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RP vs. Lifestyle… The BIG DEBATE!

I have read and heard many times that online role-play is somehow "dangerous" to the Gorean lifestyle.
I have been reading and thinking on both sides of the argument for some time now.

After much thought and weighing of the issue, rather to my initial dismay, as I have always found the whole role-playing thing silly, I have to say that I cannot see any real problem with role-playing.

People play all kinds of role-playing games. Often, people who actually live what is being role-played scorn such games, as they (we) see it as an affront to what they do.

The problem, I think, is when role-players fail to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

I see no difference between someone who plays the video game, "911 Paramedic" REALLY well and says "I am a Paramedic", but who is a discount store night stocker in real life and can't even put a Band-Aid on a paper cut without getting queasy...
and someone who role-plays online Gor, but *ONLY* online, and says "I am Gorean"
Both are people who obviously need to get a clue!

By the same token though, does a real life paramedic who happens to also enjoy playing "911 Paramedic" endanger other real life paramedics' reputation?
Could someone playing that game mistakenly think that's all there is to it and they really know all they need to know to render aid?
Well, yes!
Unfortunately, we do have that level of brain power operating within our society.
But should we all live to the lowest common denominator?
I say No!
In fact, that doesn't seem like something that fits within the Gorean ethos at all.

Perhaps, rather than scorning any who enjoy playing whatever games they like, lifestylers could be there to inform those discovering that maybe, just maybe, what began as a game for them may ring true more deeply. THEN, those who role-play and live the life, could point such people in the right direction.

Much like how that paramedic who's young niece or nephew has played the game a lot with him and decides they'd actually like to become a paramedic, would point out to the aspiring medic what parts of the game are true to life, what parts aren't and what they need to do to realize their ambitions.

I do not understand why so many people who are supposedly honorable go around slamming other people and implying, and in some cases, outright saying that anyone who role-plays is a liar!

Let me simplify this.

"Master_a" lives to the best of his abilities by the philosophies in the Gor books. He owns a girl who lives with him and serves him 24/7. He has a firm grasp on reality and understands well how to apply "Gor" to real life. He does, however, enjoy the *fantasy* of tarns, the Kurri, sword fighting and the brutal living and dying from the Gor novels. He, for his pleasure, in his leisure time, plays a character in a role-play "tavern" He will be the first to tell you that he would never dream of throwing his slave to a wild beast, should she displease him, nor does he go around slashing everyone who bugs him to pieces. The role-play is only a game, he says. To let off steam. For fun.

"Master_b" is married with children. He believes his wife should obey and be subservient to him because he believes in natural order, but she has been "stained by Earth ways" too much and chooses to be her own person. So he "lives as a Gorean" online only when his wife isn't around since he feels he "needs" to be served. He claims that the character he plays is really who he is in real life. He would never admit to his "online life" to anyone in his "real life" or vise verse. He is going behind his wife's back and justifying it because she is "only a woman". He calls himself Gorean because he supposedly believes in the Gorean philosophy even though he doesn't live like he does.

Only one of them is a liar... Pretty simple from where I sit.

For the argument that in the RP games a slave can RP a FW, well, yes, I suppose she can, but if she is a slave, she knows that it is only a character and that in reality, she is at her owner's service and mercy. Frankly, any girl who can't keep the RP and real life separate has no business being a slave.
Similarly, if a Master or Mistress can't deal with a slave fantasizing about being free once in a while, even while fully committed to her owner and service, maybe said Master or Mistress has some personal security issues they need to deal with before owning a slave.

Here's another thing. People keep saying that you "can't compare Star Trek RP games with Gor RP games, because one is a game and one a philosophy!"
Big news folks…

Star Trek was originally a series of sci-fi books, that games were later based on and some people took more seriously and made into a lifestyle that the majority of "normal" people think is abnormal.

Gor was originally a series of sci-fi books, that games were later based on and some people took more seriously and made into a lifestyle that the majority of "normal" people think is abnormal.

I'm having a little trouble seeing the difference here.
Or are we saying that the Trekkies are a bunch of lame role-players who took it too far, but Goreans have a valid lifestyle?
Hypocrisy anyone?

It is true that there will always be deceivers in the world, both online and off. That is why it is so very important to do research.. To find out as best we can if the person on the other side of the screen is who and what they say they are.
And this is true whether you're on a Gor forum, a golf form, a (insert religious or other special interest group here)-singles forum or at the neighborhood pub meeting people!
People have been lying and cheating and falling for other people's lines long before the advent of Gor or the internet.
Lets not blame online role-play for centuries-old human folly!

Lastly, I might point out that when I first was introduced to the Gorean way of life, I had a very tough time finding like minded people. I could only find online role-play, which I couldn't stand and in which never participated, but I persevered.
I kept going in those chat rooms and asking, and the man who FINALLY pointed me to Gorean Whispers and Gor on Earth, which, in turn led me to several other forums, was online role-playing. He enjoyed it, I imagine, (else why would he do it) but also lives the lifestyle, and took time from his game to help me find my way to venues for discussing real life Gor.
He told me that, yes, most in the chat rooms were only gamers, but that there were, indeed a very few who actually lived the lifestyle and he put me in touch with them.

If it hadn't been for that man, who so many would call a liar and/or say he is not Gorean because he enjoys a RP game, I WOULD have dismissed Gor as just a joke or a farce.

I may never have found the man with whom I shared 8 years of my life, seven of them in his collar, since the reason the person who introduced us did so because we were both Gorean.
I never would have met most of the absolutely awesome people I met through Gorean venues, many of whom I have the pleasure of calling my friends.
I never would have known the joy of serving, truly serving Gorean men and felt the fullness of my slave heart!
Indeed, the slave heart in me, likely, would have eventually withered and died from neglect, leaving an empty space that nothing else could ever fill, and leaving that potential forever unrealized.

Yes, I am free now, and happy as such, but if not for my time in the collar, I would not be the free woman I am today. I would still be more like one of those haughty free women in the books of whom Norman made examples pretty much every time - The ones who had to be knocked down from the lofty perch of their high horses, after too long thinking that just because they could be disrespectful to, or lord it over free men, that they should do so, and that it would not eventually catch up with them.
How tragic that would have been!

How many others may have similar stories?
How many girls who may have served you beautifully, if only given the chance, have been scorned and turned away for having started with role-play?

And how many men and women, truly seeking something more, have been similarly turned away? Ones with whom you may have found friendship, sat table with. Perhaps some who would have been the perfect Master or Mistress for a lonely slave, but never got the chance to get beyond the role-play because some choose prejudice and contempt over accepting and guiding those who are seeking.
I, for one, am very glad to have finally seen my mistake in dismissing role players so easily.

© Khaos WolfKat 2004
Updated 2010


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