"Is this the porn game?"

edited February 2012 in Play Advice
When I was at Dreamation on that first night, I overheard a story that was both funny and disheartening. A woman player was relating her experience from the previous year, when she had been convinced to run Tales of the Fisherman's Wife. For those of you who don't know this game — and I didn't, not really — here's the description from designer Julia Ellingboe's site:
Tales of the Fisherman’s Wife is a quick two-four player game inspired by ukiyo-e art and Japanese ghost stories. When the Fisherman leaves for sea, he and his Wife exchange 6 words to weave a story while they are apart. The Wife creates a story from his 6 words, which she tells him when he returns. But the Fisherman and his Wife have caught the attention of otherworldly beings who try to seduce, possess (or supplant), devour, or serve them. While the Fisherman fishes, the “Wife” player plays the part of the being attached to him, and the Fisherman player plays the being attached to the wife. Players take turns playing out what happens while the lovers are apart and vulnerable to the demons or spirits. When they reunite, one of them may not be what she seems.
Basically Tales of the Fisherman's Wife can (and likely may) contain content that could be considered sexual, if not necessarily sexually explicit. Anyone who's run or played the game can feel free to correct me on that point.

Anyway, I assume that the listing said something about it being an adults-only game and the general subject matter was out there. So the GM's standing at the table getting ready for her session when a male player approached her and said, "Is this the porn game?"

As you can imagine, this immediately creeped the GM out, but she continued with the game anyway. The player in question, however, definitely grooved on sexual content and introduced it to the game in an uncomfortable manner. The game was played through, but the GM said she was texting away to her significant other (who was back at their room) saying, "Please save me," and the like.

Now it's funny that he asked, "Is this the porn game?" That's the amusing part of the story. What's less amusing was that the GM felt obligated, for whatever reason, to continue a game in which a player was doing things that made her uncomfortable. Pretty much everybody I've related this tale to have said, "I wouldn't have done that," or "I would have shut him down the minute he asked me about porn," but I wonder if the dynamics were changed because the GM was female and the player was male. By which I mean to say that the male player may have just expected the female GM to accommodate his perviness whereas he might not have had the same expectation of a male GM.

Am I completely off-base thinking this? Are male players (of which I am one) putting burdens on female players and/or GMs that we wouldn't place on other males, or am I reading too much into this one incident, one that I only know of secondhand?
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Comments

  • Obviously the anecdote could have happened any which way. What you describe is possible in our fallen world, but it is equally possible for any given micro-climate of roleplayers to be socially even-handed. Asking about the totality of the matter is meaningless, at most it is possible to point at some specific social circles and say that yes/no, these specific people here are / are not even-handed in social relations. For things to be otherwise would require roleplaying as a practice to somehow prevent or self-select only chauvinists or only feminists, and this is clearly not the case.

    Playing Tales of the Fisherman's Wife in a con slot with strangers, now that takes some balls.
  • Posted By: Eero TuovinenPlayingTales of the Fisherman's Wifein a con slot with strangers, now that takes some balls.
    That's for damn sure. If only because you could end up in the situation above, playing host to somebody's pervy octopus fantasies.
  • See, there's a Japanese RPG called Absolute Slaves that I would think of as "the porn game," but even the designer plays it online.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Eero TuovinenPlayingTales of the Fisherman's Wifein a con slot with strangers, now that takes some balls.
    Or eggs, in this case.

    Neither here nor there, but I really love Julia's works, they have so much heart. Plus the fact that she discovered that the whole tentacle hentai thing had Edo-era roots (in ukiyo-e prints and stuff). So she made something wonderful, weird, rooted in history.

    Now, I have a suggestion for another aspiring designer (or Julia, if she has the time):

    Recently, another series of wood block paintings have appeared where it portrays another weird fetish thing rooted in history and (at the time "pop culture", that's what ukiyo-e was) art. I would put it to the GM that if such a game were to be made, and Fisherman's Wife drew squicky folks to the table that couldn't be dealt with through normal social means, that the GM immediately switch the game to..

    ...


    ...

    FART BATTLES!


