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Androgynous presentation
I'm a beautiful boy! I'm a beautiful girl!

[+][Game-Help] waddlerafter [1 karma]: Yeah, the shortdesc names are meant to be gendered.

Why? I feel like androgyny would be extremely common in the body-mod crazy cyberpunk future. She's not a guy. She's a chick - with a dick! And you can't always tell at first glance.

Is that a tall 'dude' or a gangly 'bitch'? Don't act like you can tell by looking.

There's been quite a few threads that touch on this. My thinking, and this might be unwoke so excuse my ignorance, is that modern progressive ideas about gender fluidity and gender identity aren't really a part of the class struggle, high tech/low life, and near future crime themes of the game.

That being said, I wouldn't care one bit if some gender neutral @shortdescs were thrown into the roster.

Cyberpunk is about self-expression, too. Gender identity is part of that.
From the disguise help link:

There are various items in-game that can be used to disguise yourself. When you are disguised you will show up in room descriptions as something along the lines of 'a shrouded short man' or 'an average girl'.

Why couldn't you just show up as 'a shrouded short person'?

It's been brought up a few times, and I think staff have said it's a game mechanics/code convenience for it to work the way it does. Probably unlikely to change.

I agree it's in-theme, so I wouldn't let the shortdescs stop you from describing your character as androgynous or going crazy with body-modding. There's also a thread somewhere where you can suggest new shortdescs.

It seems pointless to describe my character as androgynous when there's a big flashing word every time you'd look at my character that says "ACTUALLY A BOY/GIRL".
Transgender is transhuman. It's definitely themely and you can see it in places like Cyberpunk 2077 (look up the recent drama over the Mix It Up ad in-game). I think conversations re: gender and things like biomods in the past have been hindered by a lack of understanding. It's kinda weird that you can do more with regular ol' surgery IRL than you can with nanogenic body sculpting and DNA modification in a futuristic setting.

As for they pronouns: LambdaMOO has native support for He, Her, and It pronouns. It's simple for programmers to add in other pronouns and work with these, however Sindome already has zillions of lines of text that wouldn't read properly with a singular they pronoun because the singular they still conjugates like a plural. You'd have to rewrite every piece of text that used the third person, and that's simply not feasable.

I guess you could go with a neopronoun like ze/zir but those aren't exactly in wide use.

It would seem like a real cyberpunk smack in the face for them to be put into common use in the game, baby boomer sensibilities be damned.
To echo Vera in a point I've argued previously, gender fluidity and gender exploration in general is very thematic to cyberpunk as a genre, from the outset. To wit --

The meet was set for the Drome at 2300, but I rode the tube three stops past the closest platform and walked back. Immaculate procedure. I checked myself out in the chrome siding of a coffee kiosk, your basic sharp-faced Caucasoid with a ruff of stiff, dark hair. The girls at Under the Knife were big on Sony Mao, and it was getting harder to keep them from adding the chic suggestion of epicanthic folds. It probably wouldn't fool Ralfi Face, but it might get me next to his table.

The Drome is a single narrow space with a bar down one side and tables along the other, thick with pimps and handlers and a arcame array of dealers. The Magnetic Dog Sisters were on the door that night, and I didn't relish trying to get out past them if things didn't work out. They were two meters tall and thin as greyhounds. One was black and the other white, but aside from that they were as nearly identical as cosmetic surgery could make them. They'd been lovers for years and were bad news in the tussle. I was never quite sure which one had originally been male.

There may be game-y, or developer time reasons why the gender system in place is so...binary, but I don't think theme could reasonably be argued as one of them.

It seems like neopronouns could solve the whole issue neatly with a little cyberpunk slap on the ass to wit.
I'm all for gender identity as a transgender person, however.

I'm not one to dedicate developers' time and effort for something like neopronouns, or androgynous presentation. Yes, it wouldn't be totally off the theme, but it would take developer time that could be spent in other more important features.

