Friday, January 23, 2009

Erections; Dommes; Gor.

1. Sailor Jim On the Subject of Penises is brilliant. And required reading if you find yourself needing to describe erect penises. Terms like ‘throbbing,’ ‘pulsing’ and all other variations of this nature make it sound as if the silly thing had a blood pressure cuff wrapped around it. ‘His fleshy organ quickly surged into full alertness, throbbing and pulsing and otherwise scaring the shit out of him.’

2. The blog Hot Female Dominant Utopia has reminded me I need to find more things like that to watch/read/absorb. Shut up, it's totally a coincidence I found that blog.
Yeah. So: say I was in the mood for Gorean atmosphere, not in the "I wish to choke on stilted prose now" sense but just the skimpily-dressed D/s-ish society, and aditionally my mood called specifically for female Dominants. Shut up. Anyway: what would you suggest? There must be films and books and fanfics that would meet that need, right?

[Incidentally, still the best paragraph about Gor ever, found via that last link, from Bitchy Jones: And yeah, Gor is easy to take the piss out of, but the real truth is that deep down in my heart I know that if I were a male dom I would fucking love Gor to tiny bits. I would be in those chat rooms wanking and sweating and wanking some more while some middle aged housewife going through an identity crisis talked about herself in third person whilst pretending to serve me a mythical drink.]

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An incoherent question about ARGs

I've been thinking about ARGs lately, specifically about how they are an irksome combination of utterly fascinating and, simultaneously, quite boring indeed. And I think the boring part is a matter of lack-of-fit between my own ways of thinking (and playing) and the way most ARGs are constructed. My problem is, ARGs don't look enough like fanfiction.

Backing up a bit, ARGS--alternate reality games--are immersive games which are played partly online and partly in the real world, and are a sort of extremely multimedia form of storytelling. That's the part I love, as some of you know, since I have a bad habit of tying people to chairs and going on and on at them about whatever interests me. Sorry about that. Anyway, Andrew Losowsky's Alternate Reality Games and a future of narrative explains it more clearly than I'm doing.

The bits where I cease to be interested have to do with the mechanisms of actually solving them. Most of them rely on a huge amount of solve-this-code, translate-this-Sanskrit-thing. As a means of showing how online can communities can manage to find someone who knows whatever bit of esoterica is required, this is quite cool, but...actually sitting around waiting until someone who knows Sanskrit tells you what something means isn't really very interesting. It just isn't. (Dan Hon pointed up this problem here, and he's speaking as a designer.)

Even if it takes nanoseconds, those nanoseconds transform you from someone who is actively theorizing and reading to someone who is passively consulting an expert. Basically, I enjoy stories: I don't give a shit about source code. So I would prefer stories that require skills having to do with storytelling. For instance: imagine if fanfic authors* wrote an ARG. Instead of relying on codes hidden in the source code, the clues would be hidden in the subtext--when you noticed two characters interacting suspiciously, the thing to do wouldn't be to look for a phone number encrypted in the page; instead you'd go look for a community that shipped them, and the website/phone number/whatever would show up there. The "meaningful" bits would be part of the story, the parts that close readers and enthusiastic fans enjoy looking for: hidden motivations, coded relationships, meaningful but small gestures.

So the incoherent question: would this work, and if so, are there people in fandom already doing this? I would be their biggest fan ever, so point me at them. I know there are talented fan-authors-and-artists already writing multimedia stories; have any of them crossed the line into making it slightly more complex and game-like, so that readers have to work a bit harder to find all the pieces? Okay, that's several questions.

*It's probably not a coincidence that one of the ARGs I found really interesting (and for which the use of code made sense, given the context) was MetaCortechs, which itself gets described as fanfiction, because it was inspired by the Matrix Trilogy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Things found while trying to research other things:

So I was browsing the internet--an activity I am beginning to think I should avoid--looking for examples of fiction or art by women who go all swoony over doctors (disclosure: I am, ironically, not one of these.)

And I found these links, which are, I warn you, NSFW.

This site is for those of us who like to see gas being used to sedate others. This site is for what? Well, there you go: The Gasman's Sleeping Gas Site proves that there are still things out there that I've never heard of.

I can't help being reminded of horror movies when I see this: Welcome to Medical Fetish Clinic. It sounds like someplace you'd end up on a stormy night after taking a really wrong turn, doesn't it?
It has personal ads. I am trying to work up the nerve now to click an ad and find out what a "fully experienced play doctor" has to offer, exactly.

I confess: it worries me that some of the things these people want done, I know how to do. It is profoundly disconcerting to see skills I was taught in an entirely prosaic setting turned into somebody else's fantasy. Don't get me wrong: they are more than welcome to their kinks. It's not that I disapprove; it's just jarring to see something that's filed in my head under 'boring but useful skill sets' used as the basis for erotica. It's every bit as baffling as Arthur Munby, really.