Tuesday, January 18, 2011

and now this could be the last of all the rides we take

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised anymore, when these things happen...

[07:22 PM] Bianca Namori: I'm going to make an alt, and whore her out to help with sim cost.
[07:22 PM] KlausWulfenbach Outlander: Sultana!
[07:22 PM] SteelCobra Calamari: Magistrate!
[07:23 PM] Erehwon Yoshikawa: Miss Bianca!
[07:23 PM] Annechen Lowey facepalms.

The problem with this particular exchange? Isn't even that it's tacky as hell, though it is. It's that this is the leader of the new ally-state, Cala Mondrago.

But then, this is part of why I've detached from Caledon so much of late. Caledon is now the place of once-was. Once, social niceties mattered. Once, there was something resembling polite society. Once, Caledon was something to aspire to, the pearl of great price, a virtual pinnacle of life on the grid.

Maybe I make too much of a deal on it. Or I'm too set in my ways and too steeped in nostalgia--still. The current powers-that-hang-out seem to have no problem with the things that make my head spin, and it's certainly not prudishness that guides my actions. I don't mind flirtatiousness, innuendo, sly asides, the covert play of words and meanings; fencing using phrases, not rapiers, for enjoyment and the thrill of the interchange itself.

I suppose I simply see a difference between gentle flirtation, even wicked innuendo, on the one hand, and...such blunt and raw-edged attempts at..humor? Mayhap? Especially the concept of 'whoring' anything...on the other. Caledon has finally outpaced me in terms of culture; I am too staid for that environment.

To be fair, that means the problem is with me, not Caledon as a whole. It's more than a little depressing, and indicates a deep unwillingness to change that is still frustrating me on other issues in my life. And at this point I can't even say that Caledon as it is doesn't work--it had some moments of stagger, early in the transition from peered société to...this...but there is music, there is community, there is support and genuine caring in Caledon. I see it; I hear it. In my own way, distantly, I rejoice that it is there.

I just can't embrace the changes. Not yet. Maybe not ever. To me, all of this could have been reversed with a little care and a little attention, by those that matter. Unfortunately, I didn't think I was one of those who mattered, so I..and so many others...just watched it happen.

And again, I can't even say the current residents are wrong, because the current residents are happy. How can I argue with happiness? Why should I, why should anyone?

Over on the Rock Paper Shotgun blog, there's a bit of explanation behind the meteoric rise and subsequent fall in flames of "World of Starcraft"--or, at least, the trailers posted on YouTube. What leaves me curious is, while Blizzard/Activision have every right to kill the trailers for this, as they could possibly infringe on World of Warcraft copyright, they've left the actual development site for the mod alone. Why wouldn't they attempt a take-down on the site and the forums, as well? That may relate to why they released modkits for StarCraft in the first place...

FInally, this is the single worst suggestion for an MMO feature I have ever, ever heard. Ever. Hands down. I pray--hourly--that this is all a joke.

But if I see an MMO emerge with bathroom physics? It will be the end of gaming as we know it.


Serenity Semple said...

That suggestion for MMOs hurts my head. =_= Honestly I'm sure people (at least I know they do or would in SL) would take it too far. I think you know what I mean, if you don't then we'll just forget about it. XD

Icterus Dagger said...

That "edge" you speak about in Caledon has been there for a while. There were weeks on end that I kept the group chat firmly shut because I was tired of hearing about a certain "maids' school" and someone following every comment with "making doe'e eyes." I realize some of that might fall under the "innudendo" you're ok with, but for me, I found it part ridiculous and part disgusting. It was so OVERDONE. It's ironic that you should post this just as I'm back residing in Caledon after extensive time away in Edison and Givery (which of course had strong Caledon connections). I've toyed with giving up my "citizenship" a lot in recent months, but certain memories and events have stayed my hand. But it gets harder every day.


Icterus Dagger said...

And I should add, that back when I first noticed how things had "turned" (?) I did try to interject some civility and decorum in a manner I felt befitted a pseudo-Victorian sim, but my comments and appeals made almost no impact. I suppose some of that is understandable. I did all but leave the grid for about a year, and only came back under difficult circumstances. But I did try.


Fogwoman Gray said...

Lots of new folk in Caledon, and most of the old timers who "led by example" in chat have moved on - either physically left for other climes or just checked out in chat altogether. So the new folks coming in have joined the Caledon chat culture that is there and active. Evolution in action.
I am on intermittently, and am rarely offended by chat. A lot of the conversations are not things I find particularly interesting so I often do not pay much attention.
Frankly, there is often much more computer geekery going on than scandalous innuendo.
But the fact of the matter is, the only way that behaviour is going to change is if it is consistently modelled by the participants, and that is hard work that never ends.
I will say that I was particularly pleased the other day to see a particularly obnoxious boor scolded, muted by all present, and given a very pointed - while civil- lesson in manners when he attempted to continue his boorishness in private IM.
Caledon at it's best :)

Rhianon Jameson said...

Caledon, I fear, became too big for the band of merry pseudo-Victorian, Steampunk-ish types on the grid. As Mrs. Volare said, many new people have joined, and the example that seems to have been set in ISC chat is that anything goes.

(I can't really complain about Caledon's growth, as I took up residence during its growth spurt and would likely have faced an endless wait for land had the Guv not been adding sims at a furious pace.)

I'll note that some people don't take gentle hints very well, and this comes out in ISC chat in ways both little (assuming first name familiarity with complete strangers) and big (ignoring pointed comments about bawdy remarks). I generally shrug it off.

I suspect that one factor in all of this is the absurd churn among mini-Land Barons, who seem to arrive with few ties to Caledon, buy a great deal of land or attach sims to Caledon as "allied nations," and then disappear in a few months, whether from boredom or financial difficulties I cannot say.

Hmm, that reminds me to check whether the Gorean slave cage is still in the southern part of Caledon Downs...

Diamanda Gustafson said...

Icterus said:

I've toyed with giving up my "citizenship" a lot in recent months, but certain memories and events have stayed my hand. But it gets harder every day.

Had I not the luxury of observing it all from a safe distance, I don't want to think the what ifs of it all.

And maybe because I'm an incurable optimist at heart, I'm still around.

Emilly Orr said...


Oh, absolutely. This is something I'm praying will never catch on, but then, I knew GMs at one point--long, long ago--who kept harlot encounter tables and wound lists that seemed to focus on groin injuries and sadistic places to get pierced with awful things, so this is a facet of gaming, for some people.

Some guys.

Some strange guys...

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dagger,

(Why is there no equivalent friendly formality for men? 'Miss Emilly' you've called me for a while, because we are friends, I like to think. Why doesn't that work in reverse?)

I think I would have continued to participate intermittently, and mostly just close ISC as soon as it pops open--the same behavior I've had for, oh, at least a year, and mayhap two now--if I hadn't logged on, and the very first line I see for the evening is that.

Even at that, I likely would have sighed, and shaken my head, and even just closed the chat window again, were it not for the reaction. The cries of "Sultana!" and "Magistrate!" made me pull the profile, and reading on who she was...well, the first thought that went through my head was that the "deer" doe-eyed one had finally been outgunned.

To her credit--though I didn't point this out at the time, and only found this out later, going through the logs--she did feel abashed at the partially negative reaction she got from fellow citizens. But only a few citizens. Most of them? Found it funny.

Emilly Orr said...

And I tried as well; I tried for many months to preserve order (at least as I understood it.) I was worried, and not clearly focused, and came off as more strident than I needed to be, in retrospect. But even those who managed more civility than I didn't get anywhere.

Social change happens. If enough of one subset wants the change to occur...it will. It's no less true on the grid.

Emilly Orr said...

Lady Fogwoman,

I don't suppose you could pass me the name of the so-loathed individual? I missed the mass muting!

I do agree that the only way people learn is by example, and it is hard, grinding, unrewarding and relentless work. And, in the matter of any public opinion, those willing to do the hard work will win--eventually, however long their struggle is.

And I'm finally learned--the 'modern VIctorians' are more willing to fight this one out, far beyond my patience to preserve decorum and the old social order.

They win.

Emilly Orr said...

Caledon, I fear, became too big for the band of merry pseudo-Victorian, Steampunk-ish types on the grid. As Mrs. Volare said, many new people have joined, and the example that seems to have been set in ISC chat is that anything goes.

I think that captures the current situation excellently, Miss Jameson.

Mostly I am tryikng to adapt, but more and more, the average state of chat is nothing I want to keep open, most days, still.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, obviously, I didn't contact the Guvnah and hand over the keys to Morgaine, either.

But I thought about it. I seriously thought about it. Social gaffe? Jest that went awry? All right, we've seen both and frequently, things happen; we've even see arguments that should have never seen the light of day raging in public chat. Because people are people and are creatures of emotion, passion, and will unchained.

And I am trying, very very hard, to remember that she *did* feel slight shame for what she said, and that would have been the end of it, but--Cala Mondrago. The ally sim that seemingly popped up out of nowhere, and...shouldn't ally sims share something in common with their allied nation-states?

But this is the dilemma in a nutshell. Maybe Cala Mondrago does, you see. With who's in chat now. Which means my very disconnection from the chat--and hence, the most visible part of Caledon culture, beyond music events--has hindered me in...well. Would I have evolved along with the current Caledonians? That is the question.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Regarding a semi-familiar equivalent for men to "Miss Emilly," Southerners (and perhaps others) have no difficulty with a direct translation: "Mr. Icarus, would you be a dear and pour me another glass of that delicious iced tea? Thanks ever so much."

I'll venture a complete guess that the reason one doesn't see more of that form of address is that ladies were expected to keep random acquaintances from assuming too much familiarity. Hence "Mr. Dagger" is keeping the addressee at a somewhat greater distance than "Miss Emilly." I'd be happy to have a more knowledgeable person explain why that's wrong, however.

Icterus Dagger said...

Strangely enough (or is it?) among most of my non-circa 1900 friends in SL I'm "Dagger" as my familiar name. Whether because they find Icterus difficult to say/spell or they think it's an adjective, I don't know for sure. Except in my partner's case. She just hates trying to spell it.


Rhianon Jameson said...

And I clearly blew it when trying to spell your name, Mr. Icterus (if I may be so informal). I knew better. My apologies, sir.

Emilly Orr said...

And taking all of the above into consideration, then, I'll leave it in Mr. Dagger's hands.

I suppose I'm back to casual uninvolvement as far as ISC goes. Keep the window open if I'm in the mood, close it if I'm not, be polite, try not to get upset or become yet another raver on the chat, which I've done far too often for personal--and cultural--comfort.