A bit of entertaining stupidity arrived by email earlier today. It seems the bottom feeders over at WORA renewed their fascination with Blood of Dragons and, as usual, a few particularly spectacular trolls have surfaced with more and more amusing claims.
Before I get into addressing some of those, however, lets just clear one thing up for those who doubt that we actually have approval for Blood of Dragons from George R.R. Martin and/or imagine that we only have some kind of very superficial connection to him. The situation, in brief, is that since contacting GRRM in 1998 to ask for permission to run Blood of Dragons, our connection to him has changed from “just” fans running a site to helping with fact-checking of the last two novels and finally to actually collaborating with him on a book. We take the restrictions he asked for when he first approved Blood of Dragons very seriously not only because we respect an author’s right to his intellectual property but because he is also a colleague and a friend.
Mission accomplished, with minimal effort. Now if our plans for Blood of Dragons 2.0 would be coming along just as smoothly, I’d be feeling even better. Just what I need since work has been kicking our butts with vigour since before Christmas.
Now, back to The World of Ice and Fire. Which may include some 2.0 musings on the side; I am so looking forward to working in all the new history, even if it will mean a lot of restructuring too.
It appears we have acquired a particularly dedicated troll on WORA, a bold hero determined to continue his epic struggle to inform the world of the horrors of Blood of Dragons. And the horrors of Firan, too. Somehow he has managed to lodge two sticks up his ass at the same time, a pretty impressive feat I must concede. Apparently he has a habit of randomly dragging BoD into all sorts of topics, just to demonstrate how very unhappy we’ve made him. I was pointed to some choice quotes and one of the most recent was the most amusing, since it referenced a discussion on the Public channel that I witnessed around a week ago. That means that our troll—who signed up to WORA in 2011 and has been bitching about us with some regularity since then—is still on the game. Masochist, much?
Some of my favourite claims follow:
There have been questions raised now and then how it is that we can run a roleplaying game set in Westeros when we strongly condemn fanfiction set in Westeros. The latest iteration of this question coming up made me decide to write something more in-depth about the matter. It may have something to do with procrastination from other work, but hey, that’s always a good reason, right?
First of all, let us establish what we mean by roleplaying in this case. We are talking specifically about on-line, text-based roleplaying in real-time using a MUSH or MUX server and we are talking about the logs of such roleplay sessions. We are not talking about table-top roleplaying or forum roleplaying.
As so often happens when I write something longer, it changes shape along the way. Given some of the feedback (thoughtful feedback too, much appreciated), I have split off my comments on the casting and focused this piece on the MUSH. That said, the casting piece does depend a bit on the book facts presented in this piece.
Not surprisingly, the first post on this subject led to accusations of racism (and misogyny). The really fun ones even decided to go “OMG, she said purity. That’s what Hitler said too.” Never mind that I was talking about setting purity, not racial purity… However, given that the same group of people have also said that they thought Xaro Xhoan Daxos was supposed to be black in the books and didn’t realize that the Lyseni were uniformly described as blonde and blue-eyed, I don’t give a lot for their reading comprehension.
For funniest comment from a Guest in a long, long time, that is:
<Guest> Dragon Guest using mushclient telnet prompt_newlines has connected.
<Guest> (Admin) Nymeria says, “Hi, Dragon Guest. You can use +g
to speak on this channel, and please let me know if you have any questions at all. :)”
<Guest> Dragon Guest says, “wtf”
<Guest> Dragon Guest says, “where is the graphics all i see is black screen”
<Guest> Dragon Guest has disconnected.
I guess it confirms that some (many?) of the Guest connections that end in a disconnect only seconds later are people thinking that the text-based game will have graphics once they log in.
The next mystery I want to solve is whether those who finish their character setup and promptly disconnect, never to return, also expected graphics to magically materialize at that point.
The question of race in A Song of Ice and Fire came up during the initial airing of Game of Thrones and, more recently, with the casting of actors of completely incorrect ethnicities for various roles for season two. My stance is that of a pretty hardcore purist: you don’t change a character that radically. Yes, you can’t get actors that look exactly right, but colour-blind (or for that matter, gender-blind) casting is not something that should be practised when adapting a book. As I have said more than once more, I find it particularly aggravating that it seems very likely that it was done because a few PC critics whined that the show was too white during the first season. Which, of course, lead to complaints about the books being too white. I don’t personally think this is a relevant complaint (it makes perfect sense that Westeros, which is the focus of the story, is a very white society—with the exception of Dorne, of course) and regardless of that the show shouldn’t be trying to correct a perceived error.
But what does all of this have to do with MUSHing in general and Blood of Dragons in particular?
