How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep



  • @Tinuviel said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    And anyone that says otherwise deserves a very long sideways glance with a dash of askance

    To alliterate that, anyone deserves an askance glance, abiding a stance arms akimbo.


  • Pitcrew

    I find there's a transparent difference between a creepy/fixated character and a creepy/fixated player. When it's just the character, the player may choose to portray them in a specific, involved manner, but they're also picking up on other cues in a larger scene, and inclined to engage with everyone in full. They are there to RP their character, and that's it. And it's great!

    Creepy players, on the other hand, don't want to do this. They don't want to engage past the agenda. They are there to get the thing, or get off on the thing, and that's it. They're participating for one reason only, and it doesn't take an especially deep read of their efforts to really sense that.

    My litmus test for creepy/thirsty players is, initially, an IC one. I test to see their level of engagement with someone not the object of desire, especially with a character that they know, OOCly, they have no chance to plow. Like my alts! If I felt like someone was being cornered (and their writing was reflecting cordial disinterest, and they weren't excitedly punching out four paragraphs of reaction to that one Creepy Character within five minutes), I'd interrupt them ICly. I usually know when I've pissed off Just a Character, while the player is amused and laughing along with the swerve in their RP plan, versus pissing off a player that usually spins the narrative or editorializes in certain ways that they want me and everyone else to f off and let them bang.

    I don't think I'd page anyone privately without suspecting or knowing that the Creepy Character's Player has a history, or something so egregious was done within that scene that I'd be taken out of the fiction and go: what the f?

    However, I've seen that tactic been wielded, conversely, for manipulative reasons, which sucks. I've had polite, story-focused, kind friends (as well as myself!) been the targets of "concerned pages" directed at their/my IC Romance Partners (usually by the thirsty players of IC romantic rivals) trying to play protective and thoughtful 'I'm just so concerned they keep chatting with you and seem all over you', which is just a dressed-up version of unsubstantiated shit-talking. For that reason, I get leery at immediately taking something OOC, or I may question the motives of someone (especially someone I don't know well) doing that at me. Which is sad, in its way, but reflects my own reality in this hobby.



  • @surreality said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    That said, I get why it's hard to be that person when it's a stranger. It is REALLY EASY to come across as 'wrongfunning someone' if they are perfectly OK with what's happening by asking if they're uncomfortable when they're not, which could in turn make both parties uncomfortable.

    This, exactly. If somebody wants to reach out? That's their business. But this is why I personally would not be comfortable doing so, especially on games where I also staff. It just sets up this weird dynamic where you're kind of implying the other person might be doing something wrong. Like I can just imagine the person on the other end being all... "Um.... no, I'm good. Why? Should I not be? Do you know something about this person I don't know?" and so forth.

    But mostly I just get uncomfortable at the idea that somebody behaving in an IC way that we personally find distasteful should automatically be cause for OOC protective action. That just seems like a slippery slope.



  • There is always, always some level of OOC involved.

    This whole 'oh it's just IC, oh we can't let our OOC feelings get-'

    You know what it smacks of?

    'teehee that wasn't me being shitty that was my character'
    'ha ha I didn't do that terrible, horrible thing you didn't like and specifically asked me not to, my character did.'

    OOC always factors in to an extent. Always.
    And if you are observing behavior in a scene and something about it is just wrong on some extent, then I think it is absolutely OK to acknowledge that and no one should be shamed for speaking up and saying so.

    Because if that weren't the case then hey, why not start allowing games to do rape plots again? After all it's just IC, right?


  • Pitcrew

    We OOCly play our characters.

    Even if there is no OOC communication, problematic OOC behavior is still possible.


  • Pitcrew

    @Sunny said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    Like seriously. Is anyone who is participating in this conversation going to be upset/offended if a stranger pages them to say 'hey, you OK?' Like, regardless of what it's about? The only person I can think of that would be bothered by it would a- only be bothered by it because they don't like OOC interaction AT ALL, and b- probably wouldn't even be bothered by this question because it's human caring about another human.

