Tag Archives: gor

What is left from Second Life Gor?

In my previous Second Life (Yes, I know how weird this sounds) I was very much involved in Second Life Gor for several years. At the time, there were about 300 different Gor regions and the community was a quite strong one, despite of a lot of Sl Residents being in strong disagreement of the Goreans in Second Life.

At the time you could find heavy discussions about the topic in many, if not all, of the Second Life forums and related websites and blogs. I myself did maintain several Gor related blogs, educating people about what the Gorean world is actually about. Yes, I did read 10 of the Gor novels and I was a quite avid role player, portraying many different Gorean characters in several really cool story lines alongside with other very cool players and characters.

However, I never supported the Gorean „lifestyle“ at all. To me it was exactly what is what meant to be in the first place: A fantasy environment.

I left Gor years ago. Why? Simply because it became far too time consuming and I developed other interests in Second Life (such as the blog you are reading right now).

As you know from my previous post, I was thinking to start including some Gorean stories in Second Life Adventures as well. Gor is part of Second Life, hence there would be a some first hand experience about the topic here, for those interested in playing the genre. So I thought.

So off I went, to see what Gor in Second Life is like today. I did not expect to find it the way I left it, but what I actually encountered can be best described as the ruins of what Gor in Second Life used to be.

My first stop: a place called the Gor Hub.

This is a very old place where people from all over Gor went (in the old days) to recruit players for all sorts of roles and positions to be occupied. Merchants went there renting stalls or advertising space for their Gorean shops, selling more or less appropriate attire, weapons and other items which were aimed at making the experience more immersive.

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One very special feature of the Gor hup, is a huge map of the fantasy planet Gor, giving people (especially new players) a bit of orientation, as to where is what on Gor. This map still exist, but the landmarks on it are pretty much outdated.

When I came there, Gorean role play was not a topic in any of the conversations taking place. Instead people were discussing, what is a good Master, a good slave and similar topics around D/s relationships.

Here a couple of statements from people at the hub:

“But if a girl is a brat constantly, or spoiled and doesn’t follow direction, she gets two options: Punishment and improvement or I’d drop the girl”

“Really though, there’s no such thing as legal slavery anymore. Nobody is really a “slave” or “Master” by lawful property rights. However, my slaves are bound to me mentally, they dread the thought of being without my guidance and presence. I teach them something every day and challenge them constantly, without the stimulation they feel empty. “

“But, some “masters”, more like amateurs, tend to spoil their girls and not teach them correctly.”

“But the Dom has a responsibility to correct it. If the sub gives up however, then the dynamic is over. Same goes for the Dom though.”

When I inquired about Gorean role play regions, I basically got told to look them up in search. Those people seam to use Second Life Gor as a fantasy-style background for their D/s relationships or as one did put it:

“BTB sims are heavily into the Dom/sub “crap” (term I used) just as any other Gor-themed sim, since that tends to be one of the main reasons people roleplay in this genre. “

It became obvious to me, that this is not the place were I can find “my Gor”, the Gor with all those exiting storylines, the Gor with adventures, politics, power fights and all the other stuff you read about in the Gor books (yes, that includes slave girls and sex). Instead this place apparently has been taken over by the BDSM and D/s community (No, Gor is not BDSM).

Ok, second try: Type “Gor” into In-World search and see what comes up

The result was equally disappointing. The search results consisted of a lot of SIMs offering either what is called “Gor evolved” and/or role play which evolves around obe specific region of planet Gor called Thorwaldsland, a culture based on ancient viking culture. Nothing wrong with that, if that is your thing – you will plenty of choice in Second Life.

It wasn’t however what I was looking for. I was looking for the big cities, something like prestigious Ar, the filthy streets of Port Kar, the glamor of Turia, the mysterious mountain cities in the Voltai .

None of that seams to be left at first sight. I looked deeper into it and finally I found something: The City of Tyros, apparently under construction. There used to be in the old days a replica (a pretty good one) of the Gorean city of Tyros. In the books a maritime power , based on ancient Carthage.

Off I went checking it out.

The start skybox was quite promising. This is the place were you get notecards with sim rules, and the backstory of the place. You also get there “observer tags” in case you want to just have a look around without actually engaging in role play.

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I checked the rules and found them very reasonable. There was a clear distinction between OOC (out of character) and IC (in character) and the also available IC laws of the city did read very authentic as to what one would expect from a Gorean city.

