Thursday, August 28, 2008

CaleCon: Some (Mostly) Out of Character Musings

I would like to extend my best wishes to those attending the (forward-lookingly-named) First Annual CaleCon convention this weekend.

I will admit to having mixed emotions about such an event, and I suspect those feelings are mixed precisely because I straddle the line between the two (largely conflicting) rationales for having one’s typist devote large blocs of time to our fair land: role-play versus social networking. To a role player – any Evil Scientists reading this, this means you – it’s not clear why one would particularly value a weekend that is, ahem, largely out of character. Yes, of course it’s nice to meet the typists behind the characters with which one interacts, but is it really important? Worse, would it not detract from the enjoyment of the role-playing to know that one’s arch-nemesis is really a gap-toothed elderly woman who wanders publicly in a tattered floral-pattern dressing gown?

Conversely, if one enjoys the social networking aspect – chats about books and Dr. Who (whoever he might be) and one’s children (or “wee beast” as one young lady who shall remain anonymous so aptly put it) and movies and enjoying chocolate cake and… – of interacting with like-minded people who may live hundreds of miles and many times zones away, then of course an in-person gathering, if only for a weekend, makes perfect sense, strengthening bonds forged on line. In that case, the surprise that one’s typist does not look as expected is not necessarily a negative.

Of course, we rarely live in a binary world. (Well, we do live in a binary world called Second Life. But you know what I mean.) One does not have to be either pure role player or pure social networker. A recent discussion on the Forums regarding the existence and purpose of alts underscored that some like to do both, and keep those identities separate. I am left imagining the naughty things the alts of very proper Caledonians get themselves into, but that is an entry for another day… I wander in and out of character as the mood strikes. Meeting typists would be nice. And I thought I heard something about a pub crawl… On the other hand, if one has helped create the magic of Caledon, or participated in the process even to the small extent that I have, is it worth it to meet the creators? Isn’t something of a willing suspension of disbelief required to be able to roam through a land of Tesla towers, Nekos and vampires, Mad Scientists and Girl Geniuses?

It was not my intent to offended anyone, least of all participants in this event. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing. Again, I hope everyone has a wonderful time.

I’m told this event is taking place in the land called Canada, and another reason I have for avoiding the gathering is that the Jameson girls are not entirely welcome in that nation. I swear it never happened, and anyone who says differently is a liar. If it did happen, Kathy was the one who did it. And we certainly didn’t mean to lead the police on that lengthy chase; it was all a big misunderstanding. But anyway, Canada is out for the foreseeable future.

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