Ask the Editors
Ahoy there, and welcome back to the brains of our editors. I see you all have plenty of leg room, so let's get right to this weeks question.
"Do you think a Social Justice Warrior (or at least somebody who says, "Hey, that's not cool.") should leave such notions at the door of a Realms event? Because hey, role-playing, amirite?"
First, let's get a definition of what that even is as there seems to be a bit of confusion. Dictionary.com defines it as:“noun; .Disparaging; a person who advocates a progressive orthodoxy, often on the Internet, especially involving the treatment of ethnic, racial,gender, or gender-identity minorities; abbreviation: SJW.” Put that way it sounds like a good thing, except for that 'disparaging part', so we looked a bit further. Dictionary.com is pretty good if you want the actual definition of something, but if you'd like the actual meaning of something you'll have to look into the bottomless cesspit that is Urban Dictionary: “A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will "get SJ points" and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are "correct" in their social circle.” Like most things, somewhere in the middle of those two explanations is likely closer to the truth. So now that we have a bit of an idea of the topic that we are discussing, let's get some opinions!
First, Lani 'Gwen' Grayson and Jeremy 'Nighthawk' Grayson combine for a super opinion:
“Since one of our rules is that, “acts considered unlawful in the real world... are also unlawful in the Realms” then a possible corollary of that rule could easily be, “acts uncool in the real world are also uncool in the Realms.” Our community thrives best when people feel welcome and safe, therefore, the actions and language of our members should reflect those values. If someone feels like a line is crossed at an event, then roleplaying should not stop them from calling an offending party out. Both parties might not agree as to what constitutes offensive behavior, however, we should all strive to be delicate when considering such matters.”
Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Grayson!
Next up, Sara 'Zarine' Jessop:
“I think it very much depends on the situation. From an RP standpoint, people can play whichever type of characters that they like. They can be an SJW trying to protect people from all of the injustices of the world, or they can be a raging arse who causes all the injustices. That is 100% up to the person playing the character, and I think we all need to be better about separating in and out of character. If what the 'character' is doing is not 'ooc' hurting anyone, then I do not think it is anyone's place to tell that person how to play the game. They should have IC consequences to suffer, but we should all be mature enough to know that it isn't the player being an arse, it's the character. From an OOC standpoint, if you believe that people are OOC doing something harmful to someone else then by all means you should stand up for them when and where you can. But you should also speak with all parties involved and actually understand what is going on before you butt in, unless there is some sort of immediate danger of course, so that you don't escalate a situation that didn't need to be escalated. Don't argue just to argue, actually do something to help someone in an informed and effective way.
I should note, that using your character as a way to harass someone you have OOC issues with, or doing something IC that someone is OOC uncomfortable with, is not acceptable and I consider things like that an OOC issue, not an IC one.”
Thank you, Sara.
Now, Jen 'Areni' DeNardis-Rosa
“The Realms is a community-based game; without the community of players, the game would not exist. This means that all of the players could be considered custodians of the game. As such, I think we all have a duty to encourage and protect the openness and diversity of the community we love, so the game can continue to grow and flourish. So the short answer to the question is no, I don't think that someone who would stand up and say "That's not cool" should leave those notions at the door. As we all know, the line between in-character and out-of-character can often get blurry, and players should feel empowered to call out things that they don't think are right, be it IC or OOC. However, I do believe the phrase "It's not what you say, but how you say it" could also apply here. Diversity goes both ways; it is important that we try to stop and think before we say or do something that could potentially be hurtful or upsetting to our friends or acquaintances, and it is imperative that we all remain civil and respectful to each other, even when we disagree, so we can move forward as a community.”
So there you have it. Our opinions on SJWs wherein it relates to our game. It seems that we mostly feel that people should stand up for what they feel is right while realizing that not everyone is going to feel the same way. We all need to be considerate of each other to make our community a better place for all of it's members.
Join us next time for the great question: “Should the Realms become a non-profit organization in order to get better sites, insurance, "be taken more seriously" by governing bodies that allow us to practice in spaces, etc.?”
Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email (Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors