed off of?

Maybe you don’t have a story at all.

Think of when a sim goes through one of these lulls.  Almost all at once 10-15 people will leave, sometimes more.  All claiming to be bored.  “RP sucked there.”  Serioulsy?  You all couldn’t find RP with each other?  There was no way to make your stories overlap each others like those chain reaction TV ads or something?

Roleplaying is interactive writing, is it not?  The difference between me writing out this book on my own and controlling all the characters is that in roleplay I get the surprise and ‘adlib’ improvisation of having others to interact with and this is stimulating and fun and I love it.   But you know what?  Even if I didn’t have that, I’d still have a story to write.  But, I want to share it with you.  I want you in it, I want to see what you can bring to it–but please read all my other blog posts firsts so you don’t annoy me–Just Kidding… sorta…   I’m rocking my story, even if in your story I’m nothing but the chick crossing the street in the background, or the girl at the donut shop that spills your coffee as she serves it to you.

Now the question still is, “where is good RP?”

My answer?

In your head.

Is that even possible?

What the hell is that?

So here’s another draft that may or may not make it to publishing, but recently I’ve done a little roaming through a few RP Sims and people just like to point things out to me.  Often times there is a little scoffing involved, ’cause c’mon… ya know?  So it brings me to this post.

First I want to mention that I did cover “Plausibility” in one of my workshop pages here:  “Plausibility”

But this might point out other angles.  And while I don’t wish to scoff at my scoffing friends, this time my rant is towards the nay-sayers.

So there we are walking around an RP sim and some dude is dragging a chick around by a leash.  She’s wearing nothing but a leather harness, a ball gag, and a collar.  Almost immediately the IM’s start, and I can’t even imagine how they were flying amongst other friends at the place–because yes, the place was full of good RP’rs, and Mary Sues and their Marty Stu boyfriends (or the other way around).  “OMG, you see that?  Why do that here?”

You could argue that it was neither the time nor place.  No, this was NOT a BDSM sex sim.  This was not some BDSM embellished RP sim.  BDSM was NOT part of the storyline in this sim–but it was a somewhat dystopian environment–and face it, BDSM exists in the real world.  I HAVE seen RL people on a leash walking down Duval Street in Key West.  I haven’t seen it in San Francisco yet (would help if I got out there), but I’m told it’s not unusual.

Does not happen IRL at all! Right?

 

What these RP’rs are completely missing is that, instead of OOC whispering in IM’s about this, they could be whispering IC’ly about this and completely missed the opportunity to add color to their RP and environment.

Was this scenario “plausible” (worthy of belief)?

Yes.  Inappropriate perhaps, inciting, conversation worthy.  But do we not have those incidents in real life?  Because folks are ALWAYS well-behaved and appropriate in real life, right?  I don’t even know where we get such ideas for RP, I mean we are all just…

I’ll tell you what isn’t plausible.  What isn’t believable is that everyone would ignore it.  I mean sure, in real life, presented with such a situation many would try to pretend it wasn’t happening, but they would not be able to NOT sneak a peek.  There is always an ass that would say something snide, or perhaps someone who was involved in the “lifestyle” that would approach and say something.  Someone might say something about indecency, someone might cover their child’s eyes and run away, someone might scream about morality and call the cops.  And of course, authorities might come by and issue warnings/arrests for public indecency or whatever.  After that, folks could have gone home and whispered about it to their friends and family members.  “You’ll never guess what we saw today”  Not to mention the whole mess of legalities and crap that would come after if the cops were involved.

Instead we focus on the fact that this person is “looking for attention” and how adamant we are in not giving it to them.  We are just going to RP drinking another cup of coffee because we don’t like it when someone draws attention to themselves and away from us, huh?  I’ve heard that complaint many times.  Anytime someone tried to make a big ongoing scene in which they were center/victim/star it was allegedly all for attention–even if this person was doing it as a way to provide RP for a larger group of people.  Chief of Police gets kidnapped by Mafia.  Police involved, bounty hunters involved, criminals involved, a house gets blow up, firemen involved.  She gets beat up, doctors and nurses and hospital involved.  But… nupe.  So many would still whine about how she did it for attention.

