deborah: The management regrets that it was unable to find a Gnomic Utterance that was suitably irrelevant. (gnomic)
deborah ([personal profile] deborah) wrote2011-10-24 01:55 am

horses sweat, men perspire, but player characters only glow

I was talking to B tonight, and we were discussing the different forms of privilege the characters in Airborn have:

Matt: Male; Nepotism; beloved of the local powers that be; white; Canadian(-ish)

Kate: Upper-class; Female; Educated; white; Canadian(-ish)

And I pointed out that both of them have the privilege of Player Character Glow. "PC Glow" is a tabletop RPG term used to refer to the forces which benefit characters that matter -- that is, characters played by actual players, instead of non-player characters run by the game master. PC Glow brings together people who have no reason to travel together. It guarantees they'll stumble upon the treasure or will overhear necessary gossip about a conspiracy. It keeps them from attacking or mistrusting the wrong people. And in the case of Matt Cruse and Kate DeVries, it guarantees the rightness of all their choices; that the cloud cats will be their friends; that they'll find a mysterious island; that they'll be given countless opportunities to excel and defeat villains.

B (who needs to go to graduate school simply so that she and I have a reason to write this paper together), started speculating about what forms of privilege are made acceptable by a character having PC Glow. (Perhaps we should call it "Protagonist Glow" when discussing fiction, but how many new literary criticism terms can one humble blogger hope to popularize?) For example, being upper-class, female, and educated often makes one a villain, but in the case of a protagonist, it can make one a spunky contrast to societal norms.

B speculated that, in F&SF, you can be an upper-class female and have that be rescued by PC Glow, but you can't really be a born and bred upper-class male. On the other hand, you can't really be a completely working class female; if you begin as a grease stained blue collar girl, you are likely to discover that you are a Lost Princess. (She then promptly pointed out Laputa: Castle in the Sky as an example of this, in which Pazu remained a grease-stained mechanic but Sheeta discovers she is a Lost Princess.)

...Now I want to speculate about a world in which Dicey Tillerman discovers she is a Lost Princess. MUCH HILARITY WOULD ENSUE.
badgerbag: (Default)

[personal profile] badgerbag 2011-10-24 11:24 am (UTC)(link)
Well if Dicey is a Lost Princess don't they all have to be?! They would do well as a team all together in Narnia.