On dangerous games
Dear world, here are my opinions. I am sure they matter a lot in the big picture.
On the French forum Pandapirate, there’s a discussion going on about what you can – or what you should and shouldn’t – play in a roleplaying game.
Like all discussions on what people should do, it will not change people’s minds: Those who want to do something, won’t stop doing so, and those who don’t, won’t start, based only on the opinions of a few people on an internet forum. But it’s an interesting (and age-old) discussion nonetheless.
It is possible to play anything in a roleplaying game. If you can think of it, describe it, name it, you’re pretty much already playing it. There are no objective limits to the form.
Is it desirable to play specific games? Should you play games that make you feel uncomfortable? There is no “should” here. Who are you? Is this something you want to explore? If so, you will do it. Is it something that repels you, or something you don’t understand? If you explore it, you will probably learn something. If it’s something you want to learn, you won’t know until you’ve tried it.
Is it dangerous to roleplay something you loathe? I think our reaction to this is based on how much we repress the Other inside us. I believe everyone has pretty much all of humanity’s evil locked up inside, in various forms, various strengths. Any of us could become a torturer, perform genocide, rape someone, given the right circumstances. We don’t want to be that person. We are afraid to wake that person up by portraying him or her.
I think that fear is ungrounded. I am not a killer. I am not a psychopath. I am not a schizophrenic. I am not a fascist. I am not an idiot. I am not someone who’s murdered, or slept with, their parents. I have played all these characters, and they are not me.
I don’t think they’re you, either. Wake up the Other inside you. Look at them. Talk to them. They are you, but not you. You choose what you do in life. Don’t base that choice on fear of what you think you might be. Base it on who you are, and know who you are.