The Theme of Sindome has always been dark, gritty and dystopian. A world where society is cruel, there is suffering and injustice. A world of 'haves' and 'have-nots'. A world where your neighbor is a nuisance and you should vote them for death to better your City and prevent over population. A world where you are rewarded for reporting your co-worker for crimes against their Corporation. A world where the Law is absolute and Corporations own you, body and soul. A world where seventy million plus people are crammed into one District that is so over-crowded, the populace as a whole fights for the most minimal of basic human rights, because, quite frankly, there is no such thing as human rights. It's a world that is built around survival of the fittest, richest or most conniving and the very fluidity that such an existence is fleeting and short-lived. It is a loss of individualism through totalitarian control. It's a world that is frightening, undesirable and the antonym of utopia.
I -feel- like that theme is becoming 'softened'. Players feeling offended about certain aspects of the game or dissatisfied with some of the 'tools' of the Theme. I have heard the argument many times that Sindome is a game and that it should be an environment that brings pleasure to the players, because, if the players aren't having fun...then the game doesn't thrive. And, I agree wholeheartedly. I've played SD for years and it's something that I get pleasure in every time I play it, even when it's dark and gritty. Actually, because it's dark and gritty.
Some of my best RP memories are being held at gunpoint and made to strip and being accosted and frightened, because that's the theme I signed up for...that's the theme I wanted when I started playing. I've had nude photos stolen and posted all over the Mix. I've been stalked, tortured, hunted, killed...I've been made to be frightened and miserable and treated cruelly and faced injustice. I've been cained by friends and lovers. I've been abused mentally and psychologically. I've reciprocated some of those same injustices and cruelty on others. And those are just a few of the memorable moments I've experienced in SD.
In the OOC arena, I've always been faced with courtesy and productive input - even if it was delivered without fluff. There is a line between the IC world and the OOC world of SD that is maintained and upheld. And, I am not trying to disrespect anyone with this posting but rather make a point of view from my perspective. And - none of this post is being applied to any rule violations. Those are unacceptable and should be dealt with. My comments and views are purely in the realm of appropriate, conforming Theme-based roleplay.
But, I do feel that lately there are those that struggle with the IC theme of the game. That fight against it and try and soften the edges, try and mold it to be 'more fun', less harsh, more balanced to benefit the Player, to the detriment of the game and it's Theme. Or, 'cherry pick' which theme they like and disregard other parts of Sindome's Theme. And, this is not a negative comment to any that are doing that on a personal level. I understand that every person has a different idea of what is fun, what is acceptable, what is enjoyable. And, if you don't find something acceptable, fun or enjoyable, then you should not be made to participate.
But, that's the key word. Participation. Because, it's the root of SD. The Theme. The dystopia. When you log in, the first thing you see is 'welcome to your nightmare where you wish you were dead'. I feel we've lost the ability to say -with absolute politeness and courtesy - don't participate then. Instead, it feels like the Theme is broken down or even ignored. And, that's unfair to players that have invested in participating. Have invested in the Theme.
This isn't going to be the game for everyone. It's not going to be the game that everyone finds enjoyment in. And, that's okay. What I think isn't okay is pushing the Theme of the game into a state that it is no longer that dystopian world in an effort to make it more what you as the Player want without regard to those that do appreciate all that SD offers.
I know that the argument has been 'Well, the answer isn't to tell players to leave'. And, I'm not saying that nor advocating that thought. But, there is a point where players have to decide if they can play the Theme. And, if they can't - then this isn't the game for them. It's not snobbery, it's not rudeness. It's not disregarding someone's emotional well-being or feelings. It's about putting the ownness of a Player's well-being back on the Player. This is a game that is built on certain styles of play. And those styles are ingrained into the very core of Sindome - violence, destruction, loss, suffering. Rising above it and then being knocked down by the person beneath you. Like I've heard so many times - Play to lose.