I continue to be amazed at the way some people approach MU*ing. Its a hobby, yes, and it shouldn’t feel like work…but when options are offered that don’t involve so much (or any) work, why complain about the options that do involve some? Lets start with the background, and then I’ll dig into today’s little mini-rant. ;)
A bit of shameless promotion for Blood of Dragons, our A Song of Ice and Fire MUSH. We are, as always, looking for more players for the game (I want enough of a population to open Dorne, darnit!), especially now that the usual summer slowdown has claimed a few more victims. We did have a well-attended execution yesterday, though, so maybe some of those idlers will end up a little shorter…
Javelin (formerly the maintainer of the PennMUSH codebase and still the owner of M*U*S*H) has been running a series of MU*-related podcasts called Tinytalk for a while now. Some time ago, he contacted me and asked if I was interested in taking part in a segment he wanted to do focusing on women and MU*ing. Since I like what he’s doing (and okay, since I like talking, too ;), I said yes.
About a week ago, he sent some questions (originally, it was supposed to be a discussion with several women, but he had to do it as a montage instead since times conflicted) and last Friday we did the interview over Skype. As usual when I talk ‘in public’, I forgot to breathe and talked a bit too fast, though Elio insists I don’t sound too stupid. So, since I foolishly trust him, here’s the link to the show.
One thing that I’ve always wanted done are portraits of mine (and Elio’s) various MUSH characters. I’ve toyed with the idea of commissioning art, but the kind of artists I tend to really like have a habit of being rather far out of my price range. I also have such specific ideas for my characters that I’ve sort of resigned myself to the fact that the only way I will get what I want is if I learn to paint really, really well myself.
That still holds true when it comes to ‘real’ art, but in the mean time (while I am trying to learn to paint, that is) I have found one way of at least what I think are pretty good representations of my characters: Second Life.
It sort of started with GRRM’s Second Life appearance. Elio already had an account, though he had only used it a few times to check things out, but for this event we spent a few Linden dollars to make his avatar look more presentable. And it was then that it hit me that this could be a really neat way of creating character portraits. As a result, I ended up creating an account, and now I’ve spent more than a few hours the last few months creating a custom avatar shape for each of my characters. In addition to that, we’ve purchased skin, hair and pretty clothes, and the first few portrait pictures are now up in the Art gallery.
A lot of people probably thought it would never happen, but never underestimate just how tenacious we can be. ;)
Yesterday, Blood of Dragons, our A Song of Ice and Fire MUSH, opened for roleplay. Granted, its a beta opening, not a full opening, and this is even a bit of a sneak-start since the official start will happen when the first ships return from Dorne with part of Daeron’s forces and the Dornish hostages. That will be in a week or so.
But, these buts aside, we have a game!
Since I made that decision to start going through my logs, both to edit as many as possible and to put up select ones on the site, I’ve managed some slow but steady (more the former than the latter, though) progress with both these tasks. I still have hundreds of logs filled with OOC clutter, but also a growing collection of tidy ones, including some that I’ve deemed fit for public consumption. I’ve tried to pick logs that aren’t too boring, though in general I imagine all logs that involve characters you know nothing about or have no connection to are pretty darn dull. Still, there are degrees of dullness, and I think some of these might at least be of some interest to people we’ve role-played with over the years. Especially if they’re nosy. ;)
In a fit of procrastination (in regards to my work for the literature class, that is), I decided yesterday to start on the Sisyphean task of editing and labelling 10 years worth of logs. Roughly 900, all in all, which makes me feel almost fortunate (just almost, though, because there are scenes that I still wish today I had managed to get logged) that I didn’t have a good client for my first year or two of MU*ing, considering how extremely active I was then. If I had been logging everything back then as well, that number would probably have been a few times larger. And 900 logs, give or take a few, is more than enough to keep me procrastinating for years.
However, as usual (I’ve tried this before, you see), my grand idea of starting at the beginning and just pushing along until I reached the end was soon abandoned. Instead, I decided that I would start by cleaning up some good logs suitable for publishing here on the site. As a result, the Logs section has finally had its first few contributions added and I expect a few more to go up today and within the coming weeks.
Hilarious. I sent a DMCA notification to LiveJournal since one of the charming imbeciles from WORA decided to repost one of my posts from this journal to his lj. And wouldn’t you know, he sends a counter notification, claiming that its not copyright infringement. He claims that a) I have provided no proof—such as a registration—that the material is copyrighted, b) its fair use and c) I didn’t submit a proper DMCA notification. I’ve seen plenty of stupid stuff from the WORA crowd, but this one almost deserves an award. Maybe I should just have copied & pasted in his whole counter notification, since he seems to think that’s a good way to approach things. I am not, however, as impolite as to do that, given that it includes his full RL address and all. So, my recap will have to do.