You have heard of the counter-earth, the mysterious fantasy planet on the other side of the sun called Gor and it sparked your curiosity! You do not have to play your real life gender. It is commonly accepted within the Gorean role play community to play the opposite gender if you want to. However, if you do switch gender roles , please be honest and mention that in your profile.
So you are interested to join the Gorean role play community in Second life, but you don’t know how to get started. Ok, let me give you some little tips what your initial steps should be.
The following is only applicable to what is called BTB (by the books) regions. There are other Gor regions, which are loosely based on the books and typically labelled “Gor evolved”. They really have nothing to do with Gor, but the label and are very focused on combat aspects of the game.
1. Adult Theme!
First of all you need to realise that Gor is an adult theme. In Gor things like sex scenes, rape, slavery, forced enslavement, violence and assassinations are part of Gorean every day live. It is a harsh world and not for the faint hearted. If you are easily offended by such content then Second life Gor is not for you. In fact, in that case you should not even be reading this blog at all.
Most Gor regions in Second Life are for those reasons adult rated. To participate in the game you need to verify your account as being an adult’s account. The way to do this is: Login at www.secondlife.com and go to account verification. There you can verify your age using your passport number or s.s. number. If you have given Linden Lab your credit card details to make payments, your account is automatically adult verified.
2. Choose Gender!
You do not have to play your real life gender. It is commonly accepted within the Gorean role play community to play the opposite gender if you want to. This is especially important for women, who would like to have some of the fighting action. However, if you do switch gender roles , please be honest and mention that in your profile.
As a general rule there are no female warriors on Gor. The only female fighting role on Gor, are the so-called Panther Girls or Forest Girls, which are outlaw women living in small bands in the forests, outside of regular Gorean civilisation . So if you are a female player but you want to play a warrior, mercenary, pirate or a similar role, choose the male gender!
3. Choose Status
What I mean by that is: Choose whether you want to play a slave or a free person to start with. Both genders can be slaves on Gor. The female version is called a Kajira the male version is a Kajirus.
When you choose the slave-role be aware that it is very hard to develop your character realistically into a free person, actually almost impossible if played correctly. However changing status from free to slave within your storyline is easy.
This is why I recommend always to start as a free person, even if the slave-role does intrigue you.
At this stage there is one important thing that you need to understand: In-game we make a difference between IC = In Character and OOC= Out of Character. If you choose the slave role you decided to play a slave IC with all consequences not to be one, but OOC you are NOT a slave and not considered as such. If you speak to other players in OOC mode (for example in IMs) you are equal to anybody else.
If anybody demands from you, to behave as a slave in OOC mode (this does actually happen!) tell him/her not to bother you! Those people belong to a group called “online livestylers” and are not worth your time as a role player, unless you want to experience their “lifestyle” (which is a D/s relationship with a Gorean touch to it).
4. Choose cultural background!
Gor is not Gor from a cultural perspective. Gor is a mix of several different cultures based on different ancient Earth cultures. If you would look at a map of the planet Gor, you could divide the planet in cultural regions. In which one you want to play is totally up to you and only depends on your personal preference. Bear in mind that for some Gorean cultures there might be more choice of different sims than for others.
For the most part, Gor consist of a culture that is based on ancient Greek/Roman civilisation. This part is the civilised center of Gor and includes the majority of the big Cities. Imagine an environment like Rome during the punic wars and you are not far off. The advantage of choosing this “mainstream” Gor is the choice of different cities you can play.
Another important part of Gor would be the maritime powers of Gor which are based on ancient Carthage. Those would be the cities of Tyros, Cos and Port Kar. In the book’s story line the hostilities between the city of AR ( counter earth to Rome) and the Island power of Cos ( counter earth of Carthage) are one of the main plots which follow through the entire series.
The Gor story is predominantly the counter earth version of the punic wars.
If you don’t know what that is, please take a minute and read the Wikipedia article about it:
Other popular cultural setting in Second Life Gor would be:
Located in the very North of the planet and resembles medieval viking cultures of earth.
Located in the South East of the planet and resembles ancient ottoman/arabic cultures of earth
Plains of Turia
Located in the South West of the planet and resembles Mongol/tartaric riders and the ancient cities of Samarkand (Turia), Bagdad (Tor) and Kairo (Kasra).
Located in the North of the planet. A waste area of forests and small towns along the Laurius River. The Cities of Lydius, Kassau and Laura would be located in this area. The forest itself is home of many outlaw bands including the famous Panther Girls ( Gorean version of the Scythian Amazons in Greek mythologies).
There are some more cultures described in the books but those have a negligible presence in Second Life. It is paramount to understand that customs and roles in these areas vary substantially, which is why you will often hear different opinions about what is and what is not Gorean.
5. Choose your role
Mainstream Gor is based on a caste system. It is assumed that Goreans are born into a caste. Hence you need to choose a caste for your character. There are low and so-called high castes on Gor. The five high castes are in order of importance: The initiates, the scribes, the physicians, the builders and the warriors. What distinguishes the high from the low castes is that the high castes serve the public and form the city governments. Low castes would for example be : The merchants, the peasants , the fishermen and so on…Choose your caste wisely as it is very unusual to change caste in the life of a character.
This does not apply to the desert tribes or Thorwaldsland where the caste system does not exist.
6. Dress the Part
Second life is a visual medium. Role play starts at the point of getting the correct attire. There are a lot of shops In-World, where you can get the right attire. unfortunately there are also a lot of shops which sell stuff labelled as “Gorean” which has hardly anything to do with how Goreans are described in the books.
7. Read at least one or two of the Gor books
It doesn’t take much time to read one book does it? Ideally you read the first one “Tarnsmen of Gor” which gives you a pretty good overview about what Gor is all about and then one that is about the region or the role you have chosen to play.
Here some recommendations based on popular regions or roles:
Turia and Plains: Book 3, Nomads of Gor
Port Kar, Cos and Tyros: Book 5, Assassins of Gor
City of Ar: Book 6, Raiders of Gor
Forest Region and Panther Girls: Books 7, Captive of Gor and book 8, Hunters of Gor
Thorwaldsland: Book 9, Mauroders of Gor
Desert Region: Book 10, Tribesmen of Gor
Slaves: Book 22, Dancer of Gor
8. Choose a SIM
Take you time on that one. Most sims offer observer tags. That means you wear a tag that identifies you as non-role playing avatar and just watching whats going on. As an observer do not use open chat as you might disturb ongoing role play. However you will find that Gorean role players are very helpful if you IM them to ask questions about whats going on.
This way you also will see the methods of role play such as using emotes, weapons or animations used.
9. You think you are ready?
Then don’t be shy, get going. We all made mistakes in the beginning and we still make them. Not a big deal, not the end of the world. And don’t forget what it is all about: have fun!
Welcome on the other side of the Moon!
P.S: Beware, Gor is highly addictive!