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    Buckler of Wales Drachenfire's Avatar
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    Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality

    Quote Originally Posted by wobbit View Post
    [...]
    I agree with you that the role of queens (and other women) could do with an overhaul, but putting them on the same footing as males would be a step too far. At least at the start of the game, maybe you could make it more so later (I think this is part of what you're suggesting). I'm not familiar with the history of homosexuality during this period (although I would be interested to hear more about it) but what practical considerations would you suggest a game could incorporate to represent this? Would it just be for flavour purposes or would it translate to practical bonuses/penalties for individuals and their realms?
    Wobbit, I am starting a new thread with regards to your comment as it was off topic in the prior thread.


    For a concise history of gays in the Middle Ages, I highly recommend "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality" by the late Professor John Boswell. The book is a must read for those interested in the plight of minorities, especially gays, in Medieval Europe, and how they became targets for oppression. I have included an excerpt for you to read to hopefully encourage you to read the book.

    I have answered my position on female rulers in other threads. And I am excited that Cool Toxic's project will have both male preference cognatic and absolute cognatic primogeniture.
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 26-05-2010 at 11:45.


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    Buckler of Wales Drachenfire's Avatar
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    An excerpt from Boswell's Christianity, Social Toerance, and Homosexuality:


    10 Social Change: Making Enemies


    "Most of the attitudes of fanaticism and intolerance which are today thought of as characteristically “medieval” were in fact common only to the latter Middle Ages. The early Middle Ages, with a few exceptions, had accommodated a great many beliefs and life-styles with relative ease. In many areas of Europe Catholics managed to coexist peacefully with Arians, Donatists, or Maicheans, and when trouble erupted between such groups it was often the non-Catholics who initiated it. Outside of Spain Jews and gay people not only lived quietly among the general population but often rose to positions of prominence and power. Prosecutions for heresy were unknown after the decline of Roman power until the rise of new secular states in the High Middle Ages. Nor did what civil authority existed undertake to regulate personal morality in any detailed way during the early Middle Ages. Civil laws regulating sexuality or marriage were rare, of limited application, and weakly enforced. For all its credulity, poverty, ignorance, and deprivation, the early Middle Ages was not a period of consistent oppression for most minorities.

    Almost all historians are agreed that the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries were periods of “openness” and tolerance in European society, times when experimentation was encouraged, new ideas eagerly sought, expansion favored in both the practical and intellectual realms of life. And most historians consider that the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were ages of less tolerance, adventurousness, acceptance- epochs in which European societies seem to have been bent on restraining, contracting, protecting, limiting, and excluding. Few scholars, however, are in exact agreement about why this change too place.

    Even in the specific case of intolerance of gay people it is mysterious. It does not seem, for instance, to have had any relation to the “urban/rural” dichotomy mentioned earlier in this study. Although demographic analysis of medieval populations is, as noted, notoriously difficult, and there may have been factors such as an increase in the number or rural immigrants to cities which affected later medieval sexual tolerance, on balance it seems very unlikely that the population of Europe was any less “urban” in the thirteenth or fourteenth century then it had been in the twelfth. If any change occurred, it was probably in the direction of further urbanization; it may in fact have been increasing urban predominance which generated or aggravated some of the severe social tensions of the latter Middle Ages.

    On the other hand, another factor discussed previously almost certainly played a large role in the narrowing of social tolerance during the period: the rise of absolute government. Perhaps the single most prominent aspect of the period from the later twelfth to fourteenth century was the sedulous quest for intellectual and institutional uniformity and corporatism through-out Europe. This trend not only resulted in the strengthening and consolidation of civil and ecclesiastical power and administrative machinery but left its mark on less concrete monuments of European culture as well. Theology was fitted into systematic formulas and collected in comprehensive compendia- summas- of such formulas. The Inquisition arose to eliminate theological lose ends and divergences of opinions. Secular knowledge was gathered into uniform approaches, encyclopedias, which attempted to unit all of contemporary learning in one book or system. Secular and ecclesiastical concerns were melded in the interests of uniformity, as in the collections of canon law which joined Roman civil law with Christian religious principles in an effort to standardize clerical supervision of ethical, moral, and legal problems.

    Probably nothing so exemplifies the later medieval fascination with order and uniformity as the astronomical increase in the amount of legislation of all sorts enacted from the thirteenth century on. The total of royal edicts and enactments for all the ruling houses of Europe during the twelfth century would probably come to not more then 100 volumes. By the fourteenth century the output from a single monarch in a small kingdom might run to 3,000-4,000 registers of documents. The discovery of the political works of the ancients- particularly the compilation of Roman law effected by Justinian- occasioned a great increase in theoretical as well as practical interests in law making. Probably at no time since the reforms of Diocletian had there been so dramatic a change in the legal structure of Europe as in the latter half of the Thirteenth century, when new law codes were drafted or old ones revised for almost every area of the European mainland.

    Much of this codification and consolidation of power entailed the loss of freedom for distinctive or disadvantaged social groups. Although it is extremely difficult to generalize about such things, it seems that women steadily lost power after the twelfth century, as admission to organizational hierarchy of both church and state became more and more fixed and inflexible and required qualifications- such as ordination or a university education- which were difficult or impossible for women to attain. Some groups became real minorities for the first time. The poor, who rarely appeared in documents before the thirteenth century except as abstract objects of ethical concern, increasingly troubled the authorities of the later Middle Ages and were very frequently cited- rightly or wrongly- as the cause of social unrest of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. They became the objects of massive legislation and considerable antipathy on the part of the establishments of various countries.

    […]


    The earliest and most drastic legislation against gay people enacted by any government in the High Middle Ages was passed in the nascent kingdom of