Whatever!

So what if we rp’d this out?  Whispered IC’ly amongst ourselves?  “What the hell is wrong with these people?”  Added one more thing to our character’s experiences “I once saw a girl on a leash…”  Tried to interfere and caused a commotion?  Face it, not all RP scenarios have to be about you (they are about ME dammit!).  What would be the harm and playing along?

Yes, this character scenario was most definitely “plausible”.

 

Okay, so maybe that song is not the same, but the post reminded me of the title and I wanted to hear it.

Another sim I was in allowed furries… in a totally non-plausible way.  Plausible would have been that we were in an alternate universe and furries were a part of our lives.  But in this sim they tried to appease furries and furry-sympathizers by letting them in provided it was understood they were humans wearing a costume.  So in essence, we had a city that had college football mascots running around in costume 24-7.  Some were cops.  So we had a few guys, in furry costumes, with their police uniform over that.

 

Totally plausible to have this walk up to your door when you call the cops over a break-in.

 

Look, all I’m saying is before you write it off, work it out in your head.  Could this have happened?  What would my character do?  How should we react?  How involved do I want to get?

Just quit it and flippin’ RP already.

 

Tell Me A Story

So I haven’t posted anything in months.   I have about 7 drafts here waiting for me to finish up, and about 12 pet peeves to work through, and I have been uninspired.  I started this post WEEKS ago and I am only now finishing it, at least I think I am.  If I post it you’ll know I did.  If I don’t…

I also no longer wear Lolas.  Maybe that’s it…

…or maybe “uninspired” is the wrong term. I’ve stayed away from RP sims in the past few months and no one has managed to piss me off.   Yeah… I’ve been HAPPY.  Go figure.  The Queen of Snark is HAPPY.  I’ve been making clothes again (inserts shameless plug for her store here) and RP’ing with a select group of… well, just one other person (I-heart-YOU, wink-wink), so yeah, no one has managed to piss me off in months.

Still, now and then I get the itch to go SEE rp sims, to entertain the notion of joining in and be part of something bigger.  To be a character in a bigger story made up of intertwined stories that evolve into MORE story arcs.  I’ve remained in a few RP groups, and a few groups that promote RP, so I see sims coming and going, and people advertising and such.  So… what can I say? I’m curious.  I look.  I click on the links, check out their websites, I perv the profiles of those posting, and I’ll visit the sims.

Then, with my curiosity well sated, I remind myself of just how happy I am and close it all up and go home.

A couple of years ago there was a blog that was dedicated to reviewing RP Sims.  The idea was a good one, if the writer hadn’t been biased (I’m not the only one who thought so, BTW), and considering how the reviews went, I wouldn’t doubt that she was in a few sim owner’s pockets.  Nevermind that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and added a comment, which led to me being publicly fried by one of her supporters (benefactors?)… but it’s not the reason why I hated the blog in the first place.  I hated it before I was fried on it.  I digress and I’m getting pissed off.

Anyway, as snarky as I’ve been known to be, I have never publicly shamed anyone (well, except in this post).  I’ve mentioned no true avatar names, I’ve not mentioned a specific Sim, at least that I can recall (crap now I’m gonna have to go back and re-read my stuff just in case),  and anyone who has “figured out” who I spoke of, or “figured out” what sim I meant, has done so on their own assumptions.  Maybe they witnessed an incident I discussed, or they brought the topic to my attention so that I may blog it.  Though yes, this is MY OPINION, my critiques have been limited to certain topics that MANY find annoying or in bad RP form.

And not that this makes me a better person than anyone (okay, who am I trying to kid?  I’m fabulous), but I would never think that I had the ability to walk around RP Sims and “review” them.  I have learned that what works for some, doesn’t for others.  Yet the writer of that blog fashioned herself some RP Sim connoisseur.  She would name the sim, add photos and critique the build (sometimes she had ways of sneaking in and taking photos before it was finished).  Then she’d do some contumelious running commentary on her opinions–all based on her presumed expertise, of course–and in the end would give it a 1-5 rank based on several factors, from curb appeal to RP level–’cause of course, she knew her shit.

