she who keeps this diary

13 May 2005 - 9:23 AM

Playing at a higher level

Interesting what the fallout of whims can be ...

In the discussion of the uses and value of heraldry for the masses which emerged after the expression of the royal whim that all fighters at the next crown tourney have arms registered or at least in process, someone raised the notion that while having a device registered was not perhaps not essential for 'the average SCAdian' but that it was a part of what allowed you to 'play the game at a higher level.'

Think about that a moment.

'Play the game at a higher level.'


I'm not sure calling the SCA a game, except in perhaps the very broad sense of 'activity engaged in for diversion or amusement,' is a good idea. It's not, I hope, ultimately about scoring points. Yes, there are competitive aspects (arts and sciences competitions, tournaments) but those are not won or lost on having the best gear or accoutrements. This is not a video game. No one has a +5 sword with which to smite their enemies, and no one is going to sweep to victory in Crown Tourney because they have a device or a banner.

Heh. Can you imagine it?

'Who's in the final?'

'Lord Petros and Jarl Olaf. Petros has a +4 Stick of Whacki-pokeness, but I don't know if that's enough to beat Olaf's Surcoat of Armorial Invincibility.'

'Yes, that surcoat really allows Olaf to play at a higher level. The bonus also stacks with the one from his Banner of Swishitude -- he's nigh invulnerable.'

Now, if the comment about playing the game at a higher level was meant (as it probably was) in a more general way of 'improving our overall authenticity and pageantry,' it's a little less ridiculous, but you know, if I'm going to push for that, I'm going to be much more interested in pushing for the banishment of bare heads and bad manners rather than pick on people to get devices.

That is, of course, just me. I suppose I feel moderately sensitive to the issue of armoury because my own beloved Viking was one of those without registered arms this last go-round. He has a device in submission, and it is pretty and has the colours and charge he wanted, but you know, he's a 10th Century Norseman. His persona does not require pretty heraldry. Banners and surcoats are just not part of his scene, and suggesting that he needs to add them so he can 'play at a higher level' devalues whatever steps we are taking to make his Norse presence better.

Besides, if I want to get all competitive and 'play at a higher level' I can do that sitting in front of my computer playing World of Warcraft. I don't have to sew anything to do that ...

verso - recto

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