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Jager Accents and SL

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With all of the crap going on in-world about the Jagers and their typed accents, I had to make a statement - especially seeing as I sometimes run around as a Jager in an alt.

I do not understand why people seem to single out the Jagers and their accents when there are lots and lots of other people who wander around with typed-out accents as well. We are -told- that people feel we are forcing RP on them, but I somehow doubt Kat Montpark hears that when she is typing out her wonderful, non-Jager accent. Or what about the Scottish brogues on the grid? Or other Irish lilts than Kat's? Or the Cockney fellow that I ran into in Babbage not too far back.

Or, better yet, the incredible Diogenes Kuhr and her great, fun accent as a Confederate widow in various sims where she RPs and visits? I've seen her 'speak' in Caledon and didn't hear a single complaint.

Somehow, I do not think that any of these other people experience the same accent intolerance as the Jagers do. And that has to make me wonder.

Oddly enough, whenever Maxim and I go out to areas other than the Victorian/Steampunk sims, no one has a problem with his accent. They might laugh at first and tease him, but no one takes -offense- to it. Some of the ladies in Old Hollywood even adore it - especially when he calls me 'dollink'.

Points to Ponder:
Is the intolerance toward the Jager accent part of a larger issue?

Why is it okay for someone to look different (furries, fae, faeries, elves, Jagers, genies, demons, Tinies, etc.) but not to 'sound' different?

Why is it okay to look 'normal', but 'sound' different (Babbage urchins, Deadwood RPers)?

Would a Jager accent coming from a Victorian human not associated with the Consulate be more accepted at large than coming from a pink-haired, purple Jager girl?

(My apologies to those I used as examples in this post without prior consent from them. I meant no disrespect because I *love* those accents!)

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On June 28th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC), blueeyedtigress commented:
Eloquently put, Genie!

Say, have you and Maxim run into any of the "Humans Only" bumph in any of the more mundane venues on the grid? Some bouncers at posh dance clubs can be rather rude when confronted with a formally-attired couple who happen to have, shall we say, unusually coloured skins ...
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On June 30th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC), klauswulfenbach commented:
Fraulein Genie, you might wish to look at Frau Kuhr's post on the concepts in general, if you have not already seen it: http://ephemeralfrontier.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-do-you-make-rp-work-in-sl-and-why.html
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On July 1st, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Accents and RL
I'm CCing what I put over in Dio's blog with a bit more to boot (and typos edited) :)

For the record, I don't mind reading or writing in accents, although I'm not too good at the latter. I'm quite good at understanding accents in RL whereas my dear old dad still can't understand a thing Rab C Nessbit says on the telly (old UK sitcom about a drunk from Glasgow) - he just can't get accents at all and I guess he'd take Hotspur's view of "not for me". I tend to think of it as fleshing out the character, although I don't do it for 2 reasons - 1) HBA doesn't warrant it as he is me, me is he; and 2) I'm crap at it :) I present these as evidence:



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On July 1st, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Accent-uate the positive
I won't lie about it; I don't care for the Vaudeville German/Yiddish accent. It always struck me as vaguely offensive in a weird way, kind of like how a black person would feel if we walked around acting like certain old film stereotypes from the 30s. Offensive to whom, I dunno.. People who speak Yiddish? People of German heritage? I'm not into playing a victim, so I don't really care-- it's just a feeling of unease.

The real issue for me is I don't care to have to constantly translate the pidgin into speech I can understand and resent that I have to. The fact is, I don't mute greenies, as others say they do, neither do I lie and pretend that I think everything's hunky dory with being immersed in another's roleplay unasked. Many people have mentioned the same to me in IM, but never seem to be public about it. That's fine, I'm only speaking about my personal tastes.

Of course, the sum total of my refusal to play along with Jaeger speech has been occasional teasing and saying "Eh? what's he mean? I'm only half joking when I type that-- sometimes I "don't get it".. and my request for clarification is usually met with stony silence and frosty reprimands by some who feel like it's their duty to speak for everyone. I've never yet muted a greenie and have no plans to do so. As individuals, they are rather nice, in my experience.

