Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 022

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 022

Wanda stepped through into Goodminton's portal room shortly after the turn had begun, and found Clay waiting for her.

"Hey. I had a thought, Chief," he said, rising with an ear-splitting scrape of wooden chair legs on the stone floor. He didn't look up at her, but gathered up his small figurines and dice, chalk sticks and little slate tablet.

Wanda stood and waited for him to elaborate. She had left him with orders to boost three scouts and then hang spells on the tower again, but also to see if he could come up with anything else to do. Since the air battle, she hadn't had any new bright ideas, and the situation was still grim. Delphie had turned moody and uncooperative. It would be good if he had thought of something new.

"Okay," said Clay, stepping around the table, "it's about falling." He stepped up to her and stood a little too close. His face was red, and he was breathing excitedly and...pungently, through his grinning mouth. "You know how when a unit falls, it can croak, or be incapacitated, or just be plain wounded and lose some hits?"

"Yes?" She was interested in what he had to say, but she took a step back from him. He immediately stepped forward and closed the gap, out of unconscious excitement rather than disrespect.

"Well, that's Luckamancy, too. And I'm thinking f'we get into another airspace fight we can first cast against the enemy to make 'em more likely to croak in a fall. Then we can go for dismounting attacks. And there's not a lot of, um, downside to that. Less backlash from borrowing Numbers, right? Because we don't use air mounts. We do a lot less falling. See?"

Wanda did. They still had prisoners from the air battle who had survived the fall, and hadn't turned. Considering their strategic desperation, she would've preferred to have the uncroaked units on hand.

"That's good," she said, and stepped around him to evade his breath attack. She headed out of the room, with him following closely behind. "Do you want to make scrolls, then? Or can you hang those spells on the tower?"

"I think I'll just wait to cast if we're attacked, if that's okay," he said. "More flexible that way, and it's not like I'm goin' anywhere."

If that was meant to be a jab at her recent orders, Wanda ignored it. After the air battle, she had relocated herself, Delphie and Clay to the tower, and told the other two casters they were not to travel to the Magic Kingdom without permission. Delphie was taking it as if Wanda had ordered her summary execution.

"That sounds fine," said Wanda, taking to the first of many stairs out of the Dungeon area. "Keep me informed."

They took three flights of steps in silence, with Clay huffing a bit, but staying close behind her. He probably thought she'd ignored his suggestion, but she was giving it deep, deliberate consideration. Something had been bothering her lately: a disconnect she saw between Clay's explanation of Luckamancy and what she understood of Predictamancy. Meeting the Predictamancer in the Magic Kingdom had been tantalizing, and had brought it to her mind once more.

"Clay?"

"Hhnmph?"

"Could you 'un-boost' me? Could you make it so that I would croak if I took any fall?" She didn't bother pausing in her climb, or turning around. She could hear his steps following laboriously behind her, but he did not answer for half a minute or so.

Just as she was about to prompt him for a response, he asked, "Why would I do that?"

"I didn't say you would," said Wanda. "I asked if you could. Could you cast more risk of a bad outcome upon me?"

"Upon you...specifically?"

"Me, specifically. Yes," said Wanda. She glanced over her shoulder at him. "Do you understand why I am asking?"

Again, he took a long while to respond. "Because of your Fate crap, I guess?" he asked, sounding reluctant to follow this line of questioning.

"According to Delphie, I'm Fated to serve under Olive Branch. So does this mean I cannot fall and be croaked today?" They reached another landing, and continued up yet another drab stone staircase.

"It means that you will not," said Clay. "The difference is...academic, I guess."

"I will not," echoed Wanda. "Even if you curse my Luck, and I leap from a parapet?"

"You wouldn't do that," said Clay. "And I wouldn't curse you. You can't even order me to do that. It hurts the side, and I know it. And I just...I couldn't do it anyway."

"Why not? Don't you have a will?"

"I guess." Clay was starting to sound cranky. "D'zit matter?"

Wanda took a sudden sharp breath, stopped, and spun around.

"My brother," she said, as Clay stumbled clumsily to one knee, "thought it mattered very much! My father and I think it matters. What we decide from now on depends on understanding what we can really do. So how can you have Luck and Fate both? Do our choices matter, Clay?"

Clay stood up, but still slumped like a beaten cur. She knew she was taking out her frustration on him, and it didn't matter. She was only disappointed with herself for losing her composure. "Yes, Lady," he said, looking down, "but...also, no."