Who the hell would think so highly of themselves to give someone’s hard work and money a 1.6?  Regardless of the amount of effort, whether they used prefabs or hired a builder, a Sim Owner makes no profit.  They build the place to provide players with an environment and a playground.  A backdrop to their stories.  It may not be perfect, they might need help with a few things, but for someone to sit there and say “I don’t care if you are spending $300 a month on a sim and spent a few hundred more on things to put in the sim, you suck and I’m telling everyone you suck so they won’t come to play here…” Even as snarky as I am, I could never bring myself to do such a thing.

So what got me on that?  I’ll tell you!  Someone posted something about a sim in an RP group and I clicked to look.  I immediately felt snarky.  It washed over me like… I don’t know, the ice-bucket challenge, but it gave me pause, making me wonder where the hell did I get off critiquing a Sim I had no intention of playing in anyway and do nothing to help sustain it.

I tell you what triggered it.

 

Just ONE of the super-powers you can have in SL

 

I don’t have anything against a fantasy sim.  I don’t have anything against a Vampire sim.  I have nothing against a Werewolf sim.  I have nothing against a Vampire/Werewolf sim. I do however have something against a sim with vampires and angels and demons and shapeshifters and mermaids and dragons and elves and cyborgs and caterpillars and… yeah.  You get what I mean.  I joined one a little over a year ago.  There were two humans on the sim.   I was one of them.

I think that RP Sims, or RP’rs themselves, have lost something along the way.  And yes, this is MY OPINION.  I can give some credit to Gor (omg I can’t believe I said that), in that they’ve stuck to a story, a particular canon of sorts.  Yes, there is the Kurii, who don’t make much of an appearance, and the Priest Kings are giant alien bugs, but we don’t see them.  And yes, we’ve seen some “Gor Evolved” which I don’t mind either, but for the most part they are JUST HUMANS and they raid and war and trade and get married and have sex (and more sex), have stories and stuff.  I love that the different cities RP with EACH OTHER.  They recognize that theirs isn’t the only place in SL.   A person can take their character and story (and their slaves) and MOVE to another city without having to start a new character.  I have yet to see some half Kurii/half human player, or a half priest king bug/half human, or a part kurii/part human/part bug character.  I have other reasons for not going to Gor, which I’m not going to go into–that’s a whole other post, but mainly it’s that I hate people–or Mary Sue, and Mary Sue in silks is just that much worse–though she doesn’t compare to Free-Woman Mary Sue that hides her collar under her robes of concealment.

I’m getting off track again.

Still, after clicking on that link and viewing this sim’s website and seeing that it’s just one more fantasy sim with a two-page list of allowed races/species/whathaveyous, and all combinations thereof, what I really think is that we lost the ability to just tell a story, and even more so, just a human story.

When I think of a show like the Walking Dead, that brings it even more to light.  The show isn’t ABOUT zombies.  Zombies are these things with no thought process that made things really inconvenient.  But if you think about it, they are easy to kill, they don’t plot or plan.  Half the time people just walk up to them and stick a knife in their heads and done.  Yeah it gets hairy when there’s a lot of them, but they just walk around looking for something to eat.  Again, no thought process.  The show is really about HUMANS, with no super-powers or super natural abilities, trying to get by and survive.  They are the ones plotting AGAINST EACH OTHER, grasping for power, stealing, killing, falling in love, going crazy, beating each other, drinking, eating, sleeping, sleeping around, having babies, lying, cheating.

I’ve seen sims die because RP’rs complained they “had nothing to do”.  Seriously.  A couple I can think of, all human sims, and they had “nothing to do”.  Watched a sim with a commodity system where people had the ability to truly work to get up in rank/attain power, they had to rp it.  They had to gain these things through rp.  Players had “nothing to do”  No one wanted to start at the bottom.

Has SL has grown so much that there are so many RP Sims out there that sim owners will do whatever, and allow whatever, for traffic?

You might ask WHY be human if you can be anything else?

Why not?  Why do we have to be super-powered or ancient or magical or immortal or shapshifting (or all of the above)?  It just all seems too much for me.  Each person trying to be more powerful than the next, badder, faster, hotter.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t allow hybrids of different races.  I don’t know, what do I know, huh?

