Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Did I ever tell you my favorite color is blue?


[The ideas contained within this missive are NSFW]

That's a line by Sutter Cane from the movie In the Mouth of Madness.  But I think it's also appropriate for today's blog post, given that "blue" has another connotation [showing or mentioning sexual activity in a way that offends many people].  Wow, doesn't get any more fucking apt than that, does it?  Haha.

So, rather than focusing on horror, I'd like to say a few words on another subject that occasionally scares us: sex.

Just as in everyday life, there are certain taboos about sex in RPGs.  I can understand why.  It's generally considered a private thing.  People want it in varying degrees, in certain forms and expressions.  The majority of us keep it behind closed doors.  From the outside, it may look like a shameful secret.  But it's not, well, not for most of us.

Thinking about it now, I'm reminded of the 80's sci-fi film Alien Nation.  There's a drug talked about and it happens to drive the plot.  Pretty sure it's blue in color - not a lot of pictures available.  I had to look up its name (apparently, the internet isn't sure how it's spelled, as I found 3 different versions on 3 different websites): ss'jabroka.

However, I clearly remember that it was a narcotic, extremely pleasurable and addictive, it made the "newcomers" stronger and able to work harder so that the more they worked, the more they received.  They were essentially slaves to this drug.  I don't know about anyone else, but I see a parallel.  Yes, obviously, the street drugs we're all familiar with but, less obvious, sex!

Incidentally, I'm reading Chris Offutt's memoir about his dad - My Father, The Pornographer - before I dive into John Cleve's Spaceways series of sci-fi literary porn (written by Andrew J. Offutt under one of his many pseudonyms).  To many, the man who wrote 400+ books, most of them considered porn, was obsessed with sex.  He was.  And I must be, too, cause that seems natural to me.  That seems "normal".  Not the normal I see everyday out in the world, external; but the kind of normal that seems "right" or "logical" or "good" in my mind; internal.

Putting out stuff like Alpha Blue and Girls Gone Rogue (11 days left for this Kickstarer campaign) seems right, logical, and good.  And I've received plenty of praise, which I'm flattered and grateful for.  It makes the criticism easier to take.  To be honest, it would feel weird if I wasn't taking flak from people.  Probably because I've always been a weirdo and outsider.  Getting negative feedback from a certain segment of the population is normal for me.  As are feelings of alienation - aha!  Alien Nation... alienation.  See what I did there?

This whole blog post is a bit stream-of-consciousness (my usual jam), so I'll keep on with it.  The other day I was thinking about my crazy decision to throw my/our RPG dirty laundry into the light of day, writing these books which some gamers probably regard as straight-up "porn".

A couple weeks back, I was in Disney World.  One particular night, I was in the hotel room, watching the kids and probably eating pizza, flipping through the TV channels until I landed on Back to the Future.  I hadn't seen that movie in over a decade.  So, I started watching.

Long story short, when Michael J. Fox is playing guitar for his parents' under-the-sea prom everything is going good.  Then he breaks into some rock and roll that's just different and wild enough to impress the audience.  Finally, he ends on a bizarre... solo or something weird that no one seems to understand and basically freaks everyone out.

I can relate to that.  This may be delusional, but I happen to think that injecting sex into RPGs (not that I'm the first person to think of or do such) is the future.  It's going to be part of mainstream geek culture going forward until, I hope, it merges with pop culture and we all start to see some serious movement on the tabletop RPG front.  Where, if you asked 10 random Americans in their 20's if they regularly played the kind of RPGs we're talking about, at least 3 or 4 would probably say, "Yes."

Sex might not be the reason for the future proliferation of RPGs in pop culture, but it won't hurt.  That deep, inner need (even if we're consciously rejecting it, shouting profanities at it, or just hoping particular urges stay locked in the closet) will find expression somehow.  Life, uh, finds a way - wow, I'm kind of overdoing it with the film quotes!

The vehicle could be anything.  Hopefully, I can continue to stand upon the shoulders of those Old Ones who came before and do my part.  A new age of roleplaying may be just around the corner.  Whatever I have to do to help usher it in, I'm going to do.  No matter how much I stick out because the world I've chosen to inhabit is blue... or full of tentacles and strippers.

Thanks for reading my sort of rant, sort of getting something off my chest.  I welcome discussion, if anyone wants to chat about it.

VS

p.s.  Yes, indeed!  Girls Gone Rogue.  Check out the video, stretch goals (Tiny Dancer coming soon), and reward tiers for backers.  Please share it on social media or wherever people are talking about RPGs!

p.p.s.  I'm totally borrowing ss'jabroka and putting it in GGR.