Wanda gave out an explosive gasp of annoyance. "Clay! I need to understand. You see? So I don't make any more mistakes like..." Like Tommy "Like Kiloton. Now, I am giving you a direct order to explain this to me as clearly as you can. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"Do we have free will?" she asked him slowly.

"Yes," he said.

"Then how can there be Fate?" she asked in the same slow, pointed tone of voice.

Clay sighed, squinting up at her as if grasping for the words. "You can always do what you want, Lady! You can take any path you choose between here and your Fate. And you can get lucky, or unlucky along the way. But the sum of your choices will always add up to the same outcome, eventually."

Wanda thought about that for a moment. "But you said you couldn't cast a curse on me," she said, frowning. "Not wouldn't, you said 'couldn't.'"

"Yeah. There's no way I could do that."

"Why not?"

He swallowed, looking pained. "Under orders?"

She stamped her boot on the stone step, looking down on him. "Yes! Under orders!"

Clay closed his eyes tightly. "Because I'm in love with you," he said.

In the stonework stairwell, a cold draft blew. Clay's eyes stayed shut, his face turning red. Some bootsteps echoed from several floors below them. Wanda's mouth was hanging open. But she shut her lips tight, as Clay opened his eyes and looked up at her apologetically.

"Love is its own thing," he said, shaking his head in helpless wonderment. "And it, uh, really messes with the dice."

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drachefly wrote:
On the male end, we have... Tommy, the king, Larry, Fritz, and Clay.

5 to 3. One off from even representation.

Throw in Jack and Marie, and we're at 6 to 4.

Sorry, I don't see it. We're way short on female warlords; on the other hand, we're short on warlords in general.

You're forgetting Mack Ramay and Rex Cakes, at the time of Tommy's death Goodminton's command staff consisted of six male commanders and two female commanders, that's three to one. They had only two female knights in the band that rode forth to retake Goodfinger, so there's an imbalance there as well.

As for the enemy, Larry, combined with the Warlord Wanda uncroaked just prior to assaulting Goodfinger, means the flowergirl is (or was) outnumbered two to one as far as known gendered officers go. I believe the only Frenemy Warlord mentioned by gender was male, so that's three to one again.

The boop and Marie don't count, as only Wanda has met them and even then only in passing, I doubt anyone in Haffaton or Goodfinger is going to be lusting after either of them any time soon.

So yeah, a tally of those officers and Rulers encountered in the Battlespace, deceased or otherwise, leaves a ratio of three known males for every known female.
Raza wrote:
Weren't we talking about love, specifically? The difference between that and sexual attraction seems well defined in Erfworld, perhaps moreso than it is IRL.

Once again, there were a few different issues going on here. While we were discussing love, some of the other statements in the thread seemed to be addressing desire, so I was going for two birds with one stone. My posts do have a tendancy to run away with me and end up being quite verbose. I'm starting to feel like one of the spambots on the forum. So, I was trying to be concise. Also, in some of these instances, it is hard, with the information we currently have, to distinguish between the two. For example, take Wanda's feeling for Jillian. If Rob stated, "Yes, Wanda love Jillian," I would have no problem accepting it. If Rob stated, "No, Wanda does not love Jillian, she simply has a sense of ownership, like with the Decrypted," I would still have no problem accepting it because I find both interpretations valid at this point. We are using Larry as an example of someone who loved Wanda, but he may be synonomous with a guy who showers a girl with attention but loses all interest once he's gotten her in bed. Larry may have simply had an overpowering desire for Wanda; without being able to get into his head, there is no way to know for sure. Outwardly, his behavior wasn't much different from the other Haffaton hopefuls. The final issue is that the forum ate my first reply, which annoyed me. In my rush to try to remember everything I wrote the first time, I cut corners the second, especially in my use of quotes.

Raza wrote:
Still, how do you write romantic attractiveness? The process of falling in love rarely makes sense to anyone but the person experiencing it. Admissions like Clay's and obvious signals like Larry's are commonly the first thing you notice when someone has developed a crush IRL, too. Writing clever manipulations seems easy by comparison.

Let me preface this by stating this is my personal preference. I don't think an author should describe a character as "attractive." They may note stiking eyes or graceful movements, but leave subjective judgements out of it. They should leave it to the reader to decide how attractive the character is. If expressing one characters opinion of another, it is fine to have them think the other is attractive, but I think it tells more about what the first character finds attractive than how attractive the second character actually is.