    I am notoriously crabby and anti-people and would be totally fine with this. Probably, like.... startled and slightly confused if I actually WAS fine, but at the absolute worst my reaction would be like, "Well, that was weird and awkward." Which is just, like, most human-to-human interaction, AFAIC.


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    But the [person] who seems to be collecting a harem of [people] meant to be latched onto [them] and [them] alone while [they're] juggling six of them? That's fucked up.

    I just wanted to step back into this one for a moment and point out where I see the problem in this scenario. It's not in one character juggling six other characters, it's in one player juggling six other players, while telling each of them both ICly and OOCly that they're The One. It's showing no indication at all that there might be something wrong when they say "Oh no, baby, you're the only one for me" ICly. That turns it from IC gaslighting to OOC gaslighting, and I'm not cool with that. The moment it turns from IC gaslighting to OOC gaslighting is the moment I think it's appropriate for Staff to step in.



  • @faraday said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    @surreality said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    That said, I get why it's hard to be that person when it's a stranger. It is REALLY EASY to come across as 'wrongfunning someone' if they are perfectly OK with what's happening by asking if they're uncomfortable when they're not, which could in turn make both parties uncomfortable.

    This, exactly. If somebody wants to reach out? That's their business. But this is why I personally would not be comfortable doing so, especially on games where I also staff. It just sets up this weird dynamic where you're kind of implying the other person might be doing something wrong. Like I can just imagine the person on the other end being all... "Um.... no, I'm good. Why? Should I not be? Do you know something about this person I don't know?" and so forth.

    But mostly I just get uncomfortable at the idea that somebody behaving in an IC way that we personally find distasteful should automatically be cause for OOC protective action. That just seems like a slippery slope.

    This summarizes my feelings on it.

    @onigiri said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    However, I've seen that tactic been wielded, conversely, for manipulative reasons, which sucks. I've had polite, story-focused, kind friends (as well as myself!) been the targets of "concerned pages" directed at their/my IC Romance Partners (usually by the thirsty players of IC romantic rivals) trying to play protective and thoughtful 'I'm just so concerned they keep chatting with you and seem all over you', which is just a dressed-up version of unsubstantiated shit-talking. For that reason, I get leery at immediately taking something OOC, or I may question the motives of someone (especially someone I don't know well) doing that at me. Which is sad, in its way, but reflects my own reality in this hobby.

    This has also unfortunately been my experience. It is the "stranger" aspect of this that makes it different for me. It is not that I would necessarily mind being asked. I would just find it somewhat awkward and intrusive from someone I did not know. I tend to be pretty guarded nowadays, however, because unfortunately I have also been creeped on a number of times, and it has often begun from "friendly" strangers taking a sudden interest in me.


  • Pitcrew

    Although it hasn't been about sexual/romantic discomfort, I have had other players occasionally reach out and ask if I'm okay about a specific thing that is happening or has happened to my character. I've never, myself, considered it creepy or unwelcome, even when I've been entirely bewildered by what they were concerned about. So, a simple 'hey, are you okay with what X is doing' sort of thing never seems out of line to me. Just if they say 'yeah', let it go, move on, etc.



  • @Alamias I've played characters many times who were absolutely IC creeps. Lewd, borderline abusive, sleazeballs, you name it. I've never had anyone tell me to back off or that I made them uncomfortable. I have been paged 'not interested, sorry' a few times which I have obviously accepted. Once, 'I'd like you to back off a bit now' which I obviously also accepted, and followed up with an OOC apology and clarification that this was indeed IC, and they were very welcome to kick my character's arse six ways into sundays because yes, he was definitely deserving of it. Ended up playing with that person regularly, on a note, and getting said character's arse kicked a lot.

    The kicker there seems to be, at least to me, whether the line in the sand between IC and OOC is crystal clear. A bit of self irony in the poses, a narrative style that makes it evident that you, the player, are aware that you, the character, is out of line, will really go far to make others not question what the hell they're dealing with.