Maybe it’s our perception of “winning” that is skewed.  There is no true “winning” or “losing” in RP!   In RP “winning” is when you have a great story, whether your character survives it or not.  It doesn’t matter if you got your ass kicked or you kicked someone else ass, but how it was played or written.   RP is the only place I’ve seen where no one likes a sharpshooter/ace pilot/race car driver.  In RL you’d definitely kick ass and get all the chicks.

But in SL, unless you are trying to win at the “The Biggest Douchebag”  STAHP.

Dressing The Part

Where do you think you are going in that get-up?

I have a lot of friends that are into fashion in SL.  I have friends that make clothes, I have friends that blog clothes, and I have *coughs* friends *coughs* that buy so many clothes that its a wonder their SL loads at all, their inventory is so huge.  In fact, this friend I have has purchased an outfit or an item more than once because she forgot she had it.  SL is definitely a fashionistas fix and the equivalent of a methadone clinic for a shopaholic.  You can shop to your heart’s content without spending a dime and get good freebies–and crappy expensive stuff too.

And while we are on the topic of shopping, I think the SL Marketplace should delete any shoes created before 2010.

I don't think anyone is going to be buying these anymore.

I don’t think anyone is going to be buying these anymore.

 

Anyway, a couple of things happened recently that spurred this topic.  The first was me walking down the street in an urban RP sim and seeing a female avatar dressed like a hooker–only she WASN’T a hooker.  I mean, sure, we have the freedom in SL to wear what ever-the-fuck we want without worrying too much about how appropriate it is (or inappropriate).  My own character dresses pretty skank-glam, or maybe kinda ratchet, I mean, not like she’s refined or anything *coughs* slut! *coughs*.  But I do try to wear clothes that are plausible for my character and environment–inner city, not too conservative, a bit daring or hoochie.  But I’m tellin’ ya, this chick had me beat on the hoochie.  She was standing on the sidewalk with thigh-high, black patent-leather boots, short-short-thong-short frayed denim shorts (did I mention short?), and a cropped leather jacket.  No top.  No, she wasn’t a hooker, or at least she didn’t have a hooker tag.  Maybe she was on her way to the club.  Who the fuck knows?  I didn’t ask.  And I was happy when she moved on because I really wanted to RP looking at her with an incredulous expression and hand her a tube of Vagisil (You all know that AO!  The one where a girl wiggles like she’s doing the pee-pee dance or has a really bad itch!).  On second thought, there was nothing hoochie about her.  Hoochie isn’t walking around with your boobs out.  Hoochie is–I don’t know how else to explain it but dressing like a tease.  “Is she offering or not?  Oooh… is that a bit of side-boob I see?”   This was flat out hooker.

Then, not two days later, one of my fashion blogger friends IM’s me and says:

“You need to do a rant regarding dressing the part.  You know what I mean?”  (check out her blog here)

I know exactly what she meant.

People in SL are so concerned with looking “hawt” and “sexy” that they forget to “look the part” some times.   I’m not talking about our non-rp’ing friends out there that hang out ooc’ly at clubs or whatever.  I’m talking about people struttin’ their stuff in RP sims that are so concerned with looking sexy (or what their idea of sexy is–not judging!  Remember folks, big ole adult sized diapers are sexy to some), or looking bad ass, that they walk around in the most absurd “sexy” outfits for roleplay.  I think I mentioned before a girl that claimed to be 21 and head of trauma and her titler said she always wore heels.  ANYONE that works a hospital, and actually in the medical field (not like admin or something), will tell you how many hours they spend on their feet, and how impractical, painful, and impossible  it would be to rush down the ER hall in 4″ stilettos–not to mention it’s probably not allowed because it could result in an injury and then there is that whole work-comp mess.  Granted, this seems more directed towards Urban RP sims, but it is everywhere.  I’ve seen “ladies” in medieval/fantasy sims claiming to be innocent virgins but are wearing a dress where the cleavage is so low she’d have to shave her pubes.

