Requirements to play (fairly long posting)

Nan Bradford-Reid n.b-reid at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Aug 18 10:28:17 PDT 1995

>I don't see why you think it is ok to enforce the rules of heraldry, but
>not periodness. Why is this such a big leap? We are a *historical* group,
>at least in theory. As for re-submissions, most are simply not heraldry
>or (before the modest proposal) conflict.

The people who have a hard time with all of us *elitists* trying to get a
more period atmosphere better not join any *real* recreation groups.  The
American Civil War, the English Civil War, the French and Indian Wars, the
American Revolution, the Gunfighters and Wild West groups and many others
require a level of exacting authenticity or you don't play.  For instance,
in the Gunfighters (I don't know the full name of it) if you wear glasses,
you either have to wear glasses frames that were available then, wear
contacts, or go without. The material used for  uniforms in the Civil War
reenactment groups must conform to the content and denier (threads per
square inch) used "in period" and equipment must be authentic replicas.
The one advantage that most of these groups have over us is that a) the
materials are available and b) so much more is known about the materials.
For instance there are army records available that document the
requirements suppliers had to follow when making uniforms.  In many cases,
we just don't have that kind of information available for what we do.

The SCA is very tolerant when it comes to standards and overall, I don't
understand anyone griping about a level of participation.  No one is
required to participate or dress beyond a basic level in order to play
(with the exception of armor standards which are there strictly to protect
the fighters).  This whole discussion is a moot point in view of the fact
that there aren't any requirements other than the very vague one about
dressing in a Medieval fashion.

Sure, I can sit here and say I don't like hot pink double-knit (actually I
despise it) or that a purple bunny on a red field is not heraldically
correct or that I don't like pop-up beach pavilions, or whatever, but all
of those things represent my *personal* opinion on a subject and even
though I am entitled to it, that opinion, or others like it held by other
people, are just that, opinion, not *law*--kingdom, corpora, or otherwise.
If the person committing the "offense"  decides they agree with the
opinions being put forth, they will do something about it,if they don't
they won't do anything.  Whichever way they react, they are also entitled
to react that way, as an expression of their opinion.  The plain fact
remains that no one is going to force anyone to do anything (leaving
fighting out of it once again) and that playing this game is not mandatory,
and the participants may change their game, sit this one out, or leave the
arena anytime they please.

My own personal opinion -- which by the way is not up for discussion,
because I will feel the way I feel and change it only if I feel like it --
is that there are far too few requirements about the way we dress and leave
coolers about, etc. and far too little interest on the part of a lot of
participants in making events as authentic as possible.  Authenticity, a
vile word to some, is not just about doing the right way because it's the
way "it was done."  Some 400 to 1300 years after the fact, how the heck do
we really know "how it was done"?  We don't.  Authenticity enables us to
play the game better, to get deeper into our personas because we are not
distracted by modern things lying about.  As I pointed out before, one will
play at the level one desires, if an individual desires not these things,
that's fine with me.  But that selfsame individual should not accuse me of
trying to force, coerce, jam-down-the-throat, if say, "I prefer it this

If this is an *elitist* attitude, then so be it, call me an elitist and
I'll join Alden and Diarmuit.  It doesn't mean we don't like people who
don't hold that opinion or won't play with them.  It merely means we hold a
different opinon.

Catherine "call me an elitist if you must" Harwell

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