As for writing attraction, I don't have a problem with it. I think Olive's attraction is completely justifiable given their fateful connection. I think Jillian's attraction is completely justifiable given their complamentary sexual interests. I found the Haffaton hopefuls' attraction justifiable given they're a bunch of inebriated dudes at a party, even if I found their approach distasteful. I can even find Larry justifiable. Love is an important theme in Erfworld; it needs to be addressed. Larry's unrequited desire was part of Wanda starting to explore the concept. His rashness in attempting to claim Wanda is what allowed her to escape. I don't have a problem with any of that. It is simply that it has reached a tipping point for me. There is Marie. I have justified Marie with a theory that Wanda seduced her in order to mess up Marie's Predictions, get Jack to the wrong city and allow Stanley's attack. If Marie's feeling for Wanda are a lie caused by Wanda's manipulation, I think that's fine. Clay is my real sticking point. If his love exists just to cause more friction between Wanda and Delphie, that's cheap drama. If his love exists just so we can learn love messes with the dice, I think that concept could have been introduced in a different way.

Raza wrote:
Interesting analysis. Her physical symptoms indicate anxiety, certainly, and you bring up good points on the way she seeks external validation. But wouldn't anxiety disorder leave her less capable of decisive action? The statement "to be Lady Wanda Firebaugh was not to fear, but to execute." remains true for the Wanda we know from books one and two. She dives into combat without hesitation, risks her life on split-second decisions and uses valuable and limited side resources on her own best judgment with apparent confidence.

Could be that that's the unique psychology of Orders and Duty at work, though. Erfworlders may not get to be dysfunctional in anything but their personal emotional lives. Still, it seems a stretch that her competencies wouldn't be affected at all... we've seen personality play a role in those before.

Someone with agoraphobia can make the decisive choice to go inside. I think most of Wanda's choices can be seen in that light. It seems Wanda may have had some knowledge of the Predictamancer-Hippiemancer Conspiracy to Summon Parson. If she did, her decisiveness with Stanley can be seen as her fulfilling Fate. Wanda has no fear of croaking in combat, since her Fate won't allow it, so her fearlessness in battle is an actual complete lack of fear. Parson is Fate's instrument. Following his orders is following Fate. During the Summer Updates and the beginning of Book 2, Wanda thought she had found Fate's path, which freed her from the anxiety. As mentioned, when in doubt, she takes the action she believes is the most direct route to Fate, like the agoraphobic taking the shortest route to the nearest building. Wanda's anxiety isn't crippling, but it makes her so uncomfortable, she acts to soothe it as quickly as possible. Anyway, that's one interpretation.
jkosta wrote:
On the subject of "everyone loves Wanda", can I just point out that female characters are rare as desert snowballs in Book 0?

Whispri wrote:
So yeah, a tally of those officers and Rulers encountered in the Battlespace, deceased or otherwise, leaves a ratio of three known males for every known female.


In a world where there is no biological reproduction, why would you assume that there would be a predisposition towards heterosexuality? (as implied by your statements that a high male to female ratio is one possible reason why so many love interests seem to congregate on Wanda and Jillian)

We've already seen at least some bisexuality on the parts of Wanda and Jillian, and in a world where gender means nothing in terms of reproduction (because they don't reproduce sexually), its entirely possible that the breakdown is more like 1/3 heterosexual, 1/3 bisexual and 1/3 homosexual.

If that's the case (big if i know) then men outnumbering women 3-1 is not necessarily a forcing factor that would encourage more relationships with said female characters.

Its our own cultural bias as readers that leads us to assume that sexuality on erf is represented in similar proportions as it is on stupidworld. There is no evidence in the writing to say it isn't similar, but the possibility still exists that it is different as the story elements haven't yet given full description of erf society, social norms, mores, etc.

Can't wait to turn the page and find out! (BTW, awesome webcomic - one of the best i've read in a long while)
NYbear wrote:

In a world where there is no biological reproduction, why would you assume that there would be a predisposition towards heterosexuality? (as implied by your statements that a high male to female ratio is one possible reason why so many love interests seem to congregate on Wanda and Jillian)

We've already seen at least some bisexuality on the parts of Wanda and Jillian, and in a world where gender means nothing in terms of reproduction (because they don't reproduce sexually), its entirely possible that the breakdown is more like 1/3 heterosexual, 1/3 bisexual and 1/3 homosexual.

If that's the case (big if i know) then men outnumbering women 3-1 is not necessarily a forcing factor that would encourage more relationships with said female characters.

Its our own cultural bias as readers that leads us to assume that sexuality on erf is represented in similar proportions as it is on stupidworld. There is no evidence in the writing to say it isn't similar, but the possibility still exists that it is different as the story elements haven't yet given full description of erf society, social norms, mores, etc.

