Sunday, September 16

Roleplaying gamerules.


I don't know why this popped up in my mind.

When I went to junior high I was in the same French class as Y, who was in the same gang as H. H was one year younger and still in grade school at the time. I often bumped into Y and his friends M , F, R and A hanging out in the hallway. One time the French class decided to have a disco in order to collect money for a class trip.  H came there. There were hardly any people at our disco so he was mocking us for that, stealing our home made chocolate balls, complaining about the music and he was short, fat and Finnish. There was nothing about him I liked and I saw him only as an annoyance. When we were even younger we occasionally crossed paths at the same playground. There was in particular this wooden fortress in the forest where we used to play. Me with my girls and H with his boys. One time the boys invited us to play with them. They had this roleplaying game with rules that we were supposed to obey. Roleplaying was something I considered childish and belonged in kindergarden, which I told them. I asked why we should pretend to be this and that, why we must follow the rules they had made up? If we were going to play together we should come up with rules together as well and I had much better ideas. This was not a popular so basically the boys wanted us, or just me, to leave so they could play their own roleplaying game. Later in life, when I was in a relationship with H and World of Warcraft came out, we all, the same gang ( not my girl gang though) started to play togehter . The same thing happened again. They had their rules about how the game should be played. I had a created a rebellious character and didn't want to obey their rules and again there was a conflict and they didn't want me to play with them. This is when we were adults, in our 30's. Can you imagine roleplaying gamerules hanging on so hard since childhood in the same gang that they couldn't see beyond them even as adults?

One can view this from a bigger perspective. To start with they were just mean stupid boys who never really grew up. Second, the game was never about having fun and playing, it was about learning to obey the rules. Those who didn't want to obey the rules were excluded, just as in society. It was like a miniature patriarchal society, a training ground for obedience, compliance and oppression. 


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