March 31, 2005

The Eternal Battle: Dorks Versus Gaywads
— Ace

"Darkon," which seems to be a documentary about SCA-types-- guys and gals who get together in homemade armor and bop each eachother with padded "swords."

Bbeck almost just passed out from the excitement.

Sadly enough, it's not as dorky as one might hope-- these guys seem in a little better shape than I'd've guessed. And they're certainly exercising more than I do.

Still, kinda funny... especially when the "Kings" deliver great speeches about oppression and freedom, with Hyundais and soccer-goals plainly visible in background. But ratchet expectations down-- this isn't any "LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT!" screamer.

Via Dave from Garfield Ridge.

Update: Bbeck says this isn't anything like the SCA, which she, um, implies is much, err, "cooler." SCA is sort of a real athletic contest, with winners and losers and everything, whereas this is just a bunch of guys running around in their mothers' bath-towels.

Or something. I didn't really bother to read her long explanation, because midway through I realized I still would like to get laid again at some point in my future.

And I just didn't think knowing the difference between LARPing and SCAing would help that cause.

Posted by: Ace at 07:11 PM | Comments (34)
Post contains 206 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Ace, dang it, do me a great big fat favor. PLEASE make this distinction...

Darkon...is...not...SCA-like!!!

It's not even CLOSE.

Darkon is LARPing.

Not...the...same.

Not...at...all.

The difference between LARPing and SCA is like the difference between playing the air guitar and playing an actual guitar. Like the difference between imitation and real lobster. Like the difference between kissing a blow-up doll and a real girl.

Do you see those guys in that video running around without helmets? You can do that with LARPing, but with an SCA battle, you're required by the rules to wear a 16-gauge steel helmet with a grill with openings no larger than 1 inch. If you don't, you could easily get killed. REALLY killed, not pretend killed. SCA fighters actually hit each other and have minimal protection requirements so people don't get hurt. It's the closest they can get to historical battle enactments without any bloodletting.

That's just one of about a billion differences. The SCA is primarily a study of history, not fantasy wargaming...and if you want to compare it to something, it's much more closely related to Civil War re-enactors than LARPing. And I'm sure the Civil War folks would object if you compared them to playing Cowboys and Indians.

I know, it probably looks similar to the untrained eye, but I'm sure 1st and 3rd Eds. DnD look the same to mundanes, too. And we all know that's not the case.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 07:53 PM (qF8q3)

2 like I said... the eternal battle between dorks and gaywads.

Which one is SCA again?

Posted by: ace at March 31, 2005 08:04 PM (Q6+G6)

3 Not to mention that a good SCA war is a great deal larger. "Hundreds?" Pennsic clocks in at about 11,000, now, and Estrella is also in the thousands range. And Ace, if you're interested, I can put you in touch with the guy in NYC who sells the Pennsic War documentary...

Posted by: Conservative Mutant at March 31, 2005 08:06 PM (oXAmQ)

4 Yea Ace,

You don't want to confuse people regarding the two very distinct groups bbeck mentioned. One group is playing dress-up, the other group plays dress-up with historical accuracy. Big difference.

Posted by: TheShadow at March 31, 2005 08:09 PM (1R0Ae)

5 bbeck--

I admit, I'm only going on the video, and not the Dorkon website (or whatever the hell they call themselves).

I can tell it's not LARP. That doesn't make it right.

You compare this to Civil War reenactors. I'm not an expert in that arena, but I know quite a few reenactors myself. And while even my love of history can't obscure the innate gayfullness of their activities, I'll give them credit for being historically accurate wherever possible.

More importantly, they're *tactically* accurate. You go to a reenactment, one of the big ones, and they will march, deploy and "fight" like real Civil War forces.

These Dorkon guys? It looks to me like the medieval version of paintball, just a way to get your aggressions out.

Who fought like this? Barbarians? Whoopee-effin' do; barbarians died when faced by real armies. Real armies that used the phalanx, cavalry, and archers by the hundreds.

These Dorkons look like, well, dorks out there.

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

P.S. I bet the Dorkons are fans of D20. There. I said it.

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at March 31, 2005 08:09 PM (mrpxK)

6 Dorks OR Gaywads?

I have it on good authority that Dave @ Garfield Ridge answers to both....

Posted by: Jack M. at March 31, 2005 08:09 PM (1W1ap)

7 We're the dorks, Ace, the DORKS. At least dorks get laid every now and then by the proper gender.

I think I'll now go find someone who reads Asimov and call him a Trekkie. You got me in the mood for strange equivalencies.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 08:11 PM (qF8q3)

8 Bbeck--

OHHHHH, you were saying these guys WEREN'T the SCA reenactor guys.

