Thursday, February 1, 2007

A world apart

Patrice recently finished a terraforming job on Forrest, a Gorean sim. The job was a forest (no pun intended) and hideout for a band of panthers. In Gor, panthers are fighting women, always needing to be on their guard to avoid capture by men who want to enslave them.

If you don't know already, Gor is a role-playing (RP) sim in Second Life. Actually, Gor is a role-play in First Life and probably in several virtual worlds other than SL. It is based, more or less faithfully (less in SL, it seems), on a series of fantasy novels by John Norman. I have never read the books, but I've learned some of the basics. Gorean men consider women to be worthy only of slavery, mainly sexual slavery, and supposedly men and women find their true selves through this relationship. The men, and panthers, fight battles using primitive weaponry of roughly Roman Empire vintage—swords (men only), bows and arrows, spears, and knives. There are free women in Gorean cities who fill particular non-slave roles, but basically women are either slaves, called kajirae, or panthers, struggling to remain free.

SL is a role play for me already, to some extent, so I have not sought out further role play. Patrice used to be a panther. The terraforming work she did was for her former chieftess. She left Gor for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, she got terribly bored with the politics, with the endless wranngling over rules and petty grievances. On the other hand, she got so caught up in the fighting that she felt things were getting out of balance. She'd be up at three in the morning to help her sisters ward off an attack.

I took this photo when I was visiting Forrest to see Patrice's work, in role-play costume but wearing my "visitor" tag so as not to be captured. The dagger in a sheath on my right leg is just part of the costume. Unlike Patrice, I am unarmed, and would be a rank amateur at fighting even if I were armed.

I must admit to a certain fascination with Gor, at least with some aspects of it. For one thing, panther outfits rock! Kajira outfits—silks—are even more overtly sexy. Even Gorean free women have good costumes—well, except for the veils. I'm not much on fighting, but I would like to learn how, and using this kind of weaponry is more appealing to me than learning to fight in a modern RP like Midian. And even the idea of being a kajira is both repulsive and intriguing at the same time. A good master or mistress (SL Gor has female slave owners as well) can create a potentially interesting relationship. If you're going to be owned, you want to be owned by someone worthy of running your life. I know a man who apparently is that ideal master—one who loves and cherishes his kajira. Unfortunately, from what I've heard, he is a rare bird in SL Gor.

I am going to try to learn how to fight in that style, perhaps outside Gor, since Patrice's panther sister Govindira, who would be a good teacher, has also resigned. I have thought of putting on my badge and exploring the library at Port Kar. And if I ever lose Patrice or otherwise hit some really bad patch, I might even consider "begging the collar" from my friend (although he seems not to be in world much these days), or taking my chances on finding a good master or mistress, perhaps even fighting bravely before that. It might be interesting and challenging, at least for a while. Or it might be a colossal bore! Either way, it would probably be something I could justify as a learning experience.


Michael said...

Actually I have a deep animosity against Gor roleplayers. They tend to be unfriendly and arragont. I thin the majority of the (male) Gor roleplayers can't differentiate between phantasy and real (or second - for that matter) life. Even if they are outside their sim they are aggressive and arrogant. At least the ones I met. Being male consists of a certain amount of bragging, but those Gor males redefine the term bragging.

I happend to accidentally stumble into a Gor sim once. Actually I didn't even realize it was a Gor sim. There was a script that was supposed to give me a set of "rules", and visitor clothing and tags. That script did not work - I received NOTHING - so I walked into that otherwise unmarked land wearing my traditional tuxedo.

You should have seen the reaction of the first inhabitants I came accross. I haven't had such flames since my old BBS days! They really got rude on me, and when I started to complain they really got nasty, called me a liar etc. One of the women (sic!) went and checked the script and confirmed that it was malfunctioning. I dared to say "Well, then I guess I get an apology?". Bad, bad idea. Had they been rude before, they became openly hostile after that. In the end I got ejected from that sim and banned to. Not that I cared.

That was the last event in a series, which made me avoid everything Gor-related as far as possible. Probably being an SL-er myself this is the wrong thing to say, but these folks really need to get a life!

Anonymous said...

Michael...It was the tuxedo.

Is your avatar black?