When you start as a player in SL Gor, at one point or another you will hear the terms Godmod, metagaming , IC and OOC. So what do these terms mean?
What is God modding ? It’s actually correctly called “godmoding”, in reference to the “god mode” you can enter in a computer game to become invincible.
In roleplay, it means trying to exert too much control over the plot and other characters, usually because the player has no concept of in character or out of character and is there to “win” and satisfy their ego rather than be creative and collaborative. Examples:
Creating a character so powerful and invulnerable that it cannot take any damage, be incapacitated or hindered, lose a fight, feel pain etc.
2) Dictating other players’ responses
Swinging a punch and telling the other player that they are down, that they are unconscious, cut, dead or whatever. In sexual roleplay, it might mean dictating someone else’s level or signs of arousal.
Drawing a knife when your hands are tied. Pulling a bow out of your rectum when you’re on the ground and hogtied (I wish I were making this up). Drawing a bow out of your rectum at all, come to that. Being held by the hair and with a knife at your throat but whizzing round and slapping your captive and disarming them.
4) Just plain silliness
Taking the plot to avoid your character having to suffer a misfortune too weak for your manly fictitious self. Being shot at and deflecting the arrow with a shield so that it flies back up the bow! Again, I wish I were making this up.
5) Forcing the plot
Anything that is used to let one character force the plot and does not enable the story to be a properly collaborative effort with plausibility.
It’s annoying, anti-social, counterproductive and makes you look stupid. Nobody thinks the godmoder is strong, hard, cool or intelligent. We think you have no consideration, no understanding of roleplay and no intelligence whatsoever. Please don’t do it.
When you do talk to these players, remember to do it diplomatically. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being picked on, so don’t come down too heavy on the offending player. There’s a good chance they just don’t realize what they’re doing is a problem. Like everyone else in the game, they’re putting in a lot of effort when writing their posts, and thinking up ideas for stories, so they’ll likely be insulted if you say it’s all crap. Make them realize that it would be better if they did it some other way, and make them realize. They’ll think you’re trying to help them, and not punish them.
Let’s use Moana as an example. Imagine she has just walked into the Lakes, dressed as a Free Woman. You have never seen, or even heard of her before.
The key to this is keeping everything ‘real’. When we are in-world, in character, then as far as we are concerned everything is ‘real’ and Moana here is real too. And if we are all real, then all the writing floating in the air above Moana’s head simply doesn’t exist.
The first and most important bit of meta-gaming is also the hardest. You have to try as hard as you can to pretend that that writing simply isn’t there on your computer screen.
You can’t see Moana’s name. So unless you have already met her, or someone else has, (icly) told you she is a Free Woman, then you don’t know what her name is. You can’t see her tag, you can’t see her meter. You don’t know she is a FW. This is really a lot harder than it looks, because the people sitting behind keyboards HAVE seen all this stuff and it’s really hard to ‘unsee’ it – which is what makes this so difficult. Add to that that you can click on her profile and read her SL details.
Some people have great difficulty trying to remember what they know ICly and what they don’t. One way of solving this problem is to have an awful memory ICly. Other people use pen and paper, or note cards to keep track. Or you might just have a really awesome memory.
Also, if this is real (and remember, that’s the effect we’re going for), if you try to right click Moana, she’ll punch you in the face. So her profile doesn’t exist, and in fact nothing you can read anywhere in the real world exists either unless it’s been said in open chat, or specifically marked as IC. Her back-story doesn’t exist.
So that all sounds simple right? Just pretend the stuff doesn’t exist. But as we know, it’s not that easy is it? It can’t be that easy, otherwise 50% of Moderator calls wouldn’t be for meta-gaming.
So let’s approach the problem from another direction. Here are some strategies that help make the ‘meta-gaming’ problem go away:
1. Open your eyes
Look at Moana, remembering that you don’t know her from a bar of soap. You can garnish a whole ton of information, simply by looking at her…..
For example what? (Look carefully and you might notice the veil, the gown, lack of visible weapons . .and maybe other things too)
…. Some people also have abilities beyond vision – they can detect smells, auras etc. But please be very careful as this verges on god-moding.
As you can see, you figured out a whole heap just by looking carefully. Imagine what you’re going to learn once Moana opens her mouth.
3. Use IM
If you are going to make a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ style deduction, (in other words if you are jumping beyond the obvious ‘I see you are wearing a blue dress, so now I know you are a scribe’ ) it’s good manners to IM the person first, and tell them what you are planning to do. Doing this will smooth a lot of waters, and if the person is unhappy, then you can talk about it calmly before problems arise
. . . . and (here’s the biggest source of Moderator calls) please please please try not to clutch successfully at too many straws… too often people make huge logical leaps, and consistently reach the correct conclusion. We all know people like this, and they aren’t much fun to rp with, are they? Always ask yourself if the (correct) conclusion that you have reached is truly valid, based on all the evidence, or is it just an excuse to meta-game?
4. ASK QUESTIONS!
If you ask Moana if she’s a Free Woman she’ll quite possibly tell you the truth. Then again, she might not. Figuring out the difference is fun rp. And don’t forget to ask other people too, but again, don’t forget that they might be lying too
IC and OOC:
IC (in character), means the things that relate to you when you are playing the role you have chosen.
OOC (Out of character) means the things that relate to the person at the keyboard. In other words, things that relate to your real life, as opposed to your character’s life.
It’s important to take a step back and try to remember that in SL Gor, we are playing roles which may or may not bear any relationship with our real lives.
If we go back to ‘Moana’ who we have used as an example , she is completely different in real life from the character she plays in the game. In real life she is a gentle patient and forgiving person. In contrast, the character she plays is arrogant beyond belief, bloodthirsty, and violent. In other words, a complete and utter cow.
ICly, Moana acts and behaves in accordance with her own motivators, her own beliefs, her own back-story, and her own knowledge. When you meet Moana in-world, she will be 100% IC. Conversely, when you IM her, your conversation will be an OOC one, and you’ll be talking with the player at the keyboard.
For roleplay to work well, players need to keep clear boundaries between these two worlds. Allowing overlap between OOC and IC destroys the authenticity of role-play.
Another even bigger issue is the potential for drama that results from OOC/IC bleed. Moana is not a nice person, the RL person is. When Moana cuts your fingers off and whips your slave , remember that it’s Moana’s doing that (she’s playing a role), not the RL person. IC conflict is brilliant roleplay. After your character loses her fingers, she’ll probably hate Moana with a passion and take every possible opportunity for revenge. If however, you, the player at the keyboard decide that you also now hate the player at Moana ‘s keyboard, and (for example de-friend her), then not only is that stupid, but it’s an almost inevitable trigger for drama.
Why is it stupid?: It’s stupid because it’s just like the movies. When we watch a film, most of us are able to separate actors from the roles they play in films. For example I don’t think Alan Rickman is really a Professor at Hogwarts, or that Kate Beckinsdale is a vampire. People don’t spit in Hugh Grant’s face because he was horrid to Bridget Jones. Remember that SL Gor is no different, and that it is no more ‘real’ than a film. It’s true that it is harder because in role-play you are much more personally invested in what’s happening, but the principle is exactly the same.
So keep OOC and IC separate and try to keep your personal feelings and emotions out of your roleplay.