Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Somehow, though I always have a million things that I think of things to write about during the course of my day, by the time I've sat down here at bedtime, they're gone.

Today like many days was a million things. I feel guilty when at the end of my days off I haven't accomplished much, but I remind myself that rest is an accomplishment. I can't keep killing myself.

There should be a new question up at the Shrieking Shack tonight or tomorrow. The polls work correctly for me; the forums do not--I can only see the first post to any subject. This is true in Firefox and in IE. No idea.

I have been feeling stupid when standing at the register lately. So many damned questions to ask--we upsell far too much; it works, but it alienates some customers. I think I may have a different position. I'd still like some feedback from my manager on what I can do differently to improve. And I've been reading It's OK to Be the Boss, and some of the advice is crazy. Cars and toasters don't take the same maintenance, so your employees don't take the same management? I had to read that particular metaphor aloud, I so disbelieved what I had read, and sparked a discussion as to whether we'd rather be cars or toasters. MB wanted to be a toaster so as to forcibly eject toast. I thought I'd rather be a car if those were the only options, but then, someone else wanted to be a blender, so I figured I'd rather be a TV set. So, the thing is, if I take this other position, I'll leave our current department weakened, I won't really know what I am doing in the new position, and I won't be a direct supervisor any more. But I feel the need to grow and to not work a job I'm allergic to. Plus it will be less mentally taxing, and school will take more of my psychic resources very soon. Wish me luck.

Wow, that was a bit, wasn't it? Maybe I need the luck.

Friday, May 11, 2007

in-game rape

Clicked linked to this old Sex Drive post on rape in virtual worlds. Regina Lynn linked to this other post about rape in RPGs--the old-fashioned kind, with dice &c. I take the author's point, but I don't agree with it all. The main point on which I disagree is pregnancy. (1) An in-game pregnancy might be necessary to some plots. (2), and this is the greater issue, sex has consequences. They are always built in to our games. If you have sex, getting pregnant is a straight-up roll (or set of rolls). There's also a sub-roll for chance of twins (on 100% re-roll for triplets, etc--once someone managed to roll four 00s in a row on that one. Ouchy!), and if you're sleeping indiscriminately with seedy types, you have an STD chance. If you feel that these are violations of your character--well, you should know what your GM/campaign's rules are in terms of sexual consequences and outcomes before you have your character have sex. As for rape per se, I can see needing to make sure sensitive players are OK with that. We identify with our characters, we start to dream and think in character over a long campaign. We cry over their losses, much as some of us have cried when our favorite characters in novels or on screen are killed off. On the other hand, we do put our characters in these situations. And sometimes, in character terms, the very worst happening is the catalyst we need to do what needs to be done.

Also, the article in question references lovers being grabbed and held at gunpoint and other things, and saying even death is preferable to rape. Are we assuming here that most gamers, and/or their characters, aren't parents? I would submit to fairly horrible forms of torture before I let my son or stepdaughter be put before a gun. And for their sake, I would rather live through almost any pain--if you have someone, something, to live for, death is indeed the worst that can happen to you.

Of course, if in-game rape is used, the gruesome details should be left to the very thick-skinned. I'd propose another way of asking permission, I guess: "Is there anything that you absolutely will not allow/accept happening to your character?" Straight-up at the outset. If you live in an area where multiple groups are available, it might also be a good sorting process.

Virtual rape is another matter; for one, if the game has a built-in ignore feature, you might not have to deal with it. But it's possible that all the other characters see it and it colors their opinion (but doing it on a public channel or open chat may also get them banned for TOS violations)--it's personal, whether that's enough. I do remember a case where someone used a built-in feature that let them control other characters--I can't find the article I read, as it was some time ago--in a virtual house, and committed very graphic sexual acts between his own and another character. It resulted in a rules change where they had previously relied entirely on self-policing, if I recall correctly, and the banning of that character. At any rate, rape in most online games is not a plot issue. It's someone using someone else for sexual pleasure without that someone else's consent. This is the essence of rape, though I do not believe it so heinous a violation as a physical rape by half.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Slate on major media's regurgitation of ONDCP's "facts," or, "Why Cricket loves Slate"

Cricket also freaking luvs Heroes. Sylar: "I've waited a long time for this." *shivers*

I have a day off ahead. So I have hours and hours of work on the computer. Nice, right?

I need to update this more. Was thinking of setting up another blog entirely, an "as I see it" on the world, but I may just do that here, too.