Most people that play tabletop Role Playing Games are very limited in what they allow at the table. The party tends to consist of set stereotypes or archetypes and the worlds, while rich with story, leave entire areas of play to the imagination. When a character goes off to have sex it is usually only described as, “the two of you go off and have a good time”. or some other way that is equally boring. Most players are uncomfortable with things like sex being role played at the table. Some gamers are more open to taking their gaming into these taboo realms but those that engage in Erotic Role Play are often criticized for their introduction of the baser instincts into the game. I find this interesting on multiple levels. Players don’t have a problem imaging their character committing murder, theft, arson, violence, or any of a the many forms of evil acts that we as a polite society will speak out against. Throw in some simple love making and suddenly these same players freak out. Why do you think this is the case?
Move the game into even darker realms like non-consensual sex and players go ballistic. The players whose characters commit a rape, or have sex with a slave, are ostr0cised. They are attacked as being misogynists. They are called every name under the sun and the people doing the name calling seem to assume that if the character committed the act, that the player must approve of the act. Now lets think about this. Are we to assume that if John’s character murders an inn keeper that John himself must support the act of murder? No, of course not. We know that the act was committed by the character and the player is a very different person.
In a recent game I played a Misogynistic Racist. The character was very fun to play but me the player cringed as my character said and did things that no person in polite society would ever allow. Later in an out of game argument, one of the players used my character as proof that I was in fact a racist. I could not believe the words coming out of this person’s mouth. On top of this accusation, he did so in a public forum with not context to the accusations. In his words, “I have seen you make hundreds of racist remarks during our game session.” He was not lying. The character was a racist. The character was an asshole. Furthermore, the character is a dire criminal of the worst kind. Having someone accuse me of being a racist because of the events of a game session was not only hurtful, it made me realize that people playing the games are not always aware of the difference between “in character” and “Out of character” actions.
One of the great joys of gaming for me has always been the opportunity to explore the dark recesses of the mind. To go places that I as a person, would never even consider going. It is a chance to understand other peoples and a chance to stretch my own perception of the how and why people act as they do. This is why the games I play in are always Non-PC in nature. We play a complete sandbox game and we allow anything. If you want to play a pedophile, then go for it. Just don’t get upset when bad things happen to your character because of his action.You want to play a rapist. More power to you. Just don’t get pissed if your character ends up getting raped as well. You want to be a murderer who uses poison. Well guess what? The GM will use poison against you at some point to. No action is taboo in our games but there are consequences.
While this style of gaming works for my group, it will not work for many others. People get offended if you don’t speak with political correctness. They get hurt when bad things happen to their character. Far too many players cannot differentiate between an in character fight with an out of character fight. You must know your limitations and the limitations of your players. This means you and the other players in your game must talk before the game begins. Discuss what will be allowed and what cannot ever be entered into the game. Once everyone is in agreement and only then, you can begin your game with the expectation of it being fun for everyone.
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