Sorry, my bad, that was me.

But yeah, it's obvious-- these guys are LARPers without the magic missile. And it ain't LARP without the magic missile.

Jack M.-- the flamewar is over, bud. Don't make me bust out my Bigby's Hand Of Bitchslapping.

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at March 31, 2005 08:12 PM (mrpxK)

9 DAVE,

Read my post again. I'm not comparing LARPing to civil war re-enactors, I'm comparing the SCA to Civil War re-enactors.

What you say here...

I'll give them credit for being historically accurate wherever possible

...is precisely true with the SCA, too, as is THIS...

More importantly, they're *tactically* accurate. You go to a reenactment, one of the big ones, and they will march, deploy and "fight" like real Civil War forces.

...which is exactly what the SCA does.

And it's NOT what LARPers do.

Come ON, folks, if you're going to talk about the SCA you should know what it IS.

The SCA engages in HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT focusing primarily on medieval Europe. You should take a look at sca.org and see how big this organization actually is, what its participants do, and what kind of rules it follows.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 08:20 PM (qF8q3)

10 Oops, posting at the same time, Dave. My apologies.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 08:21 PM (qF8q3)

11 Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at March 31, 2005 08:25 PM (mrpxK)

12 I like nothing more than participating in some scat related activities on the weekend. Never done it outdoors though.

Posted by: DelphiGuy at March 31, 2005 08:26 PM (zl85K)

13 Yeah, Dave, I'm sure Ace recognized that Vader quote, too...and he still thinks he has a chance to get laid.

And Ace, I'm not sayin' I'm cool, but I AM cooler than SOME...

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 08:28 PM (qF8q3)

14 bbeck,

Awww, shucks, I'm just funnin' wit' ya.

Still got a little of that Flame War mentality in me.

I tease because I love. You know no one's got anything on me when it comes to stone-cold dorkiness.

Posted by: ace at March 31, 2005 08:37 PM (Q6+G6)

15 SCA fighting is kind of like a cross between Kendo and Rugby. Very physical, and potentially dangerous - hence all the heavy armour. The weapons are made of rattan (what the indoesian police use for riot truncheons) and you train to hit as hard as you can, so bruising is pretty much de rigeur. We may be dorks, but we are manly dorks!

And with regards to getting laid; in some circles, it is known as "The Society for Consenting Adults" if you know what I mean. Hey, it was started by hippies in the "Summer of Love" man.

A big SCA event is sort of like a re-enactment of Valhalla; fight all day, drink and wench all night then get up and do it again.

And no lightning bolts...

Posted by: Scott Free at March 31, 2005 08:37 PM (tb1+C)

16 The Onion had a very good article on this topic (though not exact, it fits the thread name):

From the February 10, 1999 edition:

Gaywads, Dorkwads Sign Historic Wad Accord

ROCKVILLE, MD—In a historic show of wad solidarity, delegates representing gaywads and dorkwads signed the first-ever Wad Alliance Treaty Monday in the cafeteria of Adlai Stevenson Memorial High School.

[Photo, can't link] As President Clinton looks on, dorkwad and gaywad leaders sign the landmark Wad Alliance Treaty.

The landmark accord, whose signing was presided over by President Clinton, is considered the most significant step ever taken toward wad unification.

"For too long, wad factionalism has divided the wad community, senselessly pitting wad against wad in bitter inter-wad disputes," dorkwad representative Tad Patrick Reems, 15, told reporters. "Now is the time for us to set aside our differences and join together in opposition of our common enemy--the mean, popular kids who have mercilessly inflicted locker-room wedgies upon us since time immemorial."

Gaywad Jeff Brunner, 14, agreed. "From this day forward," he said, "we will no longer see each other as dorkwads and gaywads, but instead, simply as wads, brothers united in our collective struggle against wad persecution."

Many of those present at the signing ceremony were overcome with emotion, necessitating the emergency use of a number of asthma inhalers. At least one attendee shot milk out of his nose.

"The road to wad healing has begun," said Clinton, who, working closely with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the ASHS Key Club, was instrumental in the delicate after-school negotiations that led to Monday's signing. "Thanks to the efforts of those on both sides, we can look forward to the day when the wads of this great nation can all sit down together and play Magic: The Gathering at the table of brotherhood."

Though some feared there would be trouble at the signing ceremony, it went off mostly without incident. The notable exception was a brief episode in which a Games magazine belonging to major gaywad Stephen Tempelman, 15, was confiscated by three junior-varsity basketball players. After a brief scuffle, during which the popular athletes engaged Tempelman in a spirited game of "keep-away," National Guardsmen were mobilized to seize the magazine and return it to its rightful gaywad owner.