I don't see how adding more RP expression into the game is taking time away from "more important" matters.

Rolling in new pronouns in LambdaMOO is super easy. I have done it myself. It's more a question of like, which ones do you use and how do you couch them in game lore.

Reading over folk's replies I think I was wrong to flat out say that transgender stuff is unthemely, my bad.

I do think the modern culture war political mess of the whole issue is something I don't really want to see imported into the gameworld, and ooc stuff like how the game parses pronouns seems like a little bleed.

You're playing a game about class war and you don't want any RL political themes to bleed into it?
We don't generally encourage RL bleed at all.
Theme itself is pretty leftsided in first place. It's not nowadays politics sipping into it when Gibson in his years was writing pretty 'extremely' left theme for his days.
That sounds like an exaggeration in an attempt to shut the idea down instead of an actual valid reason or argument. Let's keep it on topic.
It's important to point out there's a complete distinction: adding gender fluid pronouns isn't bleed; making in-game topics which reflect current transphobia would be bleed.
There's nothing political about it. And in 2104 there isn't any stigma attached to this stuff, so bringing up discourse from 2019 about it would be pretty unthemely.
Seems like we agree that adding in neopronouns wouldn't be a problem, cept if the developers have other more important stuff to do.

Am I reading you guys right?

If it takes two clicks I see no reason for it not to happen.
I don't really even mean to argue, I would support adding in a third set of pronouns.

It's just that in the same way my character would never refer to yours by their screen name if they never learned it, they would never refer to your char as a hes/she/ze if your descriptions made it clear they were none of those things.

In the other thread about nongendered shortdescs and pronouns, Johnny mentioned how they were removed because they distracted from the core of the game and without trying to be callous about a super sensitive issue that's basically how I feel.

-You seen this new NLM baka, John Doe?

-Yeah zi a corporat.

-You said zi?

-Si.

-Suddenly I feel like hating him less!

Yeah hold up.

I think we can probably all agree that absolutely nobody wants all the pro/anti transgender arguments going on in the game world. That's loud and annoying enough IRL and all of that stuff is a solved problem in Sindome anyway. The social problems in 2104 are like, Eternalists vs Fundies, Clones vs NOCLO, haves vs have nots, cyborgs vs fleshbags, purebloods and muties.

You can have characters who don't conform to an outdated gender binary without dragging outdated arguments into the IC world. The tech exists and body mods and transhumanism are a big part of the genre. It's subversive sexuality, commodification of the human body, and creative self-expression all at once. That couldn't be more on-point for theme, whether you're the corporate splurging on the latest gene mods or the Mixer getting back-alley hackjobs, blowing your hard-earned cash on looking the way you've always dreamed is CPAF.

* all the real world pro/anti transgender arguments
Besides the already mentioned massive issues with amount of code/text needed to be overhauled and disguises that would just be too powerful, this would also bring a very hot, and highly debated, topic from modern days into the game. This means while you would get coded support for gender-fluidity, you also open yourself for criticism for picking it, especially if you consider this as part of the CP theme.

And who the hell wants to deal with that in a game they come to play. The classism is great fun as it's an overdrawn caricature of real life, but this would be hitting home for quite a few people, and then the idea of keeping it away from massive OOC bleed is impossible.

The majority of Sindome's playerbase is very old-fashioned, owing from this being an old-fashioned game. I think that while it sounds like a good idea to inject modernism into the game, it's not what most people play it for.
Sorry to double post, but I felt my post may sound a bit passive-aggressive. What I meant to say was that this is a social problem that is still quite divisive and controversial on the internet, unlike, say, "hey let's not be racist/sexist" which has been established in the community since its inception. There would be an ungodly amount of bleed and I for one don't really want to know where my fellow Sindome players stand in terms of modern politics, because our commonality is that we play this game, not that we share the same political and identity ideologies.

Because, why not since this is related.

If your character is male but looks female, use femboy.

If your character is female but looks male, use tomboy.