Does that help? If you choose to apply "intolerance" to my statement of personal choice, or even "racism", you surely can with my blessing. I consider my actions to reflect playing the way I want to, that's all. We're all customers, equal before the Linden Gods, no?

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On July 2nd, 2009 05:50 am (UTC), sweetpea_grubb replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
Mister O'Toole! This is Maxim Krutschek's typist.

I first want to say that I've always found you to be an all-around nice person and have never seen you as anything other than friendly and helpful. However, I feel the need to clear up a couple of things and I also have a question or two to ask.

I can't speak for others who portray their SL personas with phonetic accents but the only reason I partake is because my persona is a Jägermonster. In the Girl Genius comic, the Jäger dialog is always written with the very same phonetic accent. Especially to those who are fans of the comic, they just don't seem like Jägers without the accents. I don't know if you've read the comic or not but if you have it would surprise me, as just about everyone who has tends to agree quite fervently with my previous statement. Although I suppose that's irrelevant.

As for myself, I'm not on SL to roleplay. I've merely modeled my SL persona after a character from Girl Genius. I do in fact roleplay Maxim in other places and his personality there is quite different from *my* Maxim in SL. As a matter of fact, Maxim Krutschek is basically me with a Maxim body. I make no effort to be "in character". A lot of times he ends up being very Maxim-like just because it felt right to make him so at the time, but I would not call it roleplaying at all. Even though I cannot speak for the other Jägers 100%, I'm pretty sure they'd say the same thing. For me, the accent is just adding a little garnish to my SL persona. Just because I don't speak with that accent in real life doesn't mean I'm roleplaying. It's no different than you pretending to be a sea captain or whatever you don't normally do in RL.

As far as not playing along with the accents, if you truly cannot understand what we're typing when we use the phonetic accents, I say it's completely understandable if you want to ask for clarification. I mean, if someone has a very strong accent like that in RL I imagine some people aren't going to be able to understand a word they're saying either. It's completely believable.

The moderators in the RPG I participate in most frequently with my Maxim character originally asked me to get rid of the accent or at least tone it down quite a bit because they were afraid people wouldn't be able to understand me and it would just get in the way. I explained to them about how Maxim just wouldn't be in character without it and suggested that they take a look at the comic to better understand. I also explained that if other players truly cannot understand me they can always either IM me and ask or just pretend that their characters can't understand Maxim and it'll become something funny that they have to deal with. The moderators (after taking a look at the comic) completely agreed and allowed me to keep the full accent.

HOWEVER, if you're merely pretending not to understand because you don't feel like "playing along" that is what is called mocking which is rude and even offensive. We're not playing. We're Jägers and that's simply the way Jägers speak, just like your persona wears a uniform because he's a military man. We do and say and wear things to accentuate certain roles we've assigned to our SL personas. The accents are just a part of that.

I may not have a Jäger accent but Maxim Krutschek does. If it was revealed to you that someone you had been speaking to was only pretending they couldn't understand you because of your strong accent wouldn't you be offended? Especially if it was because they didn't "care" for your accent? Of course there's nothing you can do about it but it's still hurtful to get treated in such a way. It's very demeaning and makes us feel like dirt, quite honestly.

Now, I would like to ask you a question. Why do you consider simply having a phonetic accent to be role play? Wouldn't dressing a certain way to fit a role also be considered role play by those standards?

Also, is there anything we can do to perhaps ease the sense of offense you're feeling toward our accents aside from getting rid of them? Because I'm sorry to say it, but that's just not going to happen.
On July 2nd, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
Max, I don't want ANYone to stop doing what their doing. You say you want to roleplay a guy with a yiddish accent, who am I to stop you? Nobody. Nor can you stop me from being a wise-ass in my response. Trust me, that's not going to stop, either. Like Genie says, I don't understand all the fuss.

