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[personal profile] jeregenest
The top thing I hope to never every see again in any game is a skill dedicated to flirting, this includes seduction . There are many reasons, from the simplistic to the fact its misogynistic.

Flirting is, usually, explained as a skill to manipulate people who find you sexually attractive.

So lets get one thing out of the way. Communication is pretty much communication, and if you are adept at manipulation you are adept at manipulation. The building blocks of flirting are the same as any type of communication. Also the idea of flirting, like most communication, is culturally dependent. Even two western countries, like the US and France, have very very different ideas of what is flirting.

So, flirting is a communication style, or a set of tools used for a specific purpose. By prejudicing it as its own skill, especially when other major modes or styles of communication are lumped into one skill (or don’t even get mentioned in a skill) your putting flirting on unequal status. And unless your playing a game where every specialty and subset gets its own skill you probably shouldn’t do that to flirting. If your skill system isn’t granular enough to separate radio astronomy from Infrared astronomy than it probably isn’t granular enough to separate flirting from manipulation (or whatever you call it).

I’ve often heard from people “But character X flirts all the time, how would you explain them.” Since I play a lot of spy rpgs that's usually “What about James bond.” The easiest answer, after I stop laughing, is that James Bond just as easily manipulates men around him as he does women. Its just that the tropes are he later shoots the guy and sleeps with the woman. Doubt me? Watch the first 15 minutes of Goldfinger and lets talk.

And then, quite frankly, flirting as its depicted in most rpgs is misogynistic and displays quite a bit of cynicism towards relationships that I just don’t want to be associated with. Flirting in itself can be fine, but in rpgs there is so much baggage that its a bad idea and just reinforces some already bad trends in this hobby.

Date: 2011-07-14 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
+1, would agree with again.

I think there's an argument for flirting as one possible specialization in a broader communication skill...but maybe not, and that's as far as I'd take it.

Date: 2011-07-15 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sure there's an argument for it. But there's also a lot of baggage and the baggage out weighs any reason for having it. Its unnecessary and there are better ways to handle it.

Date: 2011-07-15 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is me not rushing to argue.

Date: 2011-07-15 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree on most, if not all points regarding culture, system, and bias. A very good argument. I'm not as comfortable with absolute boundaries, but I'm having a hard time imagining the confluence of an appropriate story and a mature group of players where "flirtatious" would be both appropriate and handled well. I think that if I didn't have a friend who would deserve to put "flirtatous" on her character sheet as a core personality characteristic, that I would be totally sold on the certainty of your position.

That being said. If you reposition "...and the baggage out weighs..." to "...and the baggage would nearly always out weigh...", I think I'm sold.

Date: 2011-07-15 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And thats why I started with a strong I statement. Could someone do a game that did flirting well? Sure. But most of the games that have it don't need it.

On of the ones that others me the most is Esoterrorists and the other GUMSHOE games. How I wish they'd remove that skill (I always do)

Why does it bother me the most? Because its the game I actually still own and play.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-07-15 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm going to pretend you didn't use the argument you did and just move on.

No I'm not. Please read Derailing for Dummies (
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-07-15 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It's not sexist because my wife doesn't think it's sexist" and "it's not sexist because if a space alien who knew nothing of our culture read it in a total media vacuum, said space alien wouldn't think it related to women particularly at all" are two shitty arguments and you should be ashamed of yourself for making them. And "your arguments must be specious because you're being rude to me" is even shittier.

Date: 2011-07-15 11:49 pm (UTC)


jeregenest: (Default)

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