Just like in real life there's no absolute in-between. You should identify however you want to but the code needs to distinguish your gender and in Sindome that's purely binary.

Not to mention that adding an "it" shortdesc would break the balance between distinguishing "him" and "her" and would give the "its" an unfair mechanic advantage over the other two because they would fit 100% of the population over just 50% of it.

I understand some people feel 'femboy' or 'tomboy' might not be adequate but I don't really see the point in such a change. We have IC trans characters. People who turn into a man or a woman. I think that an inbetween isn't necessary and like villa said might provide an advantage.

"So the perp was a guy?"

"Well not exactly.."

"Then a woman?"

"Could have been either, I don't know man."

Well no if there was a third pronoun set it'd certainly be used less than she and he so people in that group would be easier to single out, not harder.
Well no if there was a third pronoun set it'd certainly be used less than she and he so people in that group would be easier to single out, not harder.
It's a different presentation distinct from she and he. People who saw these characters wouldn't be confused or unable to pin them down, they would use language indicating that this was specifically a third gender. That's the whole thing about neopronouns, they aren't vague.

"Did you see who did it?"

"Yeah it was one of those agender kids." or "Ze was this tall person."

"Oh OK."

Femboy and tomboy are not terms the trans community has ever used and are specifically describing twinky males and women who look kind of boyish. They are not appropriate substitutions for what OP is asking about and the insistence on such can come off as insensitive.

But the OP in their post said that they want to make genders vague so you can't tell what gender someone is by looking at them.

I don't know about the whole 'third gender' thing (though I do think things are fine as it is) but I disagree with what the OP said about making things vague and that making it hard to tell what gender a person is at a glance.

Here's what I think:

1. Your pronouns should be linked to what other people see you as (as opposed to your biology), so if you want to play a biologically male character who looks female or vice versa, you should be able to submit a service request to have your pronouns swapped without needing bio-mods. Possibly this should be gated behind a certain charisma or disguise level. Either way, you won't be able to do it willy nilly since staff will have to approve it.

2. If you want your character to be androgynous, this should also be gated behind a service request that changes your shortdesc to andro or androgyne and makes your pronouns gender neutral, but you shouldn't then be able to change this (eg, when wearing a disguise). You'll be locked into that shortdesc to avoid abuse.

@Vera

I don't think 'femboy' is a good substitute for 'twink', honestly, most of the time when I've seen femboy characters (I've seen plenty in the game, mostly in the past), they also crossdress and some of them even identify as female. For some reason though, they won't add said shortdesc like I've asked for three times already ;-; But I guess that's off topic!

I think that this would actually possibly drag in more bleed into the game, if not IC, then OOCly. And OOC sometimes drips into IC, and then everyone's immersion is ruined. Biological genders are 99% of the time female or male, and I believe that is what the game goes after. How you identify BEYOND that, is entirely up to you. I think most characters will address you the way you prefer. I played a femboy once, long, long ago.. someone asked me if I want to be spoken to with female or male pronouns. I was kind of surprised by that, since I only used 'femboy' as a substitute for 'twink'. But either way, is this really that big of a problem?

@Crooknose

You're coming up with some really good ideas, and I agree that it would make sense, as long as staff is okay with it. However, adding a neutral gender might be more coding than we realize, so I'm not 100% sure that is something staff will create.

#1 From a coding standpoint, it'd be a hassle be doable.

#2 Sindome has a long running history misunderstanding trans/gender issues.Old policies and people not clued in on certain things. I'm not trying to lambaste or criticize the staff by saying this either. Every time I've broached the subject as of late, I've been welcomed with open arms to discuss my standpoint as a trans person with understanding from staff, and met with my own understanding they may not be aware of certain things yet.

#3 From a gameplay standpoint, I can see the argument about "uncertain" terms. Not everyone has the mental vocabulary or head space, with people defaulting toward the binary. In a game with heavy investigation, this can certainly create problems. People are already still shitting about more basic things as well.