I appreciate your feelings about what you want to do, and I'm being real-life-no-kidding sincere about that. What you do, that's fine for you. Sometimes, what we choose to RP and enjoy to the fullest irritates the living hell out of someone else. When both people have the right to the same free expression, problems ensue.

I honestly don't harbor any resentments towards any greenie, yourself included-- and unlike some, I don't mute them. You make assumptions that I am being gleeful, or twisting the knife and enjoying being critical. That is your interpretation of my actions. I'm sorry you feel that way, but it is entirely inaccurate. And just because you say that's the case, doesn't make it any more true. Did you ever think, for a second, that it is your side of things that is over reacting? Unless you are some form of alt, you only barely know of my existence- you've been in world for what, a week or two? You and I have personally interacted maybe four times. How is this a basis for judgement? Why is the issue so raw for you? I'll take a wild guess-- because it gets talked up, and over-dramatized, and the classic group-think, forward-projection response occurs, again and again. Again, I don't know you from Adam and you don't know me, yet you seem to have arrived at a lot of conclusions. I wonder why that is? :-D

Yeah, yeah, I know. Certain people do tend to influence others opinions in Steelhead.. I've been on the short end of that a few times. Likely will again, I'm stubborn.

Anyway, take heart, I mean you no harm, no do I mute you, and no, I am not "intolerant" in the sense that Genie is using the word (recklessly, in public) about people who don't care for a Jaeger accent. To use a very primal example: You may like the Padres, I may like the Nationals. You won't get me to cheer for the Padres, or watch them on televison. You may speak glowingly about the Padres and call yourself Chris Young. I reserve my right to heckle you about your assumptions, and gracefully grant you the right to do the same to me.

That's how it might work in RL. Unless your live in Second Life Jaegerparadise, you will have to expect that you're going to bump into a Nationals fan now and then. Cheer up, it's not personal.

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On July 2nd, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC), genie_burton replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
Maxim is purple. He isn't *green*. Not all Jaegers are green.

Also, Maxim may not have been in-world for very long, but you do have a blog that discusses things like this that has been around for a while. There is such a thing as reading that doesn't necessarily take very long at all.
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On July 2nd, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC), genie_burton replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
Ack! I apparently deleted my other comments when I tried to edit this one. I FAIL.
On July 2nd, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
"greenie" is a generic term for Jaeger, which I didn't invent, and have heard used in world more than a few times. yes, I know they come in other colors. You don't have to be so literal.

Maxim may not have been in-world for very long, but you do have a blog that discusses things like this that has been around for a while. There is such a thing as reading that doesn't necessarily take very long at all.

I'm sorry, I find the notion that anyone outside of Second Life taking any interest in what I write to be be unlikely in the extreme. Furthermore, what exactly has been written for anyone to zero in on and say "there! There it is! He's bashing Jaegers again! It's Pogrom time!"? I don't mention greenies at all by name, except as individuals, and I can't find even one post that does. My blog is searchable (top left corner). If you have better luck finding such a post, let me know and I'll change it.

By now you've searched for the word "Jaeger" on Hibernia, and you'll have noticed the only use of the term "Jaeger" (aside a reference to a long defunct AVI named Heinrich Jaeger) is a very complimentary post called "A campaign that Failed". Hardly bashing.

I'd suggest a more believable scenario is that Max might have been fed a line or two about how he *should* react in world, and has run with it. No, no, that never happens.. not in Second Life, what am I thinking. I'm aware of conversations that have transpired between an "unnamed new Jaeger" and leadership where complaints were made that seemed rather pointed for a person of such brief acquaintance-- I confess i was astonished.

Max, my advice is to lighten up and take me in stride. Hey, you could always mute me, I really wouldn't mind.

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On July 2nd, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC), genie_burton replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
I still don't get how it is 'playing the way that you want to'. I understand that you don't feel you wish to interact with them. Note that I said interact and not roleplay. To me, these are people adopting online personas more than someone who is playing a character who might then go out-of-character between scenes. Many people on SL and on the internet at large adopt personas - not just those who are part of these accented individuals we are discussing. For example, Kalel Venkman adopts a persona, but he does not truly roleplay. While he doesn't go around doing actual RP, he does attempt to adhere to the morals and ideals of Superman while interacting with others on SL as himself. Some of the people that I know who use accents on SL are much the same way including some members of the Jagerkin.

