Residing In The World

Where I had failed at clothing I excelled at building objects. I discovered that I liked to build things. Building things in the world is effected by combining a set of basic shapes to make more complex objects. This system immediately made perfect sense to me and I was building things in my first week in the world. Many users were in awe of this, finding it incredibly hard to grok the building tools. Under Seti’s guidance, myself and another priest began a renovation of the temple. We fitted out rooms for priests in the temple. Unless one buys land or rents a residence one often feels adrift in the world. It helps people to integrate into a role play community if they have a place to call home. It was for this reason that we offered new priests temporary free accommodation in the temple. If they decided to join the community they were expected to rent a dwelling. Having one’s own space provides one with a space perceived to be private in which to change one’s avatar’s outfit. This may sound a bit silly to those not used to having an avatar in the world.

However the bond that quickly develops between one’s self and one’s avatar is soon so strong that one is embarrassed if one’s avatar is caught changing outfits in public. It is only a perception of privacy however. Walls are not boundaries in the world in the same way they are in meatspace. One can move one’s camera (one’s view of the world) separately from one’s avatar, and see into every space. There are three views of the world one may have. One is as if one is looking out from the avatars eyes, another is as if one is immediately behind and slightly above the avatar, and the third is to move one’s camera anywhere around the world, regardless of the avatar’s position.

I started to become aware of the factions present in the sims. The most basic delineation was between those who were primarily interested in combat and those that weren’t. Most non combatants were priests, but there was also a sizable contingent whose main interest was dressing up, most of these had characters who were nobles. In fact, in both Egyptian communities I studied, the society was incredibly top heavy. Few wanted to role play commoners.

Those interested in combat were the largest group. The combatants formed the Pharaoh’s army, who lived in the city of Alexandria, and the Medjay. In ancient Egypt the Medjay were a Nubian people. They were semi nomadic, pastoralists who lived in the south eastern desert regions1 and were often employed in Egypt as mercenaries and in a role similar to a modern police force2. Over time the term lost its ethnic associations and came to be synonymous with ‘police’3. In Ptolemaic Egypt the Medjay camp was located in the desert fringes of the sims, and they filled the role of the police. Most Medjay avatars were Caucasian in appearance and the style of their encampment was distinctly Arabic.

Many of the people in Ptolemaic Egypt were Goreans, and they brought the particular mode of role play common to Gor, heavy with violence, especially sexual violence, into the sim. Only two of the priests were in this category. This was to lead to massive tension between these two groups. Those who favored combat, especially those heavily into Gor, saw no other solutions to conflicts and disagreements, both in and OOC, than violence. Those not interested in combat would resolve disagreements with clever role play. This would infuriate the combatants, who would then attack the non combatants again.

  1. Redford, D. B. (ed), (2001), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, New York, Vol. 3, p. 29. ↩︎
  2. Redford, D. B. (ed), (2001), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, New York, Vol. 2, p. 544. ↩︎
  3. Redford, D. B. (ed), (2001), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, New York, Vol. 3, p. 29. ↩︎

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