[Ansteorra] why Personna play

willowdewisp at juno.com willowdewisp at juno.com
Sun Jan 27 09:26:46 PST 2008

I want everyone to know that I think persona play has many levels and playing like you live in the Kingdom Ansteorra is perfectly valid. 
Somehow  persona play got associated with things like Duke Caradoc does. Most Lions in Ansteorra play it a little different. We might float back and forth from being Ultra high, That is acting like you are really in the past in another country to just being what we are  in Ansteorra. 
The medieval construct, Ansteorra allows to explore how it would feel to live in a medieval world.  But it is a social construct and takes everyone working together to make it live. 
Many of the values that everyone cherish as part of the our combined viewpoints of the construct. We have created a community around the construct. That community has norms and values. The stronger the social reality of the community the stronger the norms and values. Therefore it is important that everyone to stay in character if we want the norms and values of our community to be taken seriously. 
Our medieval construct has several pillars. The first one comes out of out fighting. Our fighting is based on studying and recreating the fighting style and fighting values of Chivalry of the middle ages. The Code of behavior of our Martial art , not sport is the code that was presented in the literature  We are looking for the "perfect fighter" who is the "good man" not the reality of the Middle age but what "they" thought it ought to be. The whole spirit of the SCA is bound up with our fighting and without the code we would lose much of "the Dream".
The Second Pillar of our community comes from "the code of courtesy". Unlike the "Code of Chivalry" which was written down by 19th century writers the "code of courtesy" has never been codified. It is the behavior expected between the fighter and non fighter. In historical term this usually meant the fighting man and woman and clerics . In the literature there were some reference to fighting woman and they were expected in the literature to behave toward non fighters the same way as fighting men. It is out of the expectation of courtesy that we get our norms and values concerning gentle men's behavior toward ladies in the SCA. 
Many of out norms and values also stem from the Southern mind think. about the medieval world. Please remember it was Mark Twain that stated the Civil War was caused by the Southerners preoccupation with with Chivalry. 
When I was a little girl these values were very much alive in the general populace but in the last 20 years the world have move away from these ideals. Many young people don't understand were we are coming from. 
When I was young I had a strong understanding of medieval mind thinks and literature and I could start playing the SCA right from the start. I wonder if young people find what we are doing a little confusing. Could this confusion be one of the reasons for lower recruitment?

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