Can't wait to turn the page and find out! (BTW, awesome webcomic - one of the best i've read in a long while)


While there probably will be an element of that, the main reason to assume otherwise is how much Erf is an echo of our world. For instance, the real question is why there is sex at all if there is no biological reason for it; the best explanation for why it is there is because Erfworld is almost matching something from ours (it's the same as the slaughterhouses, cities etc).

Because of that, I would expect the ratio to be close to the real world, though probably with increases in bisexual and homosexual because sex has no purpose other than love/lust (but not as much as 1/3 splits). But, time will tell :)
Balerion wrote:

While there probably will be an element of that, the main reason to assume otherwise is how much Erf is an echo of our world. For instance, the real question is why there is sex at all if there is no biological reason for it; the best explanation for why it is there is because Erfworld is almost matching something from ours (it's the same as the slaughterhouses, cities etc).

Because of that, I would expect the ratio to be close to the real world, though probably with increases in bisexual and homosexual because sex has no purpose other than love/lust (but not as much as 1/3 splits). But, time will tell :)


I think, more precisely, that Erfword parallels Earth popular fiction, which in my experience has had much less homosexuality than the general population, until (maybe) very recently. Also, romance between women usually shows up first, perhaps because it is less threatening to the people in power, who are still mostly men.
In Stupidworld, the primary sex ratio, the ratio of males to females at conception, is 1.08. Males are more likely to be lost during intrauterine life, so the secondary sex ratio, at birth, is 1.05. Males have a lower life expectancy, so that ratio drops until it reaches an equilibrium in the thirties. After that, females start outnumbering males. That is only the average. It varies from country to country and even race to race. That being said, in Erfworld, there is no natural death, and males and females of the same type have virtually identical lifestyles, so whatever ratio exists at popping would reasonably continue throughout a units life. We already know that there is a ratio amoung some types of units. Archons and goyles are almost entirely female. In the Transylvito War Room, we saw 5 male warlords to 3 female warlords. Since this matches what we've seen in Haffaton and Goodminton, this may be the ratio for warlords and casters. I haven't bothered to look through the comics, but the impression I get is that common infantry is predominantly male. Still, I can accept an imbalanced sex ratio. Things in Erfworld reflect things in Stupidworld, often in an exaggerated manner. I can see each unit type having its own sex ratio, whether its 0.01 for archons or 1.67 for commanders. On the other hand, we still don't know the name of the Blue Warlord. In the comics, you can see female warlords that are never named. In the text updates, you can't. I find it equally plausible that the ratio is not that imbalanced; such characters has simply not been introduced yet.
Goshen wrote:
I think, more precisely, that Erfword parallels Earth popular fiction, which in my experience has had much less homosexuality than the general population, until (maybe) very recently. Also, romance between women usually shows up first, perhaps because it is less threatening to the people in power, who are still mostly men.

If we are talking biological/genetic, then same sex does not result in babies so would be a disadvantage for genes, similar to having sex with a different species. Polygamy and perhaps pedophile on other hand may be advantage for "genes".

I live on a farm/acreage... looking at various animals over 20+ years what we would call polygamy, pedophile are much more common among animals. Homosexual may not even be as common as animal trying to have sex with different species (depends on how different species are mixed together). Polygamy, pedophiles (sex with people who can make babies but are not considered adults), and bestiality currently are seen as much larger "taboos" in society.

If any of these became "acceptable"/"legal" and had large special interest groups backing them, then the rates of that sort of sex would probably go up, and the portrayals in fiction would also go up.

"Logically" there isn't that much difference between any of them as far as what "should" be taboo, and what "shouldn't". Each can be said to do "harm". Each can be claimed to be no one elses business if between consenting partners. (I know from experience that animals can become horny for humans and humans have to forcibly keep them away, so animals can be claimed to be consenting, and probably could be breed to usually want sex with humans)

So for example: It is possible that within 20 years, people may tinker with dna to create perfect sex slave apes with some dna from humans, and efforts will be made to sell everyone on advantages of having such sex pets, and such may become legal.

I think you make mistake in thinking that what is today is same as always, and that "taboos" are only about "power of men in charge". Other cultures have been drastically different. A modern society could be drastically different with for example polygamy as legal, and homosexual as illegal. Taboos are often related to what is felt helps/harms the society, so for example atheist China cracks down on porn.