    And no, I am not making this up. (full scroll set here)
  • Posted By: Neko EwenSee, there's a Japanese RPG called Absolute Slaves that I would think of as "the porn game," but even the designer plays it online.
    When are you going to translate it? When!?
  • edited February 2012
    FART BATTLES!
    And he huffed and he puffed....
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Neko EwenSee, there's a Japanese RPG called Absolute Slaves that I would think of as "the porn game," but even the designer plays it online.
    Well, people play lots of porn games online. Nothing wrong with that. Playing a tabletop porn game, though, that's a bit unusual. Seems fetishistic off-hand, considering that you could just do it to do it, instead, having other people present and all.
  • Posted By: Eero TuovinenWell, people play lots of porn games online. Nothing wrong with that. Playing a tabletop porn game, though, that's a bit unusual. Seems fetishistic off-hand, considering that you could just do it to do it, instead, having other people present and all.
    Your implication (that porn is just an unsatisfactory substitute for sex) is wrong, here. Plenty of people like pornographic and erotic fiction for its own sake.

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanWhen are you going to translate it? When!?
    If Ewen picks up the rights to translate Absolute Slaves...


    ...I'm TOTALLY gonna tell his mom. Seriously.


    (that reminds me, I gotta talk about that game sometime on the J-RPG blog)

    -Andy
  • Posted By: Eero TuovinenWell, people play lots of porn games online. Nothing wrong with that. Playing a tabletop porn game, though, that's a bit unusual. Seems fetishistic off-hand, considering that you could just do it to do it, instead, having other people present and all.
    This kind of gets at the heart of what I'm asking here. Do you think it would be more or less likely that the guy would have expected to have his weird sexual inclinations indulged by a woman than by a man? I tend to think the perviness factor is upped somewhat by the fact that it was a male player pushing his porn-y agenda on a female and I really don't think the same dynamic would have been at play had it been two men.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Sam!
    pervy octopus fantasies.
    I'd imagine that pervy octopus fantasies are part of the appeal of the game. Which is why I think it'd be dangerous with strangers.
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanYour implication (that porn is just an unsatisfactory substitute for sex) is wrong, here. Plenty of people like pornographic and erotic fiction for its own sake.
    But then, it's not just pornography being discussed, it's a multiplayer game involving the creation of the same, presumably with people who you want to be playing with. That's getting pretty close to the creative agenda of sexual roleplaying, which surely is the very definition of sexual fetish. The point seems at least debatable, even if it's nowhere near the current topic.
  • I know this is off topic, but if anyone knows how to actually get a hold of this game, can you PM me? I've been trying to read or play it since GenCon ?two/three? years ago.

    On topic, I had a friend run a BBSW* game and had a completely similar thing happen to him. Two players (both male) showed up and turned the game (which was supposed to be comically based, but adult-oriented) into an alienating mixture of extreme fetishism and sexual abuse. They had no problems making the men at the table as uncomfortable as the women.

    He called the game early and went to bed.

    *((Big Breasts Small Waists I think? It's a remake of Big Eyes Small Mouth))
  • edited February 2012
    I don't think there's anything wrong with asking if it's "a porn game". I mean, the mere mention of hentai and tentacle prints from the edo period are, um, porn. I might ask if it's a porn game jokingly, or make the easy association with porn, even though it's not intended to be quite that explicit (as far as I know). If the guy was being creepy in the game, Imma go ahead and say that's not cool and a different situation. But what constitutes creepy in sexual/gaming situations?

    I've had this discussion a lot actually. It's complicated. If I was going to be party to a sexual game, I might assume everyone there is ok with porn. I might know a bit about the sexual stuff wrapped up in mythology and fairy tales (have you ever read the original Little Red Riding Hood? Go look up that kinky voyeuristic stuff), and the history The Fisherman's Wife is talking about. I might also guess people understand gender roles and power exchange. But... those would all be assumptions. I wouldn't actually know unless I laid out clear boundaries, or asked when people seemed to get uncomfortable if something was ok with them, or how far to go.

    When I first ran Apocalypse World, about half my group was clearly uncomfortable using the sex moves. I kept telling them "It's fade to black! You don't have to describe anything! Look, if you do it, you get cool rewards!" But for them, even the implication of sex in a game makes them a little uncomfortable. Hilariously, rape jokes are totally cool. But real intimacy, real relationship drama... my group's not so good at it. Afterward, they were kinda laughing about it like "Kira totally expected us to do the sex moves, and she just didn't realize we're prudes!" These were all the men at the table, by the way. The women were totally comfortable with it (and some of the guys too, but the only ones that took issue were men).

