Wednesday, December 9, 2009

and I know I'm just here to amuse you

A correspondent--female, even, apparently--at the WorldNetDaily site freaks out at the amount of "dirty gay sex" in Dragon Age; the problem is, the site is basing their condemnation on YouTube videos of the in-game sex, not the game itself.* As MMORPG points out, "Dragon Age also features digital prostitutes, lesbians, rather clean three way sex, inter-species erotica, war, decapitation, thinly veiled social commentary, alcohol, drug addiction, slavery, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, genocide, the death of children, demons, and more blood than a vampire drinking game." Hee!

[*Note: Upon reviewing, I made this first paragraph more direct, but I should also say, while the article is still basing their review of the game based on posted videos, they do include references to other reprehensible things that can go on in the game.]

The folks behind the Looking for Group comic--you'll note, of everything that rotates around in the sidebar, they've nearly always been featured on this blog, and that's just out of love for the comic--have been booted from DragonCon in Atlanta. Now, for those who don't know, DragonCon is one of the largest sf/fantasy conventions anywhere. It very nearly rivals ComicCon in San Diego for sheer tonnage of people on the ground; and it does attract fans, costumers, gaming company reps, live RPG people, movie reps, music reps, pirates, vampires, SCA folk, RenFaire folk, performers who have any connection to fantasy, sf, horror, or short, it's huge, everyone who can goes--including lots of web comic artists (most notably, Jennie Breeden of Devil's Panties fame).

Now, I've never gone to any big convention, I will admit; my purview has been the small and local, across several states, now. But I have friends who have gone to both. And they've always told me--ComicCon is big and brash and mobile, some great steaming engine just churning out seminars and screenings, an extended weekend where one is always on the go.

Conversely, they say, DragonCon is more relaxed. There seems to be more of a concept of taking one's time, of going to everything, but pausing for tea and conversation. Of getting to know people, at least briefly. ComicCon, I'm told, is all about the networking; DragonCon is all about the connections. It may seem similar on the surface, but they really are worlds apart.

And all was well at DragonCon until last year for the LFG folks. DragonCon just had an off year, maybe? They recently changed hands, and the hands they changed to were owned by grasping, venal idiots? They figure it's easier to blame comic artists, because really, who'll listen to them?

Personally, I don't know. But I do know of the many things I have on the "Things to Do Before I Die" list--which includes visiting Carhenge, going to Scotland, and seeing Massachusetts--DragonCon is now off the list. Because there is never an excuse to be rude to a vendor. You never know when that vendor will buy a bigger booth; or pimp your convention before their fans; or be working on a theatre feature for their comic...honestly, it was just stupidity on the part of DragonCon's staff, all the way 'round. And they're blaming LFG for their problem.

I have so been here in terms of gaming; this is based on the artist getting back into EverQuest, but really, it applies. I've had more success in Runes moving from an ornate, green and gold coat to a gardening jacket...because the battered brown gardening jacket has better stats! And any time my character trades from a gleaming blade longer than I am, to a small rusty dagger--that's even called a Rusty Dagger--and I fight better with it? Something's off in the game...or my armor and weaponry really is that tragic.

And I'm still working on revising the Lolita article. Damn it.


Rhianon Jameson said...

You need to add something to the "do before I die" list, then, or you're one step closer to death. Which is why I keep "invent cold fusion" and "experience faster-than-light travel" on the list. I figure I'm good for quite some time.

But: "conservatives" dislike Dragon Age? Really? I'll admit to (1) being extremely conservative and (2) never having heard of Dragon Age. More seriously, I'm not sure that conservatives have a monopoly on getting bloomers all wadded up because of on-line nookie. I just downloaded the FTC's report "Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks," commissioned by a Democratic-majority congress, written by a handful of liberals, and issued by a liberal Commission. Their recommendations include things such as "profanity filters." (One assumes that includes filters for s*x terms, too.) Kids saying naughty words! Scandalous! Personally, I'd feel better if they just learned how to spell.

Emilly Orr said...

You're absolutely right, that was a vague term. I'm opting for polite on the revision, over the broader term "conservatives", though what I really want to do after reading through their site is label them all "right-wing neo-conservative religiously-extreme idiot nutjobs with delusions of literacy".

The main problem with the FTC article is that, once all the hype boils away, it comes down to some simple suggestions:

1. Install profanity filters. (Some games do this, actually. They never catch everything, though, and it just makes people who are determined to use profanity more creative.)

2. Observe your children online. (And some parents do this, too, but...most don't, and never will, no matter what their kids are playing.)

3. Keep kids off the net. (And that's ever going to happen. The only kids who are never on the net are Hutterites or Amish, frankly.)

Otherwise, it's a lot of blather that doesn't add up to much. But it'll likely be a buzzword through 2011, and an inducement to hysteria and innocence lost until 2015, most likely.