The disappointment came when I Tp-ed down to the docks. The build has absolutely nothing to do with the island of Tyros as described in the books. Once again the developer made the assumption, that Gor is some kind of medieval genre. Happens allthe time, no idea why. The books refer clearly to ancient earth cultures, such as Romans, Greek, Phoenician just to name a few. In addition the quality of the buildings looked like cheap prefabs thrown together. To top it all up: The city was surrounded by palm trees and tropical islands – could not help but facepalm.

So if you are a builder of Gorean cities, regions or sims, please bear this in mind: Gor is not about medieval structures, cultures and builds, it is meant to be similar to very specific ancient cultures. So please stop all those castles, pirate ships and other medieval style buildings, this is not Gorean at all! It has nothing to do with it.

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Ok, I dis-carted this one for me, moved on and found another one.

Lydius Port!

Now this one almost impressed me. To start with, at the landing point you get a description of what the city of Lydius would be like. This obviously helps new players a lot to get settled in the place and to understand the mechanics and type of environment they put their character.

Here is the short description of Port Lydius:

“Lydius is a port city controlled by the Merchant Caste. It is a city of contrasts, combining the roughness of the north regions with the luxuries and civilization of the cities to the south. For example, it is one of the only cities in the northern regions that possesses public baths.

Lydius contains a mint and this mint is the only one within a thousand pasangs of Torvaldsland. Many Gorean cities own or rent buildings in Lydius. Thus, the population of Lydius contains a diverse mix of different origins and cultures.

Much wood and hides are brought down the Laurius River to be sold in Lydius. The nearest major town to the east of Lydius is Vonda of the Salerian Confederation. One of the taverns of Lydius given in the books is the tavern of Sarpedon.”

For those, who want to have more explicit and detailed information about the city, they provide a notecard with actual quotes from the books about this city. You can read them here: quotes about the Gorean city Port Lydius.

On top of that, the give you list of Gorean roles that would be realistic in this city each one with a description of what would be expected from each character. You can find those here: Gorean roles.

The rules are fairly reasonable as well also with a clear distinction between Ic and OOC rules.

The sim owners went a few extra miles to make sure potential role players know what the score is and to help them to create and settle there character. Kudos to them, well done.

The I checked the actual build and once again, (/me sighs) very medieval style but at least far better quality and very detailed. Whats missing is this “port” atmosphere which would be typical for a PORT city. Also the only ship in the mini-port is actually not a Gorean ship. At least the surroundings of the city (wall paper of sorts) does actually look like a city on the borders of what was called the great Northern Forest in the books.

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This region is actually an option for me. I might create a character which fits in there and see what comes my way. But before I actually do that, I will try to find other authentic Gorean BTB (by the books) regions and compare them.

I can not believe, that this is all that is left from what used to be one of the most active role play genres in Second Life.

If you know of (or even manage or own) an authentic BTB Gorean region in Second Life, please let us know about it here in the comments! I will visit all suggested regions, with the exception of GE Gor (Gor evolved).

/me points to comment section!

Gorean City Victoria on the Vosk

Today I want to show you some pictures I made in a new role play region. Its the City of Victoria based on the books about the fictive planet of Gor by John Frederick Lange. I wrote articles about the topic some time ago.

This region (role play is conducted in German language) focuses on story line driven role play and admittedly does not exactly portray a Gorean city as described in the books, but made the odd little enhancement for the fun of the players.

Victoria has been build by the same people which brought us Neuville au Mer (which is now closed). Beric and Nea did once again a great job to deliver a spectacular build in Second Life. I do consider playing a role there. But as Gorean role play , and role play in general can be extremely time consuming if you are part of a greater plot, I will choose a side role. One that is not essential for the development of the plot. I keep you posted.

Here the pics I took:

Gorean Roleplay in Second Life

Gor is probably the most misunderstood community in Second life. With this article, I will try to explain what Gor really is. The idea is to help noobs (sorry, but I just love that term) to understand, what Gor is all about and to settle within the environment.

The Basics:

Gor ist a world described in  29  fantasy nouvelles, written by Professor John Norman (American Professor of Philosophy),  called “the Chronicles of Gor”.  The author describes a world on a planet in the same orbit as Earth, but exactly on the other side of the sun, also referred to as the counter-earth. The story of the Gor books is about people,  from various different ancient cultures of Earth being abducted and brought to different parts of Gor by aliens, referred to as the “Priest Kings”.

