Friday, March 27, 2009

Victorian Gorean aka "Why It Doesn't Work"

One thing about exploring SL a lot is that you get to a point where you realize you really do get around and it takes a whole lot more to get your shock meter going. Tonight, I found myself visiting the sim of Londinium, a mature strict RP sim that seems like its theme could best be described as Gorean-Victorian, for lack of a better explanation. My exploring companion joked that I should have walked around with the "Prey" titler on instead of "Observer". Yeah, right.

I don't know. I had a been-there, done-that before feeling about it, and not in a good way, as it reminded me of the sim of Solarya, which folded quite some time ago now. While Solarya had beautiful architecture, its Gorean-Victorian feel and RP just didn't attract folks. I know that as a merchant there, it was definitely "interesting" to have my Victorian Steampunk clothes next to half-naked slave silks. A friend of mine was actually rather put off by the mix and Solarya itself once he realized what it was truly about and pulled his shop.

Sure, plenty of Vic/Steampunk types that I know have kinks and I know some who also RP as Goreans, but in my experience, that kind of a mix like what Londinium is doing and Solarya did hasn't blended well as its own sim. Like my friend, many folks I know who RP as Victorians--despite those kinks I mentioned--can actually be Victorian-minded sometimes. For instance, sex-related places like brothels--which would have most certainly been found in the RL 19th c.--have not done well in the historic-themed sims. Combine that with the fact that the women in most of the historic sims are forces to be reckoned with and to me, the main ones attracted to Vic RP, you can see why RP where they are denigrated as sex slaves wouldn't bring the green dots.

My firm belief however, is that a true dark RP Victorian-themed sim could work. Its requisite pickpockets, gangs, whores, villains and opportunists all mingling together in grimy, narrow, dark-alleyed slums allowing all vices could do well as it has not been done in SL yet. A CoLA/Toxia/Midian-style Victorian dark RP sim. Not a Gorean sim with a Vic veneer. Gritty and dangerous as many places in that time period would've truly been and where the wealthy lord and lady types would take their chances walking through, if they dared to at all? Wow. History itself (want to read about rookeries in England...pick up some Dickens, or for the US, read about NYC's Five Points ) provides fodder for ideas--for evil or good--that one can't even believe, yet could reproduce in SL.

But you know, in the each their own, right?

And um, yes...that's a pink flamingo on top of a whipping post that I came across.


Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

I visited Londinium a few weeks back and wasn't impressed. Most of the buildings were more Renn Faire than Victorian and the "click here for sex ball" on the stairs of the Theatre struck me as odd.

A Dark Victorian sim would certainly be interesting. New Babbage has got some of the look while Midian and Toxia are both post-apocalyptic.

I'm waiting to see what the Miskatonic Valley brings.

Eladrienne Laval said...

I've been hearing a lot about Miskatonic. I will visit soon to see for myself.

I mentioned the post-apoc sims of Midian and Toxia due to their setup. We haven't had a very 19th c sim w/a RP system like DCS2 or CCS in place. It really could be interesting if done well.