Hyperspace Beacon: The case for mature-themed guilds in the SWTOR community
On the other hand, many guilds are 18+ and with good reason. Some have even gone so far as to say they don’t want members under 21. Granted, the guilds I’m talking about are usually roleplay guilds. In fact, SWTOR has the most 18+ guilds per capita over any other game from my perception. It’s tough to find a roleplay guild in on Star Forge that accepts players under 18. Although I don’t believe that every guild should be this way, I can understand some of the reasons why, and not all of them have to do with erotic roleplay — although that’s in there. What are the mature-themed guilds that you will find in SWTOR? And do they have to be mature-themed? Let’s answer that below.
The edgelord guild
With the wide variety of personalities floating around SWTOR, you’re going to find some players who just like to be edgy. They like to say the most absurd things just to get a negative reaction from people. If you spend any time in general chat in SWTOR, you’ll find these guys making characters named xxhilterxx or something equally ridiculous. They will look for like-minded people to join them in their guilds. However, these edgelord guilds usually do not last long because those who are in charge eventually offend most of the people in the guild as well as the community.
That said, edgelords can create a stable guild sometimes, even if they end up being a bit of a revolving door. But how long the guild lasts is usually in direct relationship to how much time the guild spends in public areas. I have one on my mind right now that I will not name, but those who hang out on the Star Forge fleet know exactly who I’m talking about. The leader likes to project the image of being super powerful and displays his followers around him as he sits in one of the corner chairs.
The guild I’m talking about is an 18+ guild but could easily be made into a guild that accepts everyone with a couple of thematic changes. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I believe that these kinds of guilds make fleet interesting. I like seeing a group of people surrounding one person, like some kind of stereotypical crime lord. If the theme were toned down a bit, maybe enforce a rule that mature scenes are handled off-screen, and the leader gives missions to the underlings that are related to learning about the game world, then it could be a wonderful starter roleplay guild.
The horror guild
Some roleplay guilds, usually Sith-themed guilds can be gory. Sith like their violence, right? When guild creators look over the environment they wish to create with their guild, some love the violence of the Sith Empire. I don’t really blame them; horror-themes can be fun and scary. I have participated in a few events that have been so tense and shocking that I was literally on the edge of my seat at my desk without even realizing it.
Outside of the persona of their character, most horror guild leaders are funny people and enjoy a good joke as much as they like graphic violence. It’s a strange juxtaposition, but I believe that’s one of the things that make these guilds great.
It’s been a while since I’ve personally seen a horror-themed guild in SWTOR, but clearly, there is no good way to make the horror guild into one that is acceptable for those under 18 unless you really dull the themes. I mean, I don’t want to have to be the one to explain to some kid’s parents why he can’t sleep at night.
The soap opera guild
Let me explain the soap opera guild so that people don’t believe that they are inherently bad. I’ve been a part of soap opera guilds that are have been very interesting because they not only deal with the character interactions within the guild itself but with the social-political atmosphere of the world. The Sith Empire, because of the strong structure set up by the old Star Wars canon, has some of the deepest themes that can be generated by a guild of this type.
On the surface, one could say that soap opera guilds could easily be made to accept those under 18. And I would agree with you, if not for one thing: the comfort of players over 18. Besides the legal ramifications of getting involved in a scene with sexual themes, the whole idea that the player on the other side of the avatar that is supposed to be in love with your character is “a kid” rightfully creeps most adults out.
I have not seen this subverted in SWTOR, but my daughter is old enough to be involved in roleplay, especially since she’s honing her writing skills. She has been involved in soap opera guilds with people who are about her age. Besides the writing skills of the players in these groups being very similar, there are also rules in place for sexual themes and other mature subject matters.
Variety is the spice of life, so different kinds of guilds make like more interesting. If you’re starting a guild, consider carefully why you want to put an age limit on the guild. If you “just don’t want to deal with those darn kids,” then made you should remember that life is more like high school than anything else, and you should invite based on the merit of the player, not his or her age.
But of course, I’d like to know your thoughts in comments below.