Monday, July 25, 2011

The Midian 'Vast Majority'

Sometimes I wonder if I talk to Midian people for inspiration for a good rant.  Just last night, I figured I would talk to Auntie, suppose out of old habit. Did the usual hellos and how are yous, and by about 10 minutes into the conversation, yep, you guessed it, we were in conversation about Midian.

What's the news?  Apparently, after selling off all three expansion sims (Apocalypse, Leviathan, and Le Chuck's bayou Quin-something-or-other), Jade wants to reboot the main sim.  This is all apparently not gossip, but fact. The money issues are now all resolved, which was apparently the key factor, according to Auntie.  They're also remodeling, and, as claimed, rebooting 'back to the original tenet of Midian'.

To be fair and honest, if Midian were to go back to its 'original tenet', it would be more true if it went back to being housed in a sky box and to the descriptions found in this classic article from 2006:

That was back when the original creator Baal was around, and the original story (and thus, original tenet) is found in the article.  It was more of a Predator/prey sort of play then.  At the time that I came, when Apocalypse had been put in as the first expansion, there was a 'hapless victim' text title one could put on if looking to advertise yourself as prey.  However, Midian was developing out of that original tenet and becoming more of a place for text RP, rather than run, hunt, and chase.  Will Midian: Rebooted go back to the Pred/prey run, hunt, and chase days?  I somehow don't think so.  For one, that might mean actually going back to use of a meter, since the original Midian did allow the standard weaponry of the day, such as Black Ops.  Considering that weapons are going to be greatly limited, this is one aspect that the reboot is not going back to the original tenet.  Plus, I find it hard to see the current player base, assuming there is still enough RPers left to claim there is one, being all that interested in the way of play way back in the day.

I suppose pressure of being an adult sim and having to adhere to SL's standard for such a sim designation (and possibly the lack of interest/the falling out of such players) child avies will no longer be a part of the character roster for Midian.  Also included in the list of character types to be dropped are hybrids (except cats and dogs), and mechs (other than 'basic' ones - no super uber ones).  Humans, as long as you're not a child avie, you're fine to be reloaded into Midian: Rebooted. (And yes, that sentence is fully loaded with sarcasm.)

Despite all the talk of going back to the original tenets, the reality is that Midian is not going back to what made it a great sim.  Rather, its just defining the restraints for the reboot to make it very clear what is and is no longer allowed in the sim, as well as who is and is not any longer welcome.  I guess that's a step up from the usual arbitrary use of ignoring, threatening, and eventually banning that Midian has become so well known for in its usual enforcement.  And Auntie seems to point out somewhat of an altruism in saying that there was never a lack of rules in Midian, just a lack of enforcement.  In part that's true, but more so, when Midian did enforce something, it was always very arbitrary.

Although, on one hand, the very reason I got banned was that I spoke out against the then hidden agenda of Midian in trying to get rid of the hybrids.  And guess what?  That's exactly what has happened now.  Some of Midian's veteran characters that still had some interest in playing there, such as Ayr, who played a kitsune and was leader of the Pack, now cannot play his kitsune character in the very city his character has come to know as home.  He either has to define himself as either a cat or a dog, become a human on 'basic' mech, or leave town.

Sure, one can say that the kitsune is 'just a character', so what's the big deal?  The big deal to me is that it is a matter of forcing a conforming the identity to a norm because of a black and white specification of what hybrids are allowed.  This goes against a principality for me that finds its core in my first life.  Sure, I'm 'free, white, male, and over 21' and, according to the standards of my father's generation, and my grandfather's, that makes me  qualified, and therefore entitled to my freedom to do as I like.  It also claims that, if I were not any of those things, I wouldn't qualify, and therefore be entitled to my personhood in the 'real world'.  Either I should accept the supremacy of being a blond, blue-eyed (ok, hazel) white man, or deny it and become subservient as all the non-white, non-male, not of age people who do not apparently qualify to be free people under this supposed status quo.  So of course I had fought, and still fight for hybrid rights beyond the cats and dogs, because such are a 'minority' that I think have a legitimate and intriguing diversity outweigh the bigotry of the so-called 'vast majority'.

But, Auntie is right, there are generations of people out there that have a sense of entitlement.  She plays into that quite well, being that, as proclaiming to be in the 'vast majority' that entitles her to shit on those that are not allowed into her dystopic utopia of Midian.  Silly?  I suppose.  Life can either be a comedy or a tragedy, or a mixture of all sorts of drama.  Our life experiences are what we make of them, and how much gravity we put into what they mean to and imply about us.  But, apparently, because we're sitting in front of a computer, we are a floundering lot that can be pissed on.  Why?  Because Midian's all about business, and businesses don't give a shit about anyone, unless they can make money off of them, and just try to draw people in to consume their poison.  At least, this is what seems to be the business model Auntie describes.  It also sounds much to the status quo of what Midian did before the reboot, so, it's just Midian, back to business as usual.