On the other hand (and you non-amazing rp’rs with aspirations of being an amazing RP’r, take note here!),  I’ve seen some people take such incredible care in planning a new character, and part of it is “the look” of the character.  The wardrobe is carefully selected and organized in their inventory just for that character.  Another friend told me how she would go shopping and stumble on things that suited the character, and she would purchase them, but she wouldn’t wear them until her CHARACTER earned enough money to buy them, and she could incorporate buying them into her RP, like IN CHARACTER (really? RP that?  Who’d a thunk?!).  She had purchased a few fur coats for the 1920’s sim we played in, but her character hadn’t progressed enough, hadn’t earned enough money to be able to realistically afford the coats, so she didn’t wear them.  Good RP, good character creation and development, good wardrobe planning–dress the part.  Hats off to you.  I am incredibly impressed–and I TRULY mean this, it is said without a single drop of sarcasm.

But then again, if everyone were like that I’d have nothing to rant about.  So I kinda NEED denim-thong-thigh-high-boot girl.

 

 

left the house

Just going to pick up some milk. What? ((not the same girl))

 

 

It doesn’t matter to her if she’s going to a club or just to buy milk at the corner store, she has to looks sexy-hawt!    Where was she going?  Why was she dressed like that?  Who the hell dresses like that all day, every day?  And worse yet, you don’t see just one person dressed like this, you see half the sim.  If it were just one, we could probably just look him/her and IC’ly snicker at the cray-cray whore.  But no… half the sim, male or female, rain or shine, winter or summer–thigh high boots, booty-shorts, boobs out!  Guys with no shirt on for not fucking reason.  One thing is open shirt, but no shirt?  Like not even tucked into your back pocket in case you need it?  You left the house lookin’ like THAT?  What if you got hungry and they won’t let you in the diner ’cause you got no shirt on?Now I’ve lived in MANY places up and down the east coast of the US, from Massachusetts to Key West–including New York, the Caribbean, and now the West Coast.  The only time I ever saw anyone dressing close to that was Fantasy Fest in Key West, a few times at a club, and on a daring stroll at night on 42nd in New York.   I don’t know, maybe I’ve lead a sheltered life.  The only place I’ve seen thong short jeans was at the beach, and there were no thigh-high boots to go with them.  I’ve seen people dressed like this in movies or documentaries where hookers and strippers were featured.  But never, ever, in broad daylight in the middle of the city for no fucking reason.

Your character has a dress code that is dictated by their personality and career choice.  Only in SL do you see doctors and cops looking like this, and wonder how they make it through the metal detectors:

 

Why yes, I’m a cop!

 

I rarely see avatars going about their everyday life in just jeans and a t-shirt–the exception to this is the better rp’rs, of course.  But I’m willing to bet that in real life even the most industrious, dedicated, work-a-holic hooker goes around without makeup and in yoga pants on her nights off.

So yes, when you dress your avatar for the day, stop thinking about whether or not you look “fuckin’ hawt”.  Look at it as if you were looking at your best friend (and hopefully you are one of those honest friends that don’t let their friends go out badly dressed), and say:

“Where the fuck you think you are going in THAT get-up?”

On The Scale of SL

Pet Peeve No. 9

9.  People that argue about their AV height.

I told you I would eventually get through all my pet peeves, and I wanted to do this one because of some things I saw this week, but it’s been hard to stay on topic while writing it.   I think mainly because there are a few ramifications on this issue that bother me, especially the suspicions surrounding WHY someone would argue this and the places where I’ve seen these folks.  So I’m going to do my best to stay on track here and completely block out the other creepy stuff that tickles my brain and makes me really want to get on a soap box.  Because frankly, after doing a little research I realize I’m not the only one that feels this way, and the forums are full of people that feel the same.

And before you hunt me down in SL and flame me and point fingers at me, I want to say that I do dig the DDBG scene, and I have no issue with a full-grown, adult-looking avi dressing/acting cutesy.  My avi is not super-tall, certainly shorter than the guys.  I am short in real life (5′ 2″), and I like being short.  And for the record, I’ve seen plenty of short or petite avis with small boobs that dress and look mature and I would never question their character’s age.  I also don’t have beef with someone playing a child in a child-friendly environment.  Aaaand, if I ever went anywhere where my avatar’s height/age was questioned, I would NOT argue, I would adjust or LEAVE.  It’s their fucking house!

