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Old 01-28-2002, 05:24 PM
Prometheus Prometheus is offline
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#22: Sex and the Single Gamer


Or don't, if yer too shy. I'm just trying to see how accurate this article was.
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Old 01-29-2002, 05:35 AM
Sparks Sparks is offline
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First, a tiny (no pun intended) bit of info...the original MUD was a pay service. When a free and redistributable version with far fewer features was coded by someone, it was 'TinyMUD' (because it was, well, tinier). TinyMUD begat TinyMUSH and TinyMUCK, TinyMUSH begat TinyMUX (which in turn begat TinyMUSH again) and so on. Thus, the origin of the 'Tiny' in the server names...and in 'tinyplot' and 'tinysex'.

Beyond that, one thing which I have found about online in-character relationships (even the sexual ones, though I've had few of them) is a degree of safety.

My last in-person relationship ended very badly. I won't go into details, though Scott actually knows what happened since he was one of those I talked to about it, at least in brief, at the time (he was playing the father of my character on one game, so we had a lot of contact). Suffice it to say it left me somewhat scarred for a while in dealing with any sort of sexual relationship. I'm still a little wary, even now, over a year later.

BUT...I've found of late that I'm fine with it online.

Why? Well, the worst that can happen in an online situation is I get my feelings hurt; I can't be physically injured or harmed. The shyness/reluctance I feel about considering a relationship RL goes away in this kind of situation...if my character gets hurt, it's only my character. It helps me explore my feelings about actually opening up again, and lose maybe a little bit of my reluctance to do so.

This post could probably be a lot more eloquent if it wasn't 5:30am, but I hope I have at least conveyed my point somewhat.
  • --Sparks (Jeanne@Firan)
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Old 01-29-2002, 08:16 AM
Dariel Dariel is offline
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Scott, I'd suggest you hop over the Atlantic. I can't speak for all LARP type games, but I know what I've seen so far. Over here, sex is running rampant through LARPs.

When on early watch in a tent encampment (A commonly chosen style of Fantasy LARPs over here. Very stylish for vagabond and mercenary types, and of course questing knights.), you'll often see various people emerge from the tents of others in the wee hours, and trudge towards their own. Don't tell me they were playing scrabble all night.

Vampire LARP is even worse. Especially as the players tend to be Goth wannabes and seem to think that being loose belongs in there, along with drugs and blood. People of compatible gender and sexual orientation can't seem to bite each other in public.

Have a nice day.
'If you're going through hell, keep going.'
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The most acceptable hypocrisy.
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Old 01-29-2002, 09:36 AM
skitten skitten is offline
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Heya Scott,

I have to agree with Dariel. Sex is rampant throughout the LARPs I have been in and am in. Most of the time, it's fairly subtle for those who are not the actual couple involved. Most of the time. Sometimes, someone will blab and the gossip will spread faster than the speed of light.

However, I know of several couples who got together because of LARPing. Two of those couples are now married couples. Some of those couples ended up in the break up of "RL" relationships due to the LARP relationship that bled into the big blue room.

Romance and TS online can be great when done with some sense of maturity and responsibility. It is escapism at its best. However, things can get really wonky when people try to take the character feelings from the screen to mundane reality.

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Old 01-30-2002, 01:29 AM
Richard Richard is offline
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Location: Colchester, Essex, UK
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He're something I wrote a few years ago that's kinda related to this: .

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Old 01-31-2002, 03:23 PM
Laurel Laurel is offline
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That's really funny Richard!!! *sits at work, laughing*

On a more serious note, sex-in-game is a really important issue to me, one with moral issues I'm wrestling with as a developer. Its not that I have any problem (or think I could really control) what characters do with one another via consensual roleplay.

But I think the player-player dynamics of sex, love, and relationships is very complicated and where a huge portion of player v. player problems surface in text games. Its a phenomena that's haunted my own online career, including an incredibly painful experience of a good friend, a fellow female, telling me that it felt like I'd raped *her* because a scene between our two gay male characters got a little out-of-hand. I lost a friend, and emotionally, I think we both still have the scars
four years later. Usually things don't get that dramatic, but how and why players typically react to each other when their character's love life is put in disarray is an issue well worth further exploration, imo.
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Old 02-06-2002, 01:30 PM
Ravelyn Ravelyn is offline
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Personally, I really don't think Skotos should condone TS until a majority of the players seem to be mature enough to handle it responsibly. Too many players make the sole motivation of their character romance. Not even Courtly Romance which involves pining away for someone but never acting on one's desires. And in my time playing Castle Marrach I have watched other players blur and destroy the line between in-game and real life. Especially, but not necessarily concentratedly with young players. They use the game as a sexual outlet, but then become upset when something dramatic happens to their character. There have been vindictive out-of-character responses to the ending of an in-game romance. There's no way this can necessarily be controlled, but I certainly do not think TS should be encouraged as it is hardly the main thrust of any of the games Skotos provides and it usually provides only for dull and smarmy plot material.