The thing is, who is Midian: Rebooted going to latch on to?  The problem is, the facts are that Midian has no fan base left.  Most who were there and of any caliber as RPers have felt shit upon and left.  One can blame generations in a generalization all one wants to, but the truth is, Midian has passed its prime, pissed on its player base, and has now run its course.  Sure, it may go a few more months, maybe a year, but unless there is found new blood ignorant of the BS that has gone on in Midian, it's just going to be a money pit.  No, I don't think one can please everyone, but you can't fool everyone all the time, as a very wise leader of one halfway decent (though certainly not perfect) generation once said.  How can there be made a claim that Midian is in a 'vast majority'?  Show me the green!  That is, show me all the green and yellow dots on the map of the sim.  Not one or two dots here and there. But the clusters once seen, like back in the days when Midian was a worthwhile place to RP.  Those in Midian know they can't show such concrete data and just blow hot air.  In reality, it seems to me the vast majority is passing on Midian.  Sorry to any people that may hold a small bit of hope for Midian, but it's the truth. I'm not going to be delusioned by a lie.  I have learned, or should have learned my lesson after being banned. Midian doesn't give a damn and is going to eventually go under for that very reason.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

To Bring A Positive Outlook Out Of A Tragedy

This came while discussing about Nickelback's song Leader of Men, which I have used recently as a recurring theme for Ioh in this recent Flickr pic:

Leader of Men

The recurring theme was done in a bluegrass arrangement by Cornbread Red:

When I first used the song back in the summer of 2009, it was the Nickleback acoustic version.  This was the summer things were starting to go sour with Ioh's ex kitten Bails.  Even so, I still like the tune, regardless.

For me, I think it's more the lyrics than anything. They're on the youtube link, but  you can see them here without having the song come up on autoplay:

My friend that I was discussing things with said he liked the lyrics, with positive message behind it. I agreed that it is, in a melancholy sort of way, which kinda the point to bluesy, or blue grass song.

You see, when I first used this song as a theme, a depression was forming for me between RL job searching and SL drama with gossip and rank jockeying starting up in the CWs. Added on to that was a low period in my relationship with Bails. Added all together, it's pretty easy to see now how the first verse sang to me:

Tell your friends not to think aloud
Until they swallow
Whisper things into my brain
Your voice sounds so hollow

Yet, despite all that, and the tragedy that hit and all that culminated in my being banned from Midian, I still find myself searching for the way to 'get higher'- or to go past and break through the stuff in a hero's journey that can either pull one down to make things a tragedy, instead of the final triumph and happy ending that is strove for, like the saving the girl at the end of the song.

My friend noted that he prefers a happy ending. I think everyone looks for that final resolution, even in a tragedy, to find something redemptive, if not a retribution for what caused the tragedy. Though I'd prefer the redemption, like the story in the song, as if to say, "Here's what everyone was thinking and saying, now see how the final action has proven them wrong."

Tragedies, as my friend pointed out, generally involves some sort of mistake on the hero's part.  That I have made mistakes, I cannot deny. But even so, a lot of movies and stories in general are filled with flawed heroes.  They're not envisioned perfect, whether they are the demigod super hero or the average joe type who just happens to step in and heed the call to action. That the listened to the call to action is what made them heroes.  It's what they do that gets talked about, and that talk is often a voice sounding hollow, about the past, and a fruit gone rotten.  A hero does not live in the past.  He sets out to press on further, to go higher, to persevere and continue to listen to the call to action.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abandon All Hope

I stumbled upon the Midian City website tonight and couldn't help but shake my head.  The one thing that particularly got me was the text on the main graphic.  'Abandon all hope ye who enter.'

Why does that make me shake my head?  Because that was the very thing I was promoting as part of the core to my RP in Midian back when Ioh was in the CWs.  I had worked and reworked that theme of Dante's from the Inferno.  It was the sort of mature dark theme I tried to give.  And it was also the sort of theme that often I found being rejected.  And now I know why.  Because I had the idea, and not them.  But, with me gone, guess that means the theme was up for grabs, and to be screwed up as always.

For me, the theme came from actually reading the Inferno, and integrating some of the concepts into Ioh's persona.  Through this, Midian became the setting of the journey through hell and seeking a way out.  Not so much out of the city, but out of the things that tormented him then.  That is, like the violence and philandering ways that was prevalent in Ioh from the time he became a CW.  Mostly, he was looking for peace and hope in a place that had none apparent.

The last year was Ioh trying to find redemption. Ultimately he failed.  Unfortunately, the failure was not through RP as much as OOC drama making it impossible to go any other way.  Being banned kind of leads to being unable to further the journey and see if indeed Ioh could have found redemption.  He was, after all, trying to seek a path through Purgatorio at the time that things went sour.  Once banned, that pretty much made impossible any attempt to potentially find Ioh a way to Paradiso.

I won't cry for Midian. Though I think it's a crying shame what it had become.  The things I warned would ruin Midian, they paid no attention to.  And the concepts I had been working on, they stole and deteriorated them into a farce of what they once were, or strove toward.  For these reasons am I glad to know Midian has finally destroyed itself.