But this isn’t supposed to be about the ambiguity of the apparent age of an avatar… right?  So, let’s not go there, shall we?  Let’s stick to this “scale” argument that people so like to use to explain WHY they have a short avi–which in a lot of cases is just an excuse for the apparent age of their avatar, but right… not about that!

Every now and then we run into a profile that has some long-winded rant about avatar height.  Chances are that it’s there because they’ve been questioned and accused on several occasions on their character’s apparent age,  (or a shit-ton) so they are tired of explaining themselves.  The person often times argues that being 7′ 0″ tall is “unrealistic” or “freakish”.  They stomp their Mary-Jane shoes  (oops! sorry, I wasn’t going there, huh?) and pout, and adamantly deny being a “child avatar” , and then they add to that that just because they don’t have ginormous boobs and ass it doesn’t make them a child.  They also go on about how they want to be more like their real life selves, have their height be more like their own.  If the pick was this short… eh.. but it’s not, the page is often FULL of excuses, explanations and mathematical calculations on scale and what-the-fuck-ever.

So, lets agree with this person for just a moment, they do have some quasi-valid points, so let’s just humor them, huh?

1.   A foot is a foot, a meter is a meter.

2.  7′ 0″ IS freakishly tall for a human female (or male for that matter).

3.  5′ 6″ – 5′ 8″ is a more average height for a human, AMERICAN, female.

 

NOT an accurate depiction of a female Avatar on Earth

 

If you ask me, and you didn’t, but you are reading my stuff, and well… yeah, I get to say what I want,  but if you ask me the point that these people are missing, like completely, like… by a few meters/feet, is that “scale” is about perception and necessity.   Different ethinicities/gene pools have different “average heights”.

Check out this table of average heights around the world.

The “average height” of a male in the Netherlands is 6’0″, but the average height of a man in Guatemala is 5′ 2″, for females it’s 5′ 6″ and 4′ 6″ respectively.   So, a woman from the Netherlands visiting Guatemala is “freakishly tall” compared to the local women.  A foot is a foot, a meter is a meter, but that doesn’t matter here, does it?  They are being measured with the same unit.  They say the ideal kitchen counter height is one that you can rest your bent elbows on comfortably without having to bend.   If this is the case, then they would be much much shorter in Guatemala than they would be in the Netherlands.

So… if we see that Second Life isn’t ANYWHERE on Earth, or maybe treat it like  its a different country–why not?  It has it’s own currency, and if we see that avatars are NOT human–they appear to be humanoid, mostly (lots of other stuff out there) but they are not flesh and bone, they have a completely different genetic make up (pixels!), you’ll realize (or not, because well, you don’t want to), that your argument on avatar height is invalid.  “Average height” in SL is different than “average height” elsewhere, just like average height in the Netherlands is different than average height in Guatemala.  Our furniture, cars, and other items in SL, are  “scaled” to fit an avatar’s “average height”.

So, like a Guatemalan visiting the Netherlands, YOUR avatar is freakishly short among the other avatars.  YOU look like a little girl sitting on a California-King size bed, especially when you wear your plaid skirt, Mary Jane shoes and pigtails (sorry, went there again!).  So, if we were to translate scales from SL to RL, with the ‘average’  7′ 0″ male avatar comparing to average 5′ 11″  male human, that would make you maybe 3′ 5″, or 4′ at best, and would be charged the kid’s price at Golden Corral–every time, without even being asked (my daughter is 4′ 11″ and she was still asked at 18), and would not be let into any clubs without your Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Passport, an affidavit from the doctor that birthed you AND a carbon dating test.

 

No, those aren’t children, and no, that’s not a giant, and no it’s not Guatemala, and they are NOT SL avatars either.

 

And I haven’t even touched on the fact that you know what?   Part of the argument is how they want to be more like their real life selves–and I don’t see any acne, saggy boobs, flat butts, bow-legs, crooked noses, thunder-thighs, weak-chins, etc, etc on these avis.  You made your height more like your real life self, wanting realism, but… is that a puppy dog tail butt plug and ears you are wearing all over SL?  You do that in real life too?

