Angelique Blaisdale at Beauty (2009)

Second Life Angelique Blaisdale at Beauty

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It is surprising how many groups who engage in role play use a real world novel as their starting point.

War gaming is the first and seminal example of role playing, it is also simplest because players don't need a 'character' but merely require to know their allowable moves and how to take an opponent out of the game. If they are team players then leaders with management and negotiation experience can increase the chances of success and strong interpersonal relationships are developed before, during and after the 'action'.

There is however another ancient theme which is common in Second life - seduction, where as in 'reallife' the purpose and denoument need little explanation and the best players rely on finesse, politeness and the ability to spell as the tools of their trade.

If killing or seducing an opponent are not the sole modus operandi of a a player, the level of complexity is increased but if the motivations are not as clear cut as kill or be killed how is a structure esatblished ? Acting in a theatrical production or film is aided by a script to describe the
actions, plot and characters in a drama, but in role play such crucial narrative devices are not available.

Role play based on the theme of the fictional narrative of a book offers a ready made outline, a loose guide to the historical and geographic mileu, the context and motivations of characters, all of which can be adapted for improvisational acting.

Frank Herbert's novel 'Dune'(1965) was the inspiration for the Splintered Rock region in Second Life, a generic science fiction role playing sim themed on a spice mining outpost on a desert world. The ancient kingdom of 'Gor' was inspired by John Norman's novel 'Tarnsman of Gor' (1967) and along with his subsequent twenty-six novels have offered a wide choice of narratives for adaptation in Second Life. Why Gor is so popular is hard to answer, perhaps it has a religious base or is in reaction to the muddled roles of contemporary society ? The simplicity of character definition where the patriarch rules and the position of Gorean women are clearly defined does however make Gor an early choice for many improvisational actors.

Similarly in Anna Rice's catholic story of submission "Reclaiming Beauty" (1983) has become the theme of a number of 'Beauty' based sims where the hierarchy of a royal court accept willing tributes for initiation into their allotted roles.

The leader of the pack howvere has to be Bram Stokers 'Dracula' reworked as "Bloodlines"(1993) a comic book story published by DC Comics which has resulted in the bank of 'Bloodlines' servicing hungry vampire clans across the metaverse and in the process making itself one of the most profitable enterprises to have spun from multi user online games industry.