  • @Auspice said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:
    The white knight, the overly romantic 'husband' material ........ who is somehow in a deeply committed relationship with multiple women at the same time.

    That guy managed to singlehandedly drive six female players out of my WoW guild before I realized and kicked him out. He is a pain in the ass.



  • @Auspice said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    There is always, always some level of OOC involved.

    My brain hurts from the blurred lines.

    If I were to witness your scenario IC, I would have my PC act accordingly IC. If I were to witness your scenario OOC or RL, I would act as I would act. I do not see how or why anyone should expect any differently.

    Here's the thing: even when I play an IC creep, I communicate with my RP partners about such behavior.

    So, I don't think anyone cared if Wes was being a lunatic because in those scenes I made it abundantly clear beforehand that his insanity was a little overwhelming at times. If someone white-knighted my RP partner, I would like to think they would say: "nah things cool." As I have never had anyone complain on me, I can only presume I'm doing something right or everyone else around me is wrong.

    But knowing what I do? Yes, I am hesitant to leap in and intervene if I see some creepy stuff happening IC, unless it is IC for my PC to step in and end the creepiness. These days, most of my PCs are happy to beat someone to death for leering at a victim. (In one case, it's part of her madness.) So, I guess I don't really have much of a problem intervening.

    But it's IC, totally.



  • @Auspice said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    There is always, always some level of OOC involved.

    This whole 'oh it's just IC, oh we can't let our OOC feelings get-'

    You know what it smacks of?

    'teehee that wasn't me being shitty that was my character'
    'ha ha I didn't do that terrible, horrible thing you didn't like and specifically asked me not to, my character did.'

    OOC always factors in to an extent. Always.

    This is eating at me, because I'm admittedly pretty tired but this is not what I see people saying. I feel it's setting up a strawman. And I will note, I'm saying this as someone who sees no reason it'd be out of line to page a person and ask whether they're feeling OOCly comfortable with things, even if it's not me doing the Things.

    A character hitting on another character, charmingly or creepily or anywhere in between, is being OOCly controlled by a player, yes. But that does NOT mean the player is OOCly being creepy (or, indeed, charming). That doesn't mean character 2's player doesn't feel OOCly creeped out, and this is why IMO it's good for players of not-that-nice/well-behaved characters to check in with the players of the targets of that behaviour and make sure things are copacetic on that level, but it is not inherently problematic.

    I have played characters doing things I wasn't entirely comfortable with, but were what the character would do. I've generally checked in with the people involved to make sure they were good with how the story was going, when doing so, but the point is that 'OOC always factors in to an extent' is not true in the way you seem to be implying. If my character is hitting on X hard, it doesn't mean I want to TS X's player. (I write slowly and only have so much energy to spare. I don't have time to TS if I want to get anything else done! Most of my characters still hit on people.) It means my character is into their character, or has some reason to play up seeming to be.

    And that's the thing here. Things do get done purely in character. Some of them might look pretty bad. Some of them might, ICly, BE pretty bad. But the issue with your examples is that they don't illustrate 'OOC always influences IC', they illustrate 'some people are jerks who OOCly ignore other players' expressed boundaries, and some of those jerks try to use an excuse of ICness as cover'.

    If you-the-player tell me-the-player that you're up for the characters being in a relationship but only if there's no infidelity, and I agree to this and then my character goes out and cheats anyway, that is an entirely different issue than if my character meets yours in a bar and proceeds to ruthlessly mock your character's hair until it's so embarrassed it falls right out of her head. I have no OOC agenda; my character probably has an IC one. I'd aim to make sure nothing was actually being upsetting to you, the player behind the character, but even if I failed to reach out, it would not be reasonable for some third person to report me as an OOC asshole for the fact that my character is an IC one. They can go ahead and ask you if you're OOCly good with things, and if you're not, they can support you in OOCly asking me to tone it down, and if I refuse to modify my IC interaction with you once you've made it clear it's making you-the-player OOCly uncomfortable, well, then I really am kind of an asshole. But not until then.