"Let this sad turn of events serve as a painful and all-too-familiar reminder of why wads must unite," said Tempelman, speaking to reporters and fellow wads after taping together his glasses, which had been stepped on in the keep-away incident. "It's high time we realized that vicious anti-wad attacks such as this one are attacks against us all, gaywads and dorkwads alike."

Tempelman's stirring call for pan-wad unity resonated with many at the conference.

[Photo, can't link] As President Clinton looks on, dorkwad and gaywad leaders sign the landmark Wad Alliance Treaty.

"The countless cruel acts perpetrated against wads, including swirlies, noogies, titty-twisters, wet willies, purple nurples and Indian sunburns, as well as the throwing of wad headgear and retainers onto the roof of the school, have been tolerated long enough," said gaywad leader and chaotic evil magic-user/thief Lenny Berger, 15. "But such injustice will not cease until the day we finally join together, forming an unstoppable wad juggernaut to defend ourselves against the jocks, stoners, stuck-ups, cheerleaders, metalheads, gearheads and all others who would seek to destroy us. We can no longer afford to waste our efforts fighting against each other. Too many mathletes have died."

It is hoped that the milestone accord will finally end decades of wad sectarianism, which in recent years has turned the nation's computer labs, debate tournaments and science-fiction conventions into bloody battlefields of wad-on-wad violence. In 1993, the Illinois State Speech & Forensics Championship was marred by rioting that left 23 varsity-level finalists in the "extemporaneous" and "persuasive" speech categories dead and dozens more injured. In 1995, a San Diego Doctor Who convention was disrupted when a contingent of dorkwad attendees was attacked by gaywads from a Neil Gaiman comic-book signing across town. And the frequent clashes between the nation's dorkwad-controlled yearbook staffs and its gaywad-run school newspapers are well documented.

Addressing the assembled dorkwads and gaywads, Clinton expressed hope that the Wad Alliance Treaty is merely the start of a larger peace process that ultimately brings all wad factions together.

"The time for wad unity is now," Clinton said. "With this momentous signing, let the new wad era begin."

Depite Clinton's optimism, pan-wad unity is considered unlikely in the near future. Numerous wad factions, including the dickwad, dipwad, jerkwad and fuckwad groups, refused to participate in the wad accord. One fringe faction, a militant dickwad splinter group known as the "dickweeds," issued a formal statement decrying the treaty as "dork city" and "totally gay."

But even in the face of such opposition, the Wad Alliance Treaty is regarded as a major step forward in the wad peace process. Under the terms of the pact, dorkwads and gaywads will present a united Audio-Visual Club front. And thanks to the treaty, the rifts that have long split the marching-band and math-Olympiad arenas are beginning to heal, as well. What remains to be seen is how long this peace—a peace as fragile as a hand-painted lead miniature D&D game figurine—can hold.

Posted by: KCTrio at March 31, 2005 08:42 PM (hT8GB)

17 No worries, Ace. I've actually bragged about winning your Geek-Off here because of my SCA association in part. How sad is THAT?

And Scott: it IS pretty freakin' amazing how much some of these guys drink, how little they sleep, how hard they party...and then they get in their armor the next day and fight for hours. And then they eat, and then drink, party...

You're welcome to come join us anytime, Ace.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at March 31, 2005 08:48 PM (qF8q3)

18 Is it possible to buy an costume and a rank in a third-rate army for Ace? I'll do that if someone will post the video.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at March 31, 2005 08:55 PM (gXYo0)

19 So, uh, how many of these "re-enactors" get felled by dysentery?

You know, being historically accurate and all.

Posted by: someone at March 31, 2005 09:12 PM (S22v9)

20 KCTrio,

Bastard! You blew it! I was hoping no one would pick up on that similarity to the Onion piece!

Hey-- it's not a direct swipe, after all. And I can't make up all of this shit myself.

Posted by: ace at March 31, 2005 09:16 PM (Q6+G6)

21 Ace, just knowing what the SCA is qualifies you as a high-level dork.

Posted by: francisthereat at March 31, 2005 10:33 PM (nuIsA)

22 Wait wait wait WAIT.

I'm a little disturbed by something that was said here, and I'd like a little clarification.

Like the difference between kissing a blow-up doll and a real girl.

Just what are you getting at here? Cuz the guy at the shop said it was as good as the real thing. And he really looked like a guy who would know. Excusing the lazy eye thing of course.