    I think to a certain extent it is a gender thing. I think lots of times women are more comfortable getting into sex and relationships at the table. It's been my experience that that's the case, anyway, so it's totally biased. I also think there's the cultural implication that if men are talking about porn, they're creepers. If women talk about porn, they're totally cool.

    Regardless of gender, often times people will try to "inflict their fetish" on other people. They'll talk endlessly about how they love anal sex, or how they're poly and go into explicit details, or constantly compliment you on your shoes with a knowing eyebrow waggle. It's true, some people are just creepers about it. Or awkward. Especially at cons, the awkward is usually what's doing it, not their malicious intent. So if you find someone Inflicting Their Fetish on you, just put em in line by telling them to cut it out, cause even though you're totally cool with it, that's just way inappropriate right there and then.
  • Sam!, you could have just gone to the source... :)

    This was a game that Seraphina ran last year. She facilitated it, my wife and i were in it, and the fourth and UNNAMED participant shambled in towards play time with that line. There were a number of other creepy and absurd things that happened during that session [buy me a beer some con and i'll lay it all out for you in its con-thulhu glory]. At mid-point, Lula tried to come in and save us but that only lasted for a while before he bolted. Ultimately, Seraphina jolted Don Corcoran from a nap and demanded that he help us control the situation.

    It became more and more like a Fellini movie. The four of us will never look at a manatee the same way again. And i can't express strongly enough that whether or not you turn Tales of the Fisherman's wife into a sex game that it demands intimacy and that type of game play is probably best handled amongst people that have some previous level of trust and/or recognition.

    ok, i've got to go and take a bath again. ::shudder::
  • In cases where you're playing a sexual-themed (or indeed, violence-themed) game with strangers, an up-front conversation about content is probably the healthiest way to handle this. State upfront what your complete no-go areas are ("lines"), and what areas you'd prefer to gloss over or fade-to-black on ("veils"). Encourage everyone else to do the same. Then obey those lines and veils, and point out when anyone is transgressing them.
  • Posted By: Double KingThere were a number of other creepy and absurd things that happened during that session [buy me a beer some con and i'll lay it all out for you in its con-thulhu glory].
    Okay, that's a deal. I really do want to hear what else there is to hear.
  • Posted By: MeserachIn cases where you're playing a sexual-themed (or indeed, violence-themed) game with strangers, an up-front conversation about content is probably the healthiest way to handle this. State upfront what your complete no-go areas are ("lines"), and what areas you'd prefer to gloss over or fade-to-black on ("veils"). Encourage everyone else to do the same. Then obey those lines and veils, and point out when anyone is transgressing them.
    One of the things I like about Absolute Slaves is that the text makes it crystal clear that this is a game for 2-3 consenting adults to play after discussing what they want out of it and what they are and aren't willing to have content-wise.

    Of course, I break out in hives just thinking about the complications that would be involved in publishing it in the U.S.
  • Posted By: Neko EwenOf course, I break out in hives just thinking about the complications that would be involved in publishing it in the U.S.
    THIS MAKES ME WANT TO PLAY IT MORE. Scandalous.
  • Posted By: Sam!Now it's funny that he asked, "Is this the porn game?" That's the amusing part of the story. What's less amusing was that the GM felt obligated, for whatever reason, to continue a game in which a player was doing things that made her uncomfortable. Pretty much everybody I've related this tale to have said, "I wouldn't have done that," or "I would have shut him down the minute he asked me about porn," but I wonder if the dynamics were changed because the GM was female and the player was male. By which I mean to say that the male player may have just expected the female GM to accommodate his perviness whereas he might not have had the same expectation of a male GM.

    Am I completely off-base thinking this? Are male players (of which I am one) putting burdens on female players and/or GMs that we wouldn't place on other males, or am I reading too much into this one incident, one that I only know of secondhand?
    There's always social dynamic about a situation that can't be read by just the text description. So basically, yeah, it is definitely possible that the player introducing sexually explicit material was doing so on the basis of the GM being female. Generally speaking the dynamics are definitely changed that way.

