Posted in crime, day-to-day, medieval, out of character, rant, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, violence

“Well they did have slavery ‘back then’, you know…”

Whenever I hear a man argue in favor of slavery, I get a strong desire to see it tried on him personally. –Abraham Lincoln

One of the lamer arguments I’ve heard from people who want to rationalize the use of slavery (besides “it’ll attract more people”; consider just what sort of people…) is the guise of what I like to call selective authenticity. That is, picking and choosing what “they had back then” while excluding other things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I honestly believe that selective authenticity is necessary in most RP/themed sims. I for one don’t enjoy illiteracy, inquistitions, rampant superstition, or leprosy; but make no mistake they were all a large part of actual life in the actual Middle Ages. What I have a problem with is when people choose to make abhorrent parts of human history part of their fun playtime, and rationalize it by saying it’s for authenticity’s sake.

Yes. Absolutely. They most certainly had slavery throughout humanity’s past. They also had massacres, genocide, unjust wars, and artocity of all sorts. But these were the sickest, ugliest, most shameful parts of our history. Why in the world would you select that to include at your attempt at authenticity? Simple: it’s not authenticity you’re interested in. You’re deceiving yourself if you honestly believe it is.

Hey, are you really interested in playing capture and lock-up, and want to be really authentic? Consider an Auschwitz sim. You get rounded up just for walking down the street, beaten, tortured, stripped of any sense of dignity you may have left, maybe watch your family die, and live out the rest of your very limited existence locked away and forgotten about until you either starve to death or get executed. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

What! They totally did that back then, you know.




3 thoughts on ““Well they did have slavery ‘back then’, you know…”

  1. Slavery is just plain wrong, no matter how you try to justify it. But that doesn’t keep it from being rampant. It’s not just a matter of history; it’s a fact in our world today. According to official statistics, there are more slaves in the world now than ever before. Check out (yes, with a ‘k’). Instead of playing around with slavery because it turns you on sexually, do something about the real problem of real slavery in the real world.

  2. You do realise second life is just a game?
    If people want to play slaves and play slaveowners, I really don’t see it as being any worse than kids playing soldiers or cowboys and indians.

    Except insofar as adults perhaps could be doing more constructive things than playing games.

    But I still play computer games at the hagish age of 23 so I’d be a total hypocrite to go down that route.

  3. The only good thing about slavery in Second Life is you can quit whenever you want, no such option in the real world.

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