Men currently seem to buy more porn, and men on average prefer naked females, so more lesbian than male homosexuals portrayed having sex, as that is what sells. Women currently buy "romance"/fantasy more than "sex/porn", with one of the people in the romance the fantasy of the reader/viewer so a female, and most of focus on the social interactions. (eg harlequin romance, chick flick, twilight vampire saga)

...

I think erfworld is simply a loose mirror of our world, a cheap simulation just like many games. Many things don't need to make sense, eg units and food just "pop" into existance and just cost shmuckers. So the reasons for mating don't need to make sense. But you will see more mating than people going to bathroom on Erfworld for same reason as on Star Trek, as more interesting, even if bathroom is more common in real life.
Goshen wrote:
I think, more precisely, that Erfword parallels Earth popular fiction, which in my experience has had much less homosexuality than the general population, until (maybe) very recently. Also, romance between women usually shows up first, perhaps because it is less threatening to the people in power, who are still mostly men.


Well I guess that depends on Parson, right? Erfworld chose Parson because of Stanley's demand that "everything should seem familiar and safe to him". Given that Parson, like most typical gamers, didn't have much of a life, you have a pretty strong argument for Erfworld being more based on Stupidworld fiction than Stupidworld reality. But it's debatable, since we don't know too much about Parson's personal history. Kinda cool that learning more about Parson could indirectly tell us more about Erfworld. :)


multilis wrote:

If we are talking biological/genetic, then same sex does not result in babies so would be a disadvantage for genes, similar to having sex with a different species. Polygamy and perhaps pedophile on other hand may be advantage for "genes".

I live on a farm/acreage... looking at various animals over 20+ years what we would call polygamy, pedophile are much more common among animals. Homosexual may not even be as common as animal trying to have sex with different species (depends on how different species are mixed together). Polygamy, pedophiles (sex with people who can make babies but are not considered adults), and bestiality currently are seen as much larger "taboos" in society.


Just to be nitpicky, it's ephebophilia when specifically focused on youths of childbearing age, not pedophilia. ;)

I see where you're coming from regarding looking at the animal kingdom to try to speculate on what sexuality would be like without love in the picture, although I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the assumption that animals cant "love" on some level, certainly there are plenty of examples where they show a fierce, irrational, emotional loyalty to one another.

multilis wrote:

If any of these became "acceptable"/"legal" and had large special interest groups backing them, then the rates of that sort of sex would probably go up, and the portrayals in fiction would also go up.


Eh, not so sure that's true, I think the forbidden nature of such things makes them /more/ ripe for fiction writing (Romeo and Juliet is a classic for a reason, after all), although I suppose past a certain point, mainstream people avoid taboo reading because most people don't like to think outside of their comfort zone (it's easy to imagine a lot of our fellow forumers being squeamish about this conversation, for example).

It's irrelevant, though. Parson's not in Stupidworld anymore, and any changes in our real world won't necessarily affect Erfworld. In fact, to be totally honest, just because I'm a douchebag I've been watching and waiting to see if Rob "messes up" by making a pop culture reference that existed /after/ 2006, since Parson left our world at that time and wouldn't recognize anything after that point in history. So far, he's been true to form. :)




multilis wrote:

"Logically" there isn't that much difference between any of them as far as what "should" be taboo, and what "shouldn't". Each can be said to do "harm". Each can be claimed to be no one elses business if between consenting partners. (I know from experience that animals can become horny for humans and humans have to forcibly keep them away, so animals can be claimed to be consenting, and probably could be breed to usually want sex with humans)


"Logic" and "Taboo" don't really go together anyway. ;) Taboos are about knee-jerk emotional responses, not silly things like fact and truth.


multilis wrote:

So for example: It is possible that within 20 years, people may tinker with dna to create perfect sex slave apes with some dna from humans, and efforts will be made to sell everyone on advantages of having such sex pets, and such may become legal.


It's also possible that those apes will bang out Hamlet on their typewriters, but it's not bloody likely. ;) And in any case, in the context of our current discussion it's irrelevant, as it would happen after Parson's departure point.

multilis wrote:

I think you make mistake in thinking that what is today is same as always, and that "taboos" are only about "power of men in charge". Other cultures have been drastically different.


Because other cultures had different men in charge. ;) The differences only illustrate the point that the prominent members of any given society "make the rules".

multilis wrote:

A modern society could be drastically different with for example polygamy as legal, and homosexual as illegal. Taboos are often related to what is felt helps/harms the society, so for example atheist China cracks down on porn.


