Does SL Roleplay Lean Right Wing? (Comment of the Week)
New World Notes readers (and by extension, Second Life users in general) overwhelmingly support Obama, but during last week's post-election commentary, SLer PussyCat Catnap (who blogs here), had some very interesting and provocative insights on the prevalence of roleplay in Second Life which seems to be politically right wing in nature -- most especially, the very popular Gorean roleplayers of SL, whose activity is based on a fantasy book series that has an explicitly anti-feminist, anti-egalitarian ideology:
"Online gamers tend to be a rather conservative racist sexist bunch. One does not have to look far to see this.
"It's all over SL too.
"But it doesn't control everything here like it can in other online more gamer focused worlds.
"Here you just find the odd Dixie flag, or a 'black man on white women' XXX-sim, one or two racially charged biker groups (mixed in with others so its really hard to figure out which and who - and most are not).
"And then the whole Gorean/slave thing as sort of a 'virtual war on women' concept that baffles the heck out of me.
"These are all groups that lean heavy on conservative norms, though they come here for the things they can't express in open RL society...
"Yet while they stand out pretty strongly, and dominate some genres (Gor pretty much owns the 'adult fantasy' experience in SL, despite being extremely obscure outside of SL).
"I usually can't go more than a few days in SL without hearing or reading someone on a libertarian rant, thinly hiding their disdain for 'colored people and civil rights' (whereas in almost any MMO, this is an occurrence every 5 minutes in whatever amounts to the global chat system).
"So I personally expected SL to lean more for Romney.
"But I guess the international crowd that I encounter less on forums and English-language in-world communities, is more prevalent reading here."
Interesting perspective. (And for what it's worth, I personally know people into Gorean roleplay who are left-leaning in their real life political views, which suggests another fascinating level of roleplay.) Related to all this, it's worth noting the many military roleplaying groups of Second Life, which tend to focus not on celebrating democratic/anti-authoritarian militaries in real life and in fiction, but on right wing/authoritarian strains of militarism in particular.
For instance, watch this SL military propaganda video, which I once noted "looks a bit like something Leni Riefenstahl would make, if the Axis was largely comprised of furries."Tweet