    On the other hand, my general experience is that women players are just as likely to add in sexually explicit material as men. In my run of Hellcats & Hockeysticks at the last AmberCon NorthWest, there was a woman player introducing sexual material that some other players were a little uncomfortable with. For that matter, I've had mainly male games where we edged on uncomfortableness by having sexual material among the men.

    So I think the broad issue is how to handle the communication, which is shared responsibility on both sides. The person being made uncomfortable should express that discomfort, while the person introducing content should read that discomfort and adjust.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: anansigirlSo if you find someone Inflicting Their Fetish on you, just put em in line by telling them to cut it out, cause even though you're totally cool with it, that's just way inappropriate right there and then.
    I'm pretty sure there's a move for this in Monsterhearts...

    I suspect we, as a society, could use a lot more tools and education around avoiding creepy and awkward behaviour. It's very difficult to tell sometimes whether it's intentional or just misinterpreted. (At other times, very easy!)

    I don't want to derail the thread, but since we're discussing The Fisherman's Wife, I'd love to hear more about this:
    Posted By: anansigirlI might know a bit about the sexual stuff wrapped up in mythology and fairy tales (have you ever read the original Little Red Riding Hood? Go look up that kinky voyeuristic stuff), and the history The Fisherman's Wife is talking about.
    Does anyone have any links to this, or stories, etc? It's fascinating stuff.

    Wikipedia has the following quote:
    Charles Perrault explained the 'moral' at the end so that no doubt is left to his intended meaning:

    "From this story one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers, And it is not an unheard thing if the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner. I say Wolf, for all wolves are not of the same sort; there is one kind with an amenable disposition – neither noisy, nor hateful, nor angry, but tame, obliging and gentle, following the young maids in the streets, even into their homes. Alas! Who does not know that these gentle wolves are of all such creatures the most dangerous!"
    (The original Cinderella story is extremely disturbing, too, although I'm unaware of any explicitly sexual content.)
  • Posted By: MeserachIn cases where you're playing a sexual-themed (or indeed, violence-themed) game with strangers, an up-front conversation about content is probably the healthiest way to handle this. State upfront what your complete no-go areas are ("lines"), and what areas you'd prefer to gloss over or fade-to-black on ("veils"). Encourage everyone else to do the same. Then obey those lines and veils, and point out when anyone is transgressing them.
    Well said.

    I've played a number of story games that involve steamy sex stuff at conventions with strangers (Monsterhearts, Hot Guys Making Out, Gun Thief). There are some games I've only kept for close friendships (Bacchanal, Breaking the Ice).

    Some things I've found that work:
    1.) State early the kind of tone you're expecting.
    2.) Talk about Lines and Veils.
    3.) When things first get tense, pause the game and say, "Is everyone feeling comfortable with this? Remember that we can call for Veils."
    4.) Be really forgiving of awkwardness. Be much less forgiving of offensive behavior.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Sam!This kind of gets at the heart of what I'm asking here. Do you think it would be more or less likely that the guy would have expected to have his weird sexual inclinations indulged by a woman than by a man? I tend to think the perviness factor is upped somewhat by the fact that it was a male player pushing his porn-y agenda on a female and I really don't think the same dynamic would have been at play had it been two men.
    As Hans pointed out, it sounds like the player's "weird sexual inclinations" were in fact part of the regular subject matter of the game. It might just be that the story details are incomplete, but it doesn't sound like the guy's play was somehow outside the possible scope of the game -- it was just outside the scope of what the GM was comfortable with in that particular situation, and (probably?) outside the generally-assumed norms for how far one would take such play in a con environment.

    So yeah, I dunno, the "perviness factor" seems to be an addition to the story, based on what was actually described, but obviously if the GM felt it was pervy, then it was a problem regardless. It's not obvious though that the player in question felt like what he was doing was pervy or inappropriate -- but it's hard to say, since we don't really know how strong the 'omg get me out of here' signals were from the GM.