Those cultures, or counter cultures are: Ancient Greek/Roman  for the most part, but also Phoenician, Turkish (Ottoman), Bedouin, Mongolian, native American, Viking and in the most recent book ancient Japanese were added as well.

The Priest Kings let a society develop, not being allowed to have  modern technology and sophisticated weaponry and being separated from Earth morals, ethics and believes. This is also called the Gorean experiment. The result is a harsh and cruel world, in which the fittest survive and reproduce, where the strong dominate the weak , where one who can’t be strong takes his place as a slave.

A world where strict codes of honor make sure, that the well-being of a group is always regarded higher than the well-being of the individual. The group, may it be city, a tribe or a caste, guarantees the survival of the species and is therefore the highest and most respected thing – symbolized by the Home Stone. Gorean philosophy promotes a Darwinian view on humans, as well as domination and submission being  part of keeping the natural order of things.

Much of it is based on Plato´s and Aristotle´s writings about the nature of humans and the ideal society. It also promotes, that men are usually dominant by nature and women are submissive by nature. Needless to say it’s a men´s world! In Second Life people have built cities, which resemble cities or regions described in the books for the purpose of role play. Individual players adopt a role, which could have existed on the fictive planet of Gor and immerse into role play.

Contrary to common belive and gossip, Gorean role players do not eat your children, nor do they try to make part of a sect or a cult.  It’s just another role play environment like star wars, wild west, star track or the roman empire. There are however some “Goreans” which are taking it a bit to far in my opinion and that is when it becomes weird at its best and outright dangerous at its worst.  We call those “livestylers”.

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 labeled “Gor evolved”. They really have very little to do with Gor and are very focused on the combat aspect of the game.

1. Adult Theme!

First of all you need to realize 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 Gor is not for you.

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: Log in at www.secondlife.com and go to account verification. There you can verify your age. 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, because 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 and their Southern counter part the Talunas which are outlaw women living in small bands in the forests,  outside of regular Gorean civilization. So if you are a female player but you want to play a warrior, mercenary, pirate or a similar role, please 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 usually called a Kajira the male version is a Kajirus. If 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 always recommend 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 but not to be one. OOC you are NOT a slave and not considered 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 to fuck off! 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).

A nice way to learn how to “be” a slave on Gor is this: Play a slave girl on gor.

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 civilization. This part is the civilized 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: Punic Wars in Wikipedia

Other popular cultural settings in Second Life Gor would be:

Torwaldsland:
Located in the very North of the planet and resembles medieval viking cultures of earth.

Tahari Desert
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).

Northern Forests
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.

Low and high in this context has nothing to do with wealth. This would be the way we think in our earth western culture. High castes are high castes on Gor for their purpose not their money. In fact the rich people described in the books are of the low caste of the merchants and slavers whilst many characters of high caste are described as rather poor and actually not much interested in wealth anyway. Playing a rich warrior with a huge mansion and dozens of slaves is actually as silly as playing a merchant  who is extremly skilled in sword fighting and even wins combats against experienced warriors. Make a choice and accept the downsides of a role too. You can’t have it all!

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 labeled as “Gorean” which has hardly anything to do with how Goreans are described in the books. I will soon open a section on this blog with links to shops that make authentic Gorean attire. If you own such a shop, please get in touch so I can add you to the list. Please understand that I only add shops that provide attire and weapons which resemble those described in the books. Get in touch In-World or send me a notecard.

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 you can buy the first book: Tarnsman of Gor (Gorean Saga 1)

Here some recommendations based on popular Gorean regions or roles:

Turia and Plains: Book 3, Nomads of Gor (Mongols and City of Samarkand)
Port Kar, Cos and Tyros: Book 5, Raiders of Gor (Carthage and the Phoenicians)
City of Ar: Book 6, Assassins of Gor (Rome)
Forest Region and Panther Girls: Books 7, Captive of Gor and book 8, Hunters of Gor (Cythian Amazons in Greek mythologie)
Torwaldsland: Book 9, Mauroders of Gor (Vikings)
Desert Region: Book 10, Tribesmen of Gor (early Ottoman Empire and Northern African tribal cultures)
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 sun!

If you want to get set up for Gorean role play, just contact me in-world, I actually enjoy couching people for Gor.

Yours Virtually

Carol

Copyright of picture:
http://slgorean.metavirtual.us/mv-sl-gorean/blutrote-hundertschaften-des-sudens/