#4 Every single one of our characters come from the collective lens of the player behind them. And I'm sure a lot of us want to explore the issues that plague us OOC. This is not IRL bleed. In a post-modding setting, it makes even more sense that people are drawn to the genre because of it. There isn't much salt over it in this thread, but please try to keep it to a minimum and be respectful at the very least.

Trans issues are CPAF though, as Vera said.

#4 Every single one of our characters come from the collective lens of the player behind them. And I'm sure a lot of us want to explore the issues that plague us OOC. This is not IRL bleed. In a post-modding setting, it makes even more sense that people are drawn to the genre because of it.

^ This definitely needs to be said. I think we have far more gender non-conforming or gender questioning people in the playerbase than some might realize.

I also think we have a lot of both, and people don't want to explore OOC political views as to avoid unnecessary toxicity and offending each other. I honestly think the easiest way to do it is to describe your character and hope people will read your description. If your character looks male but is biologically female, maybe you can get a switch through a service request. An androgyneous third gender might just bring a lot of problems into the game both mechanically and psychologically, it'll definitely spark debate. And that always drips into public SIC.
That's kinda like saying you should only be able to play white people otherwise racism might happen.
No it isn't. Because white people are white biologically, they don't identify as black. There's clearly more people identifying with their biological gender than the opposite. I'm saying this and trying not to offend anyone. I have many transgendered friends online, none IRL because I don't really see any and because I don't have a reason to talk to strangers.

It feels like you're taking this personally, @Vera. I didn't mean anything bad by it.

Please remember BGBB: Etiquette:

https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/how-to-bgbb-1090/

@Ephemeralis Exactly what I meant to say. I feel like this may cause more offense than it will do good for the people wanting it. It can obviously be discussed, but RL topics are already dripping in as it is and I think that should be considered.
Please don't compare transgender people to race-appropriating weirdos. Bioessentialist arguments are not based on reality and there's a reason the medical community is pretty uniformly in favor of trans rights but has no evidence supporting any kind of analagous issue with race.
I'm not trying to be corrective, but it was you who brought it up as a comparison, @Vera.
Let's please not turn this into an argument, just be polite and respectful and as Slither and Mobius and others have said, assume the best intentions in the other person.
I brought race up as an example of why potential player bigotry shouldn't inform design decisions. I didn't bring up racial appropriation.
He, She, They.

Everyone bleeds red and wakes up in the same vat.

Non-binary (NB, or enby) is the term everyone is looking for, btw.

https://nonbinary.miraheze.org/wiki/List_of_nonbinary_identities

Plenty of shortdescs to choose from.

I think Johnny's reply in the other thread also applies to this one.
We expressly took out all the extra genders LambdaMOOs start with. This is a By Design decision on our part. And that person at the top is masculine to me? You can control the bias people assume, but thats it.
I thought it was a dude, too, but I'm ultimately uncertain.
I don't see how you can change how your gender presents in-game without expensive body mods. I can just wear a billowy shirt or a bra IRL to do that.
I don't see how you can change how your gender presents in-game without expensive body mods. I can just wear a billowy shirt or a bra IRL to do that.
Yeah, we don't support cross dressing nearly as well as we should. Some disguise should let you pad your bra and such for sure. I'd have no problems introducing mechanics to change your gender more fluidly based on attire and makeup.
Same could be said about many things. I always found 'Euro' a bit of an assumptive thing to mash up. Europe has far too many languages to mash together, but I'm starting to get over it. More or less accepting it as many different dialects.

There's loads of things in the game that don't make sense, like the fact it's more or less easy to modify your body IRL than it is in-game, sometimes. But it's because it's a game, it'll always be improved upon, but it's not real life.

