[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Apr 23 10:12:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In < at mail.tenetwork.com>, on 04/23/97 
   at 10:26 PM, Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com> said:

>Two thoughts:
>(1) Beware putting characters into roles based on character sex. 
>    Gender-roles
>    are fast becoming a moribund concept in our society and you would
>    definately offend soem people (me, for instance ;) )
>    The only excpetion is where your game is set in an earlier era or
>    world with stronger roles but EVEN THEN players shoudl be allowed to be
>    "exceptional" men or women who break the stereotypes-- such have
>    always existed historicly.  The reaction of then world shoudl not
>    penalize them significantly for this, though it should ideally be 
>    visible in the "fluff" (NPC comments and so forth.)

Disagreed violently.  

If there are no effective differences between male and female
characters then by the rule of form and function, they are synonymous. 
In which case, why have a sex differentiation in the game at all?  It
becomes a meaningless bauble much on the order of hair or eye color
(cf Meridian 59) which has no actual effect on the game or a players
participation or actions in it all.  

I would much rather see a game where the sexes are utterly different
almost if not to the extent of being processed/considered as different
species.  Let the roles be utterly defined by sex -- but then make
each of the roles equivalently attractive.  Let there be an effective,
__functional__ difference to make chosing a sex actually mean
something to the game play.  Oh. I'm not talking a couple sex-specifc
spells and a few +1's and -1's to a few stats, but fundamental
principles on what fems and mels are actually capable of and good at.

I'm trying desperately here to remember the SF book where mels were
physically huge, tended to be move slowly, possessed of enourmous
strength, resiliance, and endurance, were prone to aggression and
violence, and were also quite short lived.  Fems in comparison were
physically slight and comparitively weak/fragile, moved quickly, had
the ability to fly, had elephantine memories, and were longer lived. 
Sexist?  Absolutely.  Functional difference?  You bet.  A real value
decision for game play with concommittant advantages to either choice. 
While not a feature of the original tale, it would also be easy to
build entirely seperate magical/psionic systems for mels and fems
which overlapped minimally at all.  Yet another significant functional
difference to make a valid value choice on.

Don't put a feature in if you're not going to have it mean something.

>(2) The oen palce it DOES make a difference is in interperonal
>relationships sicne human beings are sxual animals and there is 
>soem form of sexual component to any human-interraction.  If your 
>going to take this into account though ild suggest you ALSO take 
>into account sexual orientation.
>    Remember the 10% rule. 

Initial reactions:
  Why bother.  Let the players handle it.

  Easier to define the species as (your choice of 
  genetically/socially/culturally) non-tolerant of homosexuality.  
  (cf homosexuality == definition of instanity == death sentance 
  == darwinian social/cultural/genetic dynamics)

  Change the game definition of human.

  Change the game definition of sex.

  Change the game definition of sex differentiation (hermaphrodite, 
  3, 4, or more sexes, whatever)

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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