I suppose that I am simply astounded that you would expect someone to come up and offer, "Pardon me, but would it be okay for me to type with an accent in your presence? You see, that is my online persona. However, if it disturbs you, I won't do it." That... would be like me coming over to ask you if you were offended by the dress I'd chosen to wear to the Babbage ball. It isn't your place to make that decision and it is entirely my choice what I want to put on my avatar as clothing. To me, an accent is no different than a piece of clothing someone has chosen to wear to express themselves on SL.

I just don't get what all of the fuss is about.
On July 3rd, 2009 12:19 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
I suppose that I am simply astounded that you would expect someone to come up and offer, "Pardon me, but would it be okay for me to type with an accent in your presence? You see, that is my online persona. However, if it disturbs you, I won't do it." That... would be like me coming over to ask you if you were offended by the dress I'd chosen to wear to the Babbage ball. It isn't your place to make that decision and it is entirely my choice what I want to put on my avatar as clothing. To me, an accent is no different than a piece of clothing someone has chosen to wear to express themselves on SL.

Genie, one thing that bugs me about discussions with you is that you tend to come up with a negative assumption offline and run with it until it becomes an 'established fact' for you. Then you repeat it to your clique and they must all believe it, too. I'd like you to point out where I stated ANYthing like what your are describing above, ANYwhere.. in world, in my blog, in a transcript. Please. I'll tell you what I *have* said, again and again and again and agaiiiiiin.

* I don't have the right to ask any modification in behavior from ANYone. I DO have a right to RP or not RP as * I * see fit, and choose to do so. I DO have a right to voice my opinions, even if they don't agree with yours, and I choose to do so. I DO feel like teasing a jaeger now and then with "what? what?" (because many times I don't get what they are saying). I choose to do so. That..is about..IT. *

And what have I done, really? Have I started a pogrom because people are different from me or don't play MY way (which is no way at all, really)? Nope. Have I done ANYthing to any Jaeger besides an occasional smart aleck comment? Can YOU say the same? As you say, it's a great big fuss over something I don't consider that important.
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On July 3rd, 2009 04:04 am (UTC), genie_burton replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
You say it is RPing. In RP, you can ask for consent. I don't say it is RPing. I say it is interacting as there is no clearly defined in-character and out-of-character. I was making reference to Ms. Kuhr's posts about consent and such as she is -clearly- discussing roleplay and I do not consider Maxim's accent to be roleplay.

You say, by simply typing like that in front of you, that they are forcing their RP on you. I don't see it that way because that is not how I would define RP. If they are *forcing* something on you, doesn't that seem as if you would rather they -ask-?

I did not start this discussion to be inflammatory or to be anti-Hotspur. However, you seem to be taking some of this very personally and making some inflammatory statements of your own.

I think, in this instance, that we are going to have to agree to disagree. I have not muted you on SL. Not have I blocked you on Twitter. Nor do I constantly badmouth you in the manner that you seem to think that I do. It is true that I have avoided playing En Garde on your property for some time now and it is true that I have chosen not to participate in your naval exercises. However, I have not started a pogrom against you, either.

Also, I do not have a clique and it amused me greatly that you would say that I do.
On July 3rd, 2009 06:20 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: Accent-uate the positive
However, I have not started a pogrom against you, either.

Actually, I know you haven't. I meant that Gilbert guy who got ran out of town by the GeeGees about three weeks back.

As for the other stuff, EN GARDE and Navy stuff.. that's fine. I'm not offended. I don't push my roleplay on anyone other than a once a week mention at the meeting.

I agree.. we have different definitions of "consensual roleplay" and "clique", so we'll just have to agree to disagree. Thanks for the dialouge!

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