As a side note, I can't imagine a realistic scenario in which polygamy is legal and homosexuality illegal. Polygamy requires 3 people, we only have 2 genders, therefore homosexuality is /inherent/ in any true polygamic (is that a word?) scenario. :)


multilis wrote:

Men currently seem to buy more porn, and men on average prefer naked females, so more lesbian than male homosexuals portrayed having sex, as that is what sells. Women currently buy "romance"/fantasy more than "sex/porn", with one of the people in the romance the fantasy of the reader/viewer so a female, and most of focus on the social interactions. (eg harlequin romance, chick flick, twilight vampire saga)


So where does Parson fit? If Erfworld is based on his experiences, is it more internet pr0nz based? If so, then assuming Parson's heterosexuality (which is not a certainty - he could still potentially be bisexual), he would probably fit into your typical male description above, which would mean that in Erfworld, female homosexuality would be above Stupidworld "normal" and male homosexuality, despite the large gap in male/female ratio, would be virtually nonexistent.
...

multilis wrote:

I think erfworld is simply a loose mirror of our world, a cheap simulation just like many games. Many things don't need to make sense, eg units and food just "pop" into existance and just cost shmuckers. So the reasons for mating don't need to make sense. But you will see more mating than people going to bathroom on Erfworld for same reason as on Star Trek, as more interesting, even if bathroom is more common in real life.


Well sure if you wanna pull back the veil of "reality" here. :P The fun of debating these things at all is to forget that it's just a story and think about how it /would/ work, in the context of it's own rules for reality.
arin wrote:
multilis wrote:

"Logically" there isn't that much difference between any of them as far as what "should" be taboo, and what "shouldn't". Each can be said to do "harm". Each can be claimed to be no one elses business if between consenting partners. (I know from experience that animals can become horny for humans and humans have to forcibly keep them away, so animals can be claimed to be consenting, and probably could be breed to usually want sex with humans)


"Logic" and "Taboo" don't really go together anyway. ;) Taboos are about knee-jerk emotional responses, not silly things like fact and truth.


Except inasmuch as you can logically model irrationality...



arin wrote:
multilis wrote:

A modern society could be drastically different with for example polygamy as legal, and homosexual as illegal. Taboos are often related to what is felt helps/harms the society, so for example atheist China cracks down on porn.


As a side note, I can't imagine a realistic scenario in which polygamy is legal and homosexuality illegal. Polygamy requires 3 people, we only have 2 genders, therefore homosexuality is /inherent/ in any true polygamic (is that a word?) scenario. :)


I suggest that you're using an obtusely narrow definition of 'polygamy' here. Clearly not what is meant.



arin wrote:
So where does Parson fit? If Erfworld is based on his experiences, is it more internet pr0nz based? If so, then assuming Parson's heterosexuality (which is not a certainty - he could still potentially be bisexual), he would probably fit into your typical male description above, which would mean that in Erfworld, female homosexuality would be above Stupidworld "normal" and male homosexuality, despite the large gap in male/female ratio, would be virtually nonexistent.


If Parson is aware of it, it would exist. He doesn't need to participate. I really doubt, for instance, that he's involved with the Elvis Impersonator scene.
arin wrote:
Goshen wrote:
I think, more precisely, that Erfword parallels Earth popular fiction, which in my experience has had much less homosexuality than the general population, until (maybe) very recently. Also, romance between women usually shows up first, perhaps because it is less threatening to the people in power, who are still mostly men.


Well I guess that depends on Parson, right? Erfworld chose Parson because of Stanley's demand that "everything should seem familiar and safe to him". Given that Parson, like most typical gamers, didn't have much of a life, you have a pretty strong argument for Erfworld being more based on Stupidworld fiction than Stupidworld reality. But it's debatable, since we don't know too much about Parson's personal history. Kinda cool that learning more about Parson could indirectly tell us more about Erfworld. :)


Good point! Yes, it would make sense for Erfworld to be more Parson-centric. Not that Erf World was created to suit him, but that he was selected to be a good fit for it. I really loved Wanda's quote, "You did not wish for this world, Parson Gotti. It wished for you!" Of course, which came first, the Parson or the Erfworld, is just an instantiation of the old old old question of what makes our own reality.

Long ago, I suggested that the characters around Parson might actually reflect different aspects of his personality, his fears, and his fantasies. But that was before the storylines were as developed as they are now, and Parson was at the center of all the action. I no longer think that is the case.

Back to sex. (As alwasys :-)) Erfworld would tend to have more men, because popular fiction, and therefore Parson's view of it, is still very gender unbalanced. Way more good male roles than female.