And, wow- Johnny, that is actually really cool, if that's codedly 'simple' to do. By 'simple' I mean, not as difficult as rewriting all the code in the game, or whatever would be necessary of adding another gender. ^^"
@Johnny I like that idea.
At the same time, maybe this should be affected by stats/skills? Or by choice, just like you can drop your disguise by choice now. I mean, imagine this huge hulk of a guy dressed in a dress, and has a beard.
Hell yeah, Johnny.
Well considering disguising yourself is already affected by stats and skills... :)
Fair enough! Now we're getting somewhere.
Another gender is not that complicated. These things all refer to props on your character, so we just populate those according to the gender when its chosen. There's no reason we can't update these values as you wear and remove clothing though. We'd just have to add a prop to store your gender when you're naked so we could restore it when you take off the last article of clothing.

Oh, and come up with a way to flag all the clothing with gender support. New tailor command for that or a prompt in an existing process. While we could take hints from some clothing items names and coverage, it wouldn't be clean so it'd be best to crowdsource it for existing items and prompt tailors to update their work.

The disguise stuff could be a great way to draw better lines between haves and have nots too. Having to fight with makeup and wigs in the Mix and hoping you don't slip while being jealous of corpies and their designer sex change mods is a neat angle.
Adding another option to decide what the clothing is 'gendered' would probably work. I've played tailors once in a while, though I'd prefer something like three options. 'Female', 'male' or 'unisex'. Unisex would mean it doesn't change your 'gender', which I think would be super useful since a lot of clothing works for both genders. Heck, I know a guy that wears womens' jeans because they fit him better, not to crossdress.
Sorry for double post- but to fix the clothing that already has been created, maybe if a gender wasn't chosen, it counts as unisex anyway?
There will definitely be clothing that does not affect the perceived gender at all, yep.
I was honestly surprised gender-swapping at the very little with disguises -wasn't- a thing, I mean, a specific clothing item even mentions that it would be hard to make out someone's gender or build with it on.

It is sick not only for IC reason but OOC reason to open a lot of character types.

Tying it into disguise skill and the related skills that tie into that aspect of the game to try and pass as one gender over the other is definitely a very realistic route to take. Makeup kits, different outfits, male fem and unisex flags for clothes, it will tie things together very nicely!
apologies for necro'ing this, put i didnt want to create another thread

presently though, i really dislike the way the game treats non-binary identies, and i dont feel that it makes that much sense as nb person myself - especially considering the setting of sindome is supposed to imply that LGBTQIA+ issues are a thing of the past. i see no actual reason to "make it difficult" for enbies to exist (if it really is intentional design), considering gender norms have been thrown out of the window

instead of having to spec into disguise to play as a nb character, i think it would be more fair to just let people mark themselves at nb in char-gen via another gender - considering it doesnt seem like its impossible to add another gender with its own pronouns, and go from there

presently, dealing with telling people you use gender neutral pronouns (when the game is constantly labelling you as either he or she) is a pain - and although you could argue "but how would you know they're nb from just looking" i think this is a non issue. sindome has other features that dont really make sense, and this one would just make sense convenience wise. i deal with enough of this pronoun-pain irl, i dont think i should have to deal with it in character.

if people still want to use disguise to change how they identify, they would still be able to - and the only real problem i could think of is sex changes, but even then something could probably be figured out.

If I'm not mistaken, I am fairly certain you can use the appear command to appear a different shortdesc without skill or with very minimal UE input. Where skill comes into play is changing other things.

That being said, all for letting someones default shortdescs be androgynous and pronouns be zir.

It's possible to attain the different shortdescs for height and build through the appear function, albeit a bit obtusely, but I don't know if your appearance short desc (beautiful, etc) are interchangeable.

Being able to be androgynous by default would be nice. There's a lot of places where gender representation is rough around the edges in this game that probably need to be tweaked.

to my knowledge, i thought it required more investment for the appear shortdescs to actually "stick" for extended periods - if that isnt the case then that makes it slightly better - but i would still like to have a nb gender at char-gen
Pretty sure there's a ton you can do with zero investment in disguise.

Appear is not time/action restricted, and persists across login/logout. The only forced stop I can think of off hand would be when you clone out.