Gothic Lolita is a very specific thing. It is not to be confused with other “goth” things.
Of vampires and mages and werewolves and mummies…and normal thugs, cops, mastermind; heroes, heroines, crusaders and normal Jane and Joe. White Wolf’s World of Darkness has long been the playground of geeks and teenage punks and college kids looking for some fun with friends.
What is interesting isn’t about the system itself, but how it tries very hard to make the mood and feel a central aspect to the game system. Sort of like how Apple Jacks tries first to taste a certain way before it tries to be nutritious and affordable? Not quite. The gothic depressive/angsty feel has long been something of a common experience, a motif, and dare I say, something alternative. It’s what drives people to write crappy teenage angst poetry and blog on and on and on on their myspace. Plus the music, can’t forget the music.
The ideological purée of all these things can be repackaged, reprocessed, and resold. Here is where gothloli comes in. And how White Wolf makes its meager living. And why alternative music and indie music are “in.”
It isn’t really a big deal, one could think. Not until you have to come into terms with what this repackaged thing really is. Imagine when your diet is mostly organic and natural, and then you try to eat a hot dog at your friend’s BBQ. It’s not quite the same as anything else you have had. It helps to be consciously ignorant of its content.
Which is to say, in the wild, you see cosplayers, you see angsty teenage poetry. You even know a few drama queens and people who wants to join Suicide Girls. That’s fine. What is messed up to see this repackaged essence, having to work with it, and come up with a fictitious character idea.
Vicariously living only goes so far.
But don’t take me wrong. I love hot dogs. I think tabletop RPG system theory is fascinating and very powerful as a perspective to look at social theory. Not to mention is a healthy exercise of modeling. I even think WoD is pretty interesting as a whole. What really bothers me is when I open the Vampire core book, for example, the way it looks. What it tries to do.
It’s almost like taking that beloved hot dog, and put it on a solitary tray, dress it up with cilantro and some Chef Ming’s Oriental Bistro Citrus Sauce that takes 2 hours to make by itself, and costs about as much as a 50-pack of Sabretts. What the hell? To put it in other words, I am talking about the chasm between a game, a concept about having fun, or tooling with some ideas; creative writing and fiction; and of course, roleplaying. All that doesn’t quite mesh with “not across the street but down the road“; the attitude, the emotion, the feeling and despair.
The chasm is visible because this entire package is manufactured. If it were to come naturally, it’d be ok. If it was subtle, it wouldn’t be so bothersome. But it’s trying too hard and failing the same. Sigh. Second-rated marketing.
Ah, yes, I am going somewhere related to anime. Magipoka.
Because, believe it or not, this show does a better job demonstrating that stereotypical purée better.
Pachira. Aiko. Liru. Uma. Don’t you think they fit right in within World of Darkness? Probably. Their cheery and make-believe setting is equally fantastical as the gritty underworld right out of, say, Blade 2. Both is full of dirty sex and violence; magic; and even death.
Obviously, if you’ve seen Magipoka at all you know that is just preposterous. It shouldn’t invoke any resemblence between the two worlds. But yet I can’t shake the feeling that something like WoD fundamentally is inspiration for Magipoka.
Of course, Pachira would have been torpor for a really long time. But.