About twenty years ago,back in 1991, if you were cool and sort of proto-gothy, you played Cyberpunk RPG. 1991 was a seminal year for LARP. NightLife and Vampire the Masquerade were about to blow Cyberpunk out of the water, and the latter was about to establish an eighteen year dynasty of LARP. But we didn't know much about that. It was May and even the lamentable NightLife hadn't been published yet.
I was running a game called "The Second Circle of Hell" up in a hotel room at the then Sheraton Hotel in New Carrolton Maryland. It had kinky overtones, borderline nudity, making out, and toe sucking. That same evening I got to do an audit of an event some friends of ours were running called "Lady Jhayne's Party." It was notable for being a cyberpunk game that was both goth, and had some vampire overtones. The atmosphere was a sort of art-house party/private sex club with a lot of erotic staging and byplay.
There have since been other heavily adult themed games. "Second Circle of Hell" had more closed door runs, "Stardust," "Fete D'Ogun," "Orgia," "The Green Fairy". In the past few years I've also followed the work of J. Tuomas Harviainen and Nina Hämäläinen in Finland, who wrote the "Soft Core" series of LARPs, as well as "Sin Filled Nights of Bratislava" which I reviewed here.
Since 1991, I have had, off and on, the idea of producing an adult themed game. Several years ago, I even began investigating potential outdoor venues as a serious adult game would be inappropriate to run at the Property where Threads is run. I always ran up against several problems. Obviously one of the first and foremost is dealing with the potential "flake factor" among some of the players. This is always going to be a problem and will get worse if adult elements are involved.
The other potential issue was comfort levels. The Threads of Damocles LARP Community splits more than 60% towards people with some kink experience, but not everyone has been to BDSM events, and is comfortable doing a lot of public play. How do you set up an event to provide opportunities that are challenging to people at one comfort level, without having others just have to sit watching and bored.
Until Threads this was almost impossible. Either you needed like Tuomas to be running for your local kink community and have all kinky people, or you needed to "tone it down." Because there was no way to let people select scenes by comfort level.
This Winter, I conceived of the idea of using Threads as a springboard for a truly adult themed game. The universe is broad and was designed to accomodate "all manner of shit." The game doesn't have to heavily impact the principal continuity and the licensing on Threads is such that anyone can run it under a creative Commons license, so there's no issue with "material." Threads already had a lot of adult themed material. But I wanted to produce the sort of scenes we did not produce in the regular season. Realistically there are scenes whose very PRESENCE would be disruptive to a Threads Game. While I could theoretically bid "Orgy in the public space," the presence of a provocative event like that would overshadow and eclipse the game, become a focus that unbalanced the rest of the environment. I think we can all feel that and I think we all pull our punches. I want to create an event where this isn't necessary.
I think the Soft Core series, which Tuomas describes in the introduction to "Bratislava" is more an inspiration than "Bratislava," at least in terms of Blue Tracks.
There have been outright adult/kink games like "Midnight Seductions" in Philadelphia. But...those have been called wanting in terms of being anything other than a "meet market" game...little more than an excuse to dress up in costume. I think most of us want more structure and organization than that.
At the same time I've been increasingly taken with the idea of theatricality and theatre in the kink scene. This is really something that is just emerging as a thing of its own in the past few years, and there are some brilliant local people who have driven aspects of it who I greatly admire as artists.
However, rather than set out to create one artistic vision that is *mine* I want to create an environment where a stellar collection of artists can come together completely freed from the constraints of having to "tone it down." Any scene is welcome here, though a sufficiently outre scene may not garner many applicants. I expect a fair number of small scenes.
And on that note, I'm announcing
Jan 29, 2010
Private Hotel Site, Washington Metro Area, Suburban MD
(Site info will be sent only to participants)
(thanks to jadasc
for the name)
The first Threads Blue game will be designed to be attractive to people with no previous association with Threads. We hope to get a lot of new people, many of whom may never play a regular Threads event. Threads is a huge and disparate genre, and you don't need to know "all about it" to come play anymore than you need to already know the background for four hour games you play at an Intercon
I expect a fair number of people to come and spend a good bit of time watching and deciding if they want to get their feet wet. I plan to arrange some interactive elements of the blue tracks that allow people to experiment with various aspects of alt-culture if they choose without feeling pressured.
I also don't think authors are going to develop anything that will leave regular Threads players who are not interested in adult themes feeling the "missed out" by not coming.
The overall concept of comfort at the game is "sex club rules." In short, you must be okay with watching or seeing or hearing anything. You're welcome to turn away of course, but you can't make people stop doing things because they squip you. However you are NOT presumed to be okay with ANYTHING you do not instigate. Look don't touch without permission. Dungeon rules will be effectively the same used at some of our local leather events and locations, particularly DC Crucible and Camp Crucible.
We'll provide safety instruction and other information for first-timers so that nobody feels they are "dumb."
A Unique Genre, building on the Past
I expect to see things other than sex explored. Esoterica is another area where I think there is always a certain amount of "holding back" because nobody wants to risk being too over the top. Certain types of experimental art tracks press the envelope enough to distract from standard Threads.
I think this will be an exciting and in many ways a totally new thing. I think the framework of Threads (which is frankly already a fairly kink-heavy event by most standards) provides an excellent foundation to work from in creating something that is not quite like anything that has been done before.Getting Invited
Threads Blue is *invitation only* So how do you get invited:1) If you are on the Threads-Adult list you should have already been invited
. If you aren't for some reason e-mail me at email@example.com) If I know you, drop me a note.
The event is "invite only" to protect against weird walk-ons, not to be overly selective. If I know you and you can act like a civilized human being, you're in. e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and say "I am interested and would like to receive information."3) If I don't know you, I need somebody who is attending to vouch for you.
That's all. So you can "invite a friend." We just want some line of contact so that we don't have total strangers off the net
. When you are invited,
you'll receive the Evite (to say whether you are going for sure or not) and an invitation to the Google Group for the game. Please accept both even if you are a maybe on the Evite, and set the Group to Web Only.
Who should you invite? Well people that you think would not be uncomfortable at the event, and who would not make others feel out of place. This is not the time to play a fun trick on your Joe Vanilla friend just to "see how they react." We want everyone at the event to be happy and comfortable so that it is a really great time.
This is a big adventure, and the culmination of a decade of thought and planning. Please join us!