The advantage that you have in SL over RL, is that while you can’t stop people from offering you the kids menu in real life,  you can stop the people of SL from pestering you, accusing you, and banning you.   You can delete that pick off your profile and use it for something more useful, and you can stop arguing by simply adjusting the sliders on your appearance editor.

It’s fantasy.  Get over it.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Titler

AGE: 21, SCENT: Acai Berries and Orchids, AURA: Dangerous, Mysterious, Cute…

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, a titler (title-er) is one of those nifty things that puts floating text over your avatar’s head.  When it’s used correctly it can be a pretty useful tool and keep you from having to type out certain things every time you run into someone new, things that another person would perceive with their five senses in real life, but they can’t on avatars or because of SL limitations (someone should get on a script to fix that.  Like a USB Aroma-atomizer or something… on second thought, belay that).

Anyway, a couple of years ago I would have said there is only one thing to do with your titler–and that’s to shove it up your pixel ass.  But, considering the limited attachments points on an avatar back then, the text would still float above your head, and I think that might have been the default attachment point for something else so now you had no place to attach your Xcite Ass, your Spanker, or your Chimera Dance Machine.  So just… DELETE IT

I have changed my mind since then, but still think some folks just need a little direction, kinda like when you teach a toddler that his diaper doesn’t go on his head.   And just so you know, no I don’t go around just looking for titlers to ridicule.   Turns out my friends can be as snarky and snobby as I am (or just AMAZING RP’rs).  You wouldn’t believe the number of IM’s I get that go “OMG cam in on so-and-so, check out their titler!”

In any case, a titler should be clear and concise.  It shouldn’t take me 15 minutes to read it.  If you are going to use it, then just tell me what I’m seeing/smelling/hearing when I come across you, okay?

So, since some people, whose name I am not going to mention, can’t seem to grasp the proper use of a titler, I’m gonna go over a few things.  You don’t have to list jack-shit if you don’t want to, you don’t have to wear one, but if you are then take a look.

 

mary sue

Not saying THAT NAME

 

 

1. Hieroglyphic Font

♡♡  иηɹ ズ レ ᄊ 刀 o ア q 尺♡♡

Can’t read that?  Point.

Ooookaaay… moving right along..

2.  Scent/Body Odor

Black Orchids… Apricots… Lotus Flowers… French Lilacs… Acai Berries…

What the fuck do Acai Berries smell like anyway?  First off let me start by saying that most of these exotic scents I’ve seen on titlers worn by people that RP in places that make me think more along the lines of Acai Berries and Dumpster Juice.  Not to mention that some of these people ACT and LOOK so tough that I doubt very much their characters would give a fuck what they smell like.  “You sayin’ I stink?”  Baseball bat to the kneecaps!  Not to mention that it is my opinion that they were going for exotic and alluring, but Failed (see what I did there?  Captial F!).  You smell like the Walmart body wash aisle, or Bath and Body Works, because those are the only places where I’ve seen I’ve seen those “exotic” scent combinations.

Still, this is a fine one to include on your titler, since it is something that we notice on people.   Some say that they smell like Chanel No. 5, or some other designer scent.   Someone that works in the stables might say that they smell of horses, hay, and manure, which is valid, since someone else may not know your character works in a stable unless you tell them, but would definitely pick-up on the aroma of horseshit (very different from bullshit).

3. Injuries

Stab wound to the ass with a fork… 7-inch gash on the leg from bowie knife with 94 stitches… right eye gouged out with ice pick…

If your injuries take up three lines on that titler, or are so long that if  the titler were a solid object your avatar would not fit through the door, I think that avatar should be RP’ing from his bed at the hospital and not strutting their badass stuff around town.  Jus’ sayin’.

