Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happiness, safety rules, roleplaying a slave

I haven't felt this light-hearted and happy since 2011. The big mess left by the group I was in for a year was cleared almost entirely four days ago, leaving me feeling peaceful, freeing brain cpu for simple enjoyment. It's great.

I have a few rules in the new group I joined. Never say anything negative out of character. Never try to improve anything, it's none of my business. Don't make close friends with people, no matter how awesome you feel they are right now. Don't try to develop a deeper conversation, and negate any risks of one by liberal use of happy emoticons. Generally, talk less, emoticon more. Keep it nice, friendly and shallow.

This seems to work well thus far, but, as I bitterly told Fei, "Give me six months and I can fuck that one up too like the pro that I am". But I'm trying. It's a process.

That said, I'm having a blast. The Stanford Prison Experiment reminded me that normative people, when given absolute power and no supervision, tend to forget they're dealing with other human beings - and I see this, even through the thick filter of being in-character. Almost everyone is alarmingly, bluntly and transparently ego-driven (yours truly included) and it's fascinating to see this in-game in an environment where, when one's ego is offended, they can make another character's life a living hell.

I have to say though that, thanks to a combination of supervision from the guild leaders and general tastefullness from most other members, so far nothing gross has happened. Anything remotely sexual is brutally ignored, and even the displays of violence I've seen so far were not as gross as some of the other things I've seen in online roleplaying through the years.

I'm not sure what I get from playing a slave on the deeper levels; but on the surface, it's quite evident. It's a free Mary Sue card: you get to be the innocent-helpless-brave victim all the time, while prancing around in sparkly dresses and looking traumatized about it. Guys, I'm too old to deny that I enjoy it.

There's also a great liberty in the fact my character's opinions don't matter to anyone. This way she doesn't have the option to try and make anything around the group better (which, experience taught me, usually ends up with her being disliked by many). No, she's a worm. Oddly enough, I find this really liberating.

The parts that do bother me - gross dehumanization, as I prolly said before, or emotionally identifying with my char's feelings - some can be negated by simply stating that some specific action makes me uncomfortable, some by chatting to a player behind the scenes, and some... can't be negated. But so far, even with this, I've gotten decent roleplaying, excitement, emotional involvement, inspiration and things to dream of before I fall asleep; when I have this I'm the happiest, and I do hope this wave lasts long and doesn't end up as salty as the old one. 

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