Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Want Your, Let's Talk About, --- Packets

Yes, I'm addressing sex.

I'm a Grown Woman (What fantastic song, btw) and I'm not afraid of the topic. I think it can be handled effectively, sensitively and with a strong sense of drama to benefit plot, character development and even overall themes in a game when done properly.

An essential element is maturity- both of the GM and the players involved in any endeavor. Trying a dramatic plotline around a pregnancy and subsequent child in a Rogue Trader game full of 17-19 year old boys will in most cases bomb.Another is tone- again, GM & players have to be considered, as well as the game in question. Developing a harrowing, gripping and emotive plot around a rape in a kill-orks-for-beer-money game is not a likely event.

Yet another required ingredient is interest- if the  GM or the players in the game don't address it, ignore it, or act as if it's irrelevant; you're probably not going to get any traction with a good love interest.

I think it's also important to be aware of how complex this topic can be - either in all male groups, or in cross gendered ones as well. With all male groups, accomplished and comfortable roleplayers can find it difficult to bring reality to amorous actions without discomfort. Cross gendered groups may find the same concerns, just with different dimensions. (I've known several cases of players running characters in love in game, and feelings crossing over into real life, with disastrous results.)

Even with all those concerns and caveats, I've seen some riveting, excellent and inventive play come across through sex oriented plots or development angles.


  1. Regretably, I find that all people (not just gamers) lack the ability to have a serious discussion about this issue. Playing a game that involves complex social dynamics that relate to it, oh that just makes it harder on their little brains. I hate to be so pessimistic, but just look around the culture. We bounce from extremely exploitive sexuality to extremely repressive sexuality. There is no even-keeled serious discussion going on in the culture at large. Only in small enclaves of intellectuals. Shameful, but true....

  2. I would love to comment on this in more detail and find it a very interesting topic, but I feel like it might be best to only have a serious discussion about it with gamers I personally know well and trust. I wouldn't want my tone in writing to be misconstrued or my lack of writing ability to be misinterpreted somehow. There are so many aspects to the subject that might present problems but are fascinating, the possibility that each gender might approach the subject from different points of view, whether the value of including it more explicitly in our games outweighs the potential risks that it carries to the group dynamic, how it could be safely handled... on and on. I'm not even sure where I'd begin. I'll say this, I'd be very interested in any book you might happen to want to write on the subject!