    As for the generalized case, I think Eero covered it pretty well.
  • edited February 2012
    When I read the story, second-hand and through text, of course it's impossible to know exactly what the real dynamic was. But walking up out of the blue and asking "Is this the porn game?" (not, "Is this A porn game?", or "is this that Fisherman's Wife game" or even "Is this the Japanese octopus sex game?") says to me that this guy is just looking for "a porn game, any porn game," rather than being on board and enthusiastic for this specific game and what it's about. And that's a warning sign.

    Being very blunt and abrupt, with strangers, and not taking the time to go through the niceties of introduction and social patter, is also a warning sign. there's an attitude that comes up i convention stories, roughly, "I'm just here to play a game and the people playing it don't matter come on let's get to it." This looks a bit like that.

    Peace,
    -Joel
  • Really, it's impossible to tell much from a snippet of text.

    To me, just asking, "Is this the X game?" by itself doesn't read as blunt, abrupt, or disinterested in the specifics of the game. It just reads like someone isn't sure they are in the right place, and want to check that first. On the other hand, someone could certainly say that and also be blunt, abrupt, and/or disinterested in the specifics.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Ice Cream Emperorbut it's hard to say, since we don't really know how strong the 'omg get me out of here' signals were from the GM.
    Posted By: Joelit's impossible to know exactly what the real dynamic was.
    Posted By: jhkimReally, it's impossible to tell much from a snippet of text.
    the UNNAMED player does frequent Double Exposure events. He was there again this time. He certainly had some suspected (and eventually confirmed) developmental issues. And that complicates things. At the end of the day, he's on my "never ever play another game with" list. But not so far as to call the authorities. Everybody involved in the game was touched by the unusual game play. It wasn't just a gender issue. Both Seraphina and my wife (not on these boards) are very assertive, smart and tough women.
  • First, I am dying to know who ran FIsherman's Wife at Dreamation last year, and could someone please send me an AP of that game? No need to name names, I just want to hear how the game went, and what they story was.

    Second, I think it's totally legitimate to ask if Fisherman's Wife, or any other game that probably contains sexual content, if it's a porn game. Asking that specifically won't get you much helpful information. Try asking if a game involves lots of sex, explicit on screen sex, if a game allows for sex to be off-screen, etc., will get you a lot more information, and won't make you sound so pervy. But if you go to play a game and you don't wish to play a sex game, it's a good idea to ask what you want to get out of any game. Same goes for gratuitous violence and language.

    Third, Fisherman's Wife at a con? When I run it, I generally ask people what flavor they want to play (see above). You can have a hot, and sexy game, you can have a creepy game, or you can have a bit of both. (I suggest that in the text, too) I've played it several times with larger groups and sex barely came up, but it was creepy and scary. Heck, this weekend, I'm going to run a larp based on Fisherman's Wife. Several players have specifically asked that sex and lust themes be toned down (because I asked), so we're accentuating the horror, the creepy, and the weird. There will be an octopus though. Most games I've played, however, do not involve octopuses. There's no, "You must have an octopus in the story" rule. As a rule, unless it's consensual among all parties, I wouldn't impose my alleged octopus fetish on players any more than I already have by having written a game inspired by an image of a woman having sex with an octopus. If others consent, you could probably play out some your own fetishes with the game, though. Or not.

    Fourth, Fisherman's Wife is inspired by one particular ukiyo-e woodcut, and is based less on the characters you find in Japanese folk tales, Edo era "pop culture" as Andy mentioned. (This may be stating the obvious, but modern anime and manga very frequently draws on the same source material.) Thus, I do intend to include one ukiyo-e image of fisherman repelling a kappa using that auspicious move, the fart attack. Kappas hate farts.

    Fifth, in my own gaming experiences, I've never really seen a gender difference when it comes to who introduces sexual or violent themes in games. When I play with people I have never really played with, I make sure we declare our lines and veils, and allow room for undeclared lines and veils. With people I have played with, people who know my lines and whose lines I know, we don't always establish them in the beginning, but if something squicks a player out, we move the issue to a field less squicky.

    And finally, game's not out yet. There's some more illustrations in the works, I'll put it all together, and will publish at some point, God willing, this year.
  • So funny story, finding this here. That was me. I was that GM.

    Thanks for the compliment about my lady-testicles, Eero. I appreciate it. To be honest, I had no idea what the content of that game could be like, going into it. I had only played it once before, with friends, and nothing terrible had happened.