    So sure, page the person you're worried about and check in if you want. Phrasing it probably is going to be awkward. I dunno, "Hey, Bob's coming on to Sarah pretty strong, and I just wanted to make sure you're feeling okay with it OOCly," maybe? But once you get a 'yes' the issue becomes that you don't like Bob-player's style of playing Bob, and if it's not directed at you, well, what I do if someone's style makes me uncomfortable is avoid playing with them as much as I can. I mean, you could ask him to tone it down, but unless it's pretty egregious, that really starts reaching into telling people how to play their characters. And if it IS egregious, then it must be bad enough that you can make a first-person complaint on your own behalf and leave Sarah and her player out of it.

    This got long, but I'm too tired to make it short. So I guess that's the long and short of it from where I sit.


  • Tutorialist

    Yeah, this is getting a little ridiculous.

    "There is always OOC" is just trying to justify branding a player based on how the character acts, and not being able to differentiate between the character and the player, which will never, ever be ok with me.

    Also, I don't think that anyone is saying 'paging the person to check in' is not ok. The message more has been 'it is not your place to take up a cause on their behalf if they have expressed nothing that would lead you to draw that conclusion'.

    Because yes, as other people have stated, that isn't you acting on their behalf. It's acting on yours. Because you don't like the style a character is being played in, and therefore wish to have someone approach the player of the character in an official capacity.

    Feel however you want about the IC actions, but it is massively not cool to brand the player based on those.



  • I see a whole lot of arguing against what no one is saying on this thread.

    It is fine to have a concern about a thing you observe and to check in with a person accordingly.

    It is fine to play IC creepers and many of us do so.

    Obviously, you don't start a crusade against a person based on some poses you didn't like without any other evidence.

    Is anyone actually disagreeing with any of this?


  • Pitcrew

    I want to know what public, 3+ people in the room emote was so 'creepy' in-character that it warrants OOC discussion. Like, copy-paste an example please, somebody.

    IC creeping is usually just terrible flirting, something MOST roleplayers not only suck at, but are also perfectly aware that they suck at it.

    Imagine playing a 'suave and charming' dude and you're sweating bullets trying to pull this off and you have a sinking suspicion you're failing badly because this chick won't even let you buy her a drink and drinks don't even codely cost anything because this is a MUSH-

    And then you find out out that not only was your RP kinda bad today but now you've been branded a creep because some third-party put it into your RP-partner's head that not only was the flirting bad but it was also worthy of OOC checking in so omggg this player must have a history of abusive behavior omg am I being victimized? Thank you so much for the warning, I will now tell EVERYONE!-

    Pump the brakes.

    Portraying characters outside of our comfort zones can be challenging enough without this type of overkill. Please save the flashing lights for actual emergencies; this isn't CNN, everything isn't a Breaking News Pandemic.


  • Pitcrew

    See, I have been on the receiving end of a creep. I didn't see it at first, as it escalated and it took someone else to say "Are you ok?" for me to pause and go, "No, actually this isn't comfortable." When I disengaged my character from his IC, he flipped his shit OOCly and staff had to step in to make him stop freaking out at me for saying no. So for me, being asked meant that I did finally see what was going on. The guy was staff there, and was also fired for doing some pretty dodgy stuff.

    To be honest, YMMV. @Grayson and I have rped some stuff that does look dodgy AF and certainly I've been asked if that was ok. I just said yeah, we're friends and sorted it out ooc. I chuckled and moved on.

    shrug


  • Pitcrew

    Asking if someone is ok is not branding someone a creep.


  • Pitcrew

    This post is deleted!

  • Pitcrew

    @Sunny said in How to Approach (nor not) a Suspected Creep:

    Asking if someone is ok is not branding someone a creep.

    Yeah, in a perfect world that doesn't exist on the internet.


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