Tell me that you are limping, that you are walking a little stiffly, that you have an eye-patch.  Leave the rest to RP.  If my character gives a shit she will ask.  “oh my gawd, are you okay?  Why are you limping?”  Seriously.  If you see someone in the street with stitches on his arm, do you KNOW how they got them and how many stitches are in it?  I don’t think so.  Some rely on props, which is fine, like animated crutches–though its kinda funny when your AO overrides the crutches and you wind up swinging them around with your sexywalk.  Yes, there are tattoo layers out there you can wear with black eyes, stitches, bruises, whip marks, open wounds, etc.  And while all these are fine, a lot of people don’t zoom in on avatars to check for injuries or bruises you would notice on someone as they walked in a room.  Also, so many people wear these just for the look (like a fresh, still bleeding, knife carving of BADASS across their belly), so it makes them kinda pointless at times.  Some people may not be able to afford all these props and layers and whatever, or don’t’ want to dump the L$ on them, so a freebie titler becomes very handy and you can change it up when you heal without having to clog up your inventory with injuries.

 4.  Inventory/What you carry

Items:  “the weight of the guilt of his father’s death in his right pocket, $500 cash in his left”   Weapon:  “innocent smile and doe-like eyes staring at you

Yes, I’ve seen both, with my own eyes.  I shit you not!  I swear to the Linden gods *makes the sign of a cross over her Lolas*.  If this was you, well you’ve been blogged about, AND just to let you know, people are snickering at your titler in IM’s–and it ain’t just me, and it ain’t girls hatin’ on you because you are so pretty, or guys wishing they got as much mesh pussy as you do.  Trust me.

Listing the items your character carries around can help avoid being accused of godmoddding, and some places require it because of that reason.  For example, if you say you carry a weapon, then when you pull it out on an assailant or during a fight, no one can accuse of you powergaming/godmodding, and claim that you only pulled it out because they attacked you and that you never had it in the first place (though I’m sure they’d only do this if you bested them and they are poor-losers and cry-babies).   Someone can’t say they stole $1,000 from you that you never had.  However, it can make you a target for metagaming, someone might avoid rp’ing messing with you because you listed a weapon, or because you don’t really carry that much cash for them to steal. You don’t have to list every item individually either, like if  you have makeup in your bag its cool to say “makeup” but if you have a one of those metal nail files, that you might use as a weapon, then put that.  If you have an ID, credit cards, whatever.   But common sense should prevail!  It should not be a huge shopping list, it should not be abstract, just things that might be relevant during RP.

5.  Status/Mood/Aura/WTF-EVER!

This week a friend pointed out someone’s titler: Aura: Dangerous, Protective, Trustworthy.  This one isn’t just a WTF, but a WTAF (what-the-actual-fuck? for those that need translating).

Let’s NOT delve into the fact that this person can’t figure out what side of the fence they stand on.  That my gentle readers, is the topic for another rant.

But what can we say about this line on a titler?  I draw the line at STATUS.   No this isn’t your character’s marital/relationship status, but it can be kinda tricky.   Is your avatar sick?  Maybe has a runny nose or is showing signs of a cold.  Is he high?  Mellow-high like after smoking pot, or a little strung-out after snorting a few lines?  Sure some of this could be noticed in your character, and these things should be reflected in your RP/emotes, but I don’t mind a little something to go on in this regard.

The rest should be all RP.  Happy you say?  Maybe you are just delirious, something I would note in RP, maybe.  I don’t know you like that!  Same goes for sad, or mad, or wtf ever.

And do I really have to explain AURA?  *sighs*

If you are not in a magic/fantasy sim stay away from this crap.  Even then, stick to ONE COLOR and what it means.  Perceiving an “aura” is more of a 6th sense thing that few people would “perceive” no matter how hard you are trying to project it, and even if someone did pick up on it,  it’s relative.  And you skeptics out there, STFU! You know nothing!  We MIGHT have an aura, you can’t prove otherwise!  Maybe my aura-radar HUD-thingie is busted.  Wanna say you are dangerous?  Maybe to someone like my character you are, but I betcha I got some buddies that make that “dangerous aura” seem like “chump aura”.   And no matter how much your concentrate, no matter how many vibes you try to give off, I refuse to be godmodded by your “Love Potion No. 9” purple aura.

So there you have it.  I know it, now you are gonna walk around SL thinking of me whenever you see a titler that says “Always wears heels, 21, Model-like body type, XXMC Chief of Trauma (yes at 21, Dougette Howser),  4 bodyguards with her at all times, Scent:  Black Orchids”  and you are going to say:

She smells like Dumpster Juice No. 2