    Some back story: I wanted games that would be easy to run for my first con as a GM. And you can't say that "Tales" isn't easy, at least. Really, I could have left all of my players to the wolves and gone upstairs and they would have handled it just fine. I had never dealt with the whole concept of "lines and veils" in a con situation, I hadn't been given an idea of how to deal with a player who was making me uncomfortable, and I was quite honestly stymied. I wanted everyone to have fun and to get from the situation what they had come for. I certainly didn't want people leaving my game and feeling cheated, or unhappy. And I was acutely aware of the fact that the con community is a small one and I would likely see all of these people again.

    That said, the game, though uncomfortable, was not complete agony. There were some high points, and the other players honestly pulled it out of the fire by being quite frankly wonderful about the whole thing. My boyfriend did eventually come down and kind of buffer the situation for me, which was good.

    Afterwards, while my friends did laugh at me about it, I learned some serious lessons from them about how to be a good GM - at a con and in general - and how to deal with difficult players. Of course, now that I have those lessons under my belt, a situation like that will likely never arise again.

    For the record, though, addressing the original question that Sam had posted, I did not feel as though I was being pressured because he was male and I was female. I felt pressured mostly because I didn't know where the line was for me, as the GM. I wasn't sure if I should just say "Get out. You're making me uncomfortable," or if I should get a con official, or what. And, as I said above, I was aware of the kind of ripples that me handling the situation badly could have in such a small community. The only difference in the situation had I been male might have been that he wouldn't have stuck around - or maybe he wouldn't have signed up for the game? who knows - had I turned out to be male.

    So anyway, it was a learning experience. Lines and veils. Lines and veils. No weird manatee man for me.
  • By the way, he did say "Is this a porn game?" not "Is this THE porn game."
  • Posted By: msphinaBy the way, he did say "Is this a porn game?" not "Is this THE porn game."
    Out of curiousity, do you remember what you said in response?
  • edited February 2012
    jhkim,

    I blustered. I said "Um, well, it doesn't have to be if we don't want it to be. It's not required to be porn. It's just whatever we bring to the table." Or something like that. There were a lot more "um"s and "well..." and other ellipses. It wasn't very eloquent.

    P.S. I don't know why the code wouldn't let me quote you properly...
  • It is a little weird, reading this thread. Scandinavian and american cons must be so, so, SO very different, it's crazy.

    This year at Fastaval (Denmark), I'm putting up the game My Girl's Sparrow which has explicit sexual content; in fact the idea is roleplaying sex in detail as a vehicle for serious drama. The players have specific (and esthetically not unpleasing) procedures to signal discomfort, cut short uncomfortable scenes or halt the game to have a timeout. The game is presented to prospective players with clear signals that this is 1) totally explicit, 2) serious drama not light sexual entertainment and 3) violence and abuse are off limits.

    There's a couple of other, more light hearted games with sexual themes and content too. There are also games that will let you play with abuse themes to your heart's content.

    Anyway I played Tales at Fastaval in 2010 (it rocked! and I can't wait to get my hands on the finished thing), and despite som heavy(!) innuendo, it boggles my mind that it is taken as porn simply because there might be nipples!?! You americans put out these amazing, inspiring games, but your cons in general sound sort of like stuff we had back in the eighties.

    Weird.
  • I had a friend of mine that had played Dog's in the Vineyard for years pick up Apocalypse World at Gen Con when it first came out, just as I did. At next weeks session I told him I was going to be running it as our next campaign since I was digging it so much.

    He had read part of his coy and decided he did not want to play it because it sounded like a "Sex Game." At first I thought he was getting it confused with Maid, as he tends to be horrible with names. But, no, he felt that AW was too much about sex for him to play it.