Posted by: krakatoa at March 31, 2005 11:16 PM (5Ui07)

23 Ace, just knowing what the SCA is qualifies you as a high-level dork.

Hey, that's not fair ... I only know about it because my half-brother does it. Or, am I a dork-by-association?

Posted by: carin at April 01, 2005 03:26 AM (TiNtA)

24 Someone, after having an historically accurate feast, I've known people who've come pretty darn close to re-enacting that, too.

And sorry, Krakatoa, for bursting your bubble and/or anything else inflatable you have around.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at April 01, 2005 04:02 AM (qF8q3)

25 All right, ladies and gentleman and regular Ace posters, do you REALLY want to know what dorky and gaywaddish is?

Do you think you can handle it?

http://www.starshipexeter.com/

I DARE you to download part (or all, if you're tough enough) of "The Savage Empire" and watch it. You should at least stick around for the action scene with the SCULPEY CLAY lizard monster.

And then, anyone who can say that the SCA even comes close to this level of dorkiness just can't get a real grasp of the concept.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at April 01, 2005 04:09 AM (qF8q3)

26 i learn all kinds of weird stuff reading this blog

and i thought the Renaissance festival was lame....this takes the cake

Posted by: johnny at April 01, 2005 04:27 AM (OuLOj)

27 Bigby's Hand Of Bitchslapping

Ha! But isn't it Bigby's Mighty Hand of Bitchslapping? Much more threatening.

Posted by: George at Snapshot at April 01, 2005 04:46 AM (DiZv6)

28 Ace:

Yours is far funnier. And I guess I should have checked with you.

Anyway, take it fuckin' down, if you wish, my master.

Frankly, I've always considered myself just a dork.

Posted by: KCTrio at April 01, 2005 05:11 AM (hT8GB)

29 I'm too much of an Onion nerd to realize not everyone knew that article. Oh well, your writing is better.

Posted by: Greg at April 01, 2005 05:51 AM (VN0JH)

30 First post here - you have smoked this wad out of hiding. I can only add that having done both Civil War reenacting (for 5 years) and SCA (once ... Okay, couple times) that Civil War reenactors would really resent the comparison. Also, with regard to getting laid, you might be surprised, especially among the SCA people. (Not that all the women are real easy on the eyes, but heavy drinking is also prevalent.) Not so much with the Civil War reenactors, as compared to SCA people they trend older, uglier (or maybe not), more married and more sincerely religious. (However, there are unattended women at a lot of CW events, and a dog's a dog no matter how you dress me - er, him) CW people tend to be much more conservative politically and socially than SCA people, although a certain detachment from reality obtains among both.

Posted by: loge at April 01, 2005 05:56 AM (Z+7kp)

31 Hey, at least the SCA has one conquered country to its credit - how many have the Darkon folks taken?

http://slavic.free*******.com/onion/onion.html

you'll have to replace the asterisks with 'servers'. For some reason, the whole word gets banned.

Posted by: SparcVark at April 01, 2005 09:02 AM (X7hb0)

32 The SCA engages in HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT focusing primarily on medieval Europe.

Yeah. That's why the feast conversation was an endless series of Trek, computer, and Monty Python jokes.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at April 01, 2005 01:31 PM (OnTOa)

33 I can only add that having done both Civil War reenacting (for 5 years) and SCA (once ... Okay, couple times) that Civil War reenactors would really resent the comparison.

I agree with that, Loge. While working in the costuming business in Louisiana (before I was in the SCA), I discovered that the CW folks can really cop a 'tude about their hobby.

Not so much with the Civil War reenactors, as compared to SCA people they trend older, uglier (or maybe not), more married and more sincerely religious...CW people tend to be much more conservative politically and socially than SCA people...

Eh, kind of. One nice thing about the SCA is that it attracts a lot of different kinds of people. The group we just camped with were a bunch of 'more' married, religious, conservative folks who don't necessarily go for the parties that are thrown at other campsites. (Well, a few of us walked down the road in the evenings, but still...) People like that are easy to find in the SCA but they don't get the attention the noisy ones get.

If there's a real difference in the type of people you get in both groups, it would be the fact that there's a wider variety of ages in the SCA, which you did mention. It ranges from the college folks who throw the noisy parties to the older folks who don't go/no longer go.

Do you live in the Eastern US? Because one thing I do know is that our kingdom is much more conservative and religious than others (like the East coast, where 'paganism' is a big deal). Personally, I leave my politics and any talk of religion at home when I go to events anyway.

Later,
bbeck

Posted by: bbeck at April 02, 2005 04:31 PM (qF8q3)

34 DARKON THE MOVIE website

http://www.darkonthemovie.com

Posted by: THE ONE at July 21, 2005 12:18 PM (PMxJz)

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