- Carmen
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Old 02-06-2002, 04:49 PM
ChristopherA ChristopherA is offline
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Location: Skotos Tech, Berkeley, CA USA
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Originally posted by Ravelyn
Personally, I really don't think Skotos should condone TS until a majority of the players seem to be mature enough to handle it responsibly.
There's no way this can necessarily be controlled, but I certainly do not think TS should be encouraged as it is hardly the main thrust of any of the games Skotos provides and it usually provides only for dull and smarmy plot material.
I'll have to say that we at Skotos are very uncomfortable about this issue. If you recall when we started we had an 18 and over requirement and 17 with parental permission, which was changed to 15 when we added TEC.

Yet we can't deny that TS is happening and that it also causes problems. Yet we do want to censor players (or columnists) who want to talk about the issue, as it would just go underground. What we can do is put a "Rated Mature" note in any place where we think people might have a concern about the subject, and also try to cover multiple sides of the issue.

I'm sure that the articles section editor would welcome any counter opinions, warnings, etc. if someone wanted to talk about the bad side of TS.

-- Christopher Allen
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Old 02-06-2002, 07:01 PM
Ravelyn Ravelyn is offline
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I wanted to clarify something. The post I wrote wasn't meant to say if TS is wrong or right. Any kind of role-playing on a variety of themes can be engaging and substantial if the players are mature and the game setting conducive.

The intent of it was to make sure I got the jist of the article down correctly an Are the articles supposed to be more objective or are they personal columns? I like both, but I just want to make sure that all sides on every issue presented can be acknowledged.

- Carmen
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Old 02-17-2002, 02:39 PM
Ravelyn Ravelyn is offline
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To further emphasize my point concerning where TS becomes destructive to the game let me pull a quote from StoryPlotter Xios:

StoryPlotter Xios holds his owlish cerulean eyes, "If only people put as much time into building existing guilds as they did to TS I can only imagine what the castle would be like."

How can we encourage more players to be true to their so-called ambitious characters and get out of their private rooms to clean up the Castle? After all, those who play want to continue being able to. And the only way that's going to happen is if players and staff work to make the game better, not to make the sex lives of their characters better, or at least not just for that.

Think on it.

- Carmen
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Old 03-16-2002, 10:18 PM
Antrider Antrider is offline
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Sex...or TS, or whatever you choose to call it will always be an issue. It is something I can't believe people like Michael Dertouzous, Director of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, didn't predict as being a huge part of the internet experience (read his book What Will Be, Harper, 1998).

You pretty much nailed it though Scott, the 'type' of person you described surely compose the vast majority of players in any online prose game i've come across.

Not to get critical...but it is not players seeking TS in lieu of bettering their game worlds, but I see that there is a definite lack of other things to do much of the time for them. I know this to be true, in my opinion, in TEC.

As to a future about how the average player can help run events in their chosen world? I've been working hard in TEC to do this myself...but have sadly run into many obstacles coming from GMs and other in-game personalities. Be interested to see what you thought would be a good way to go about it.

That's how I see it anyways...
That's the way I see it anyways...

Spam and peanut brittle sandwiches on rye with mayo and mustard taste bad.
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Old 04-22-2002, 08:09 AM
galidia galidia is offline
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I would also like to see an article like that Antrider.

As for the actual topic of this thread, I suppose I'm too naive to notice it, but I've never felt (in TEC, because I don't play CM) that TS was running rampant. I've had extremely minimal contact with anything of the sort.
However, I do agree with the point on romantic relationships causing OOC problems. I've seen that over and over again, people break up in game and you see the effects in real life. My only point to make is that for most, if not all people, it is hard to draw that line between fantasy and reality when you do get involved in an online relationship. Faking emotions just doesn't happen, and when the relationship ends, it's hard not to feel hurt personally.
- Gali

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