    Why is it that so many gamers have such a lack of maturity towards sex?
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Troels KenAnyway I played Tales at Fastaval in 2010 (it rocked! and I can't wait to get my hands on the finished thing), and despite som heavy(!) innuendo, it boggles my mind that it is taken as porn simply because there might be nipples!?! You americans put out these amazing, inspiring games, but your cons in general sound sort of like stuff we had back in the eighties.
    Aw, that's kinda sad. But kinda true. Can I come to Fastaval and play these awesome games with you guys?
    Posted By: thadrineWhy is it that so many gamers have such a lack of maturity towards sex?
    Not sure! You see it everywhere in the American Narrative, TV, ads, magazines, movies, the internet, video games... what is it about roleplaying that makes it different? I'm going to bet it goes back to that intimacy thing. That and gamers are oddly conservative.
    Posted By: PartheniaFisherman's Wife is inspired by one particular ukiyo-e woodcut, and is based less on the characters you find in Japanese folk tales, Edo era "pop culture" as Andy mentioned.
    This is the Hokusai image you're talking about, right? Cause I love this. A lady and her Octopus. NSFW.
  • Posted By: thadrineWhy is it that so many gamers have such a lack of maturity towards sex?
    Saying no to any game because the playing field makes you uncomfortable is a very mature thing to do.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Double KingPosted By: thadrineWhy is it that so many gamers have such a lack of maturity towards sex?
    Saying no to any game because the playing field makes you uncomfortable is a very mature thing to do.

    True. But this doesn't change the curious, self-evident fact that rpg-players as a subculture appear to have self-selected in such a way that they're more often comfortable around some "features of the playing field" (say, violence) than some others (sex).
  • Posted By: Paul T.Does anyone have any links to this, or stories, etc? It's fascinating stuff.
    Oh, so this is second hand knowledge from the lips of a friend who studies fairy tales and creative writing and gender things. As all true fairy tales and myths should be told. So, I can't tell you the exact source! I'll have to ask her and get back to you. But! The basics, as I recall, are Little Red Riding Hood going out to pee in the forest, and graphic descriptions, and the Wolf catching her in the act "oh my!", and Red doing other revealing/strip tease type things for the audience that I can't remember. It's super erotic, assuming that those reading it would want to peek under Red's skirt, and that the Wolf has this leering, masculine, monstrous attitude that makes it ok cause he's so monstrous and inhuman his desire to "eat" her can't be contained.
  • edited February 2012
    I recall in the version Neil Gaiman related in a Sandman comic (told by a magical proxy for G.K. Chesterton no less!), the Wolf in her Grandmother's bed tells her "take off your clothes, you won't need them anymore."
  • Posted By: anansigirlI'll have to ask her and get back to you.
    Thanks! Looking forward to it.
    Posted By: JoelI recall in the version Neil Gaiman related in a Sandman comic (told by a magical proxy for G.K. Chesterton no less!), the Wolf in her Grandmother's bed tells her "take off your clothes, you won't need them anymore."
    This part is mentioned, also, in the Wikipedia article:
    These early variations of the tale differ from the currently known version in several ways. The antagonist is not always a wolf, but sometimes an ogre or a ‘bzou’ (werewolf), making these tales relevant to the werewolf-trials (similar to witch trials) of the time (e.g. the trial of Peter Stumpp).[6] The wolf usually leaves the grandmother’s blood and meat for the girl to eat, who then unwittingly cannibalizes her own grandmother. Furthermore, the wolf was also known to ask her to remove her clothing and toss it into the fire.[7] In some versions, the wolf eats the girl after she gets into bed with him, and the story ends there.[8] In others, she sees through his disguise and tries to escape, complaining to her "grandmother" that she needs to defecate and would not wish to do so in the bed. The wolf reluctantly lets her go, tied to a piece of string so she does not get away. However, the girl slips the string over something else and runs off.

    In these stories she escapes with no help from any male or older female figure, instead using her own cunning.
    That particular line is especially interesting, I think.
  • I usually don't have an issue with sex in games, and often play towards it. However, Scandinavian or not, I do think there's an important difference between the performing and participatory medium of RPGs, and the passive medium of, say, movies. Which is to say, it's one think to watch sex, and quite another to act it out.

    We need to practice more.
  • Sex is intensely personal for some people. It's intimate and often a central, high-stakes part of personal identity. Just because someone doesn't want to talk about it casually in a social context, it isn't necessarily because they think sex is icky or wrong. It can be a matter of privacy. It's simply not part of the game they want to play, because it's an area of one's life with restricted invitation. I think it is a mistake to think this has anything to do with immaturity.
  • Uhhhh there are some ridiculous value judgments in this thread.
  • Posted By: anansigirlAw, that's kinda sad. But kinda true. Can I come to Fastaval and play these awesome games with you guys?
    You'll be so very welcome! These years we're working hard on making more scenarios playable in english as well as danish, because we love having people come from all over with their own kinds of awesome for us. So please do come and play!
    Posted By: creasesSex is intensely personal for some people. It's intimate and often a central, high-stakes part of personal identity. Just because someone doesn't want to talk about it casually in a social context, it isn't necessarily because they think sex is icky or wrong. It can be a matter of privacy. It's simply not part of the game they want to play, because it's an area of one's life with restricted invitation. I think it is a mistake to think this has anything to do with immaturity.
    Absolutely. Noone should be pressured to play with things they don't want to play with. But why oh why the assumption that sexual themes and content equals porn? THAT I do not get at all.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Troels KenAbsolutely. Noone should be pressured to play with things they don't want to play with. But why oh why the assumption that sexual themes and content equals porn? THAT I do not get at all.
    Oh, yeah, and that this person is totally missing the situational inappropriateness of treating sexual content in a "porny" way.... In context, it strikes me as creepy -- I don't know if it's fair or not, but there's something about it that seems morbid to me.
  • I can't think of more that really needs to be said. I will add a little..

    This was shared as a object lesson to everyone, that if you run a game, be ready to have a lines and veils talk.

    If you forget to have this talk and come to a point were someone is clearly not OK with something.
    Don't blame or panic. Stop the game and have the talk. I would then, take a quick break.
    It's better to interrupt the game and have this talk, then let someone continue to suffer.
    Having this talk isn't rude, it's taking a moment to acknowledge feelings.

    You can not play in a high trust game with out recognizing that there are boundaries to what you want to have in your game.
  • edited March 2012
    I played Fisherman's Wife two years ago at Dreamation 2010, with Julia B-E, Jennifer Steen (née Wong), and Kate Miller. Playing the Wife during the first round, I saw all the seduction themes in the story in a very playful but restrained (Japanese, as I saw it) way. The Wife, as I played her, showed some leg to the demon while she pulled ingredients out of a cupboard, let her robe fall open a bit when she was fixing the roof of the cottage - that kind of thing. It never occurred to me to ask if that was the porn game.
  • edited March 2012
    Posted By: Double King
    the UNNAMED player does frequent Double Exposure events. He was there again this time. He certainly had some suspected (and eventually confirmed) developmental issues. And that complicates things. At the end of the day, he's on my "never ever play another game with" list. But not so far as to call the authorities. Everybody involved in the game was touched by the unusual game play. It wasn't just a gender issue. Both Seraphina and my wife (not on these boards) are very assertive, smart and tough women.
    Are we talking about, you know, That Guy?

    ``Abel
  • Posted By: Troels KenAbsolutely. Noone should be pressured to play with things they don't want to play with. But why oh why the assumption that sexual themes and content equals porn? THAT I do not get at all.
    Exactly. I think the issue here is when someone says, "This game may contain some sexual content," and another player hears that as, "This game is all about sex/sexuality."

    In fact, it's the inverse situation that's awkward—completely having to avoid all mention of sexuality contorts a lot of fiction in very bizarre ways.

    Abel--not the same That Guy.

    Matt
  • Posted By: DeliveratorPosted By: Troels KenAbsolutely. Noone should be pressured to play with things they don't want to play with. But why oh why the assumption that sexual themes and content equals porn? THAT I do not get at all.
    Exactly. I think the issue here is when someone says, "This game may contain some sexual content," and another player hears that as, "This game is all about sex/sexuality."

    In fact, it's the inverse situation that's awkward—completely having to avoid all mention of sexuality contorts a lot of fiction in very bizarre ways.

    Abel--not the same That Guy.

    Matt

    I've spent a fair amount of time trying to convince people in my local gaming group that Maid is not a hentai porn game.
  • Posted By: merb101

    I've spent a fair amount of time trying to convince people in my local gaming group that Maid is not a hentai porn game.
    Which is a shame, 'cause it's totally not. Unless, I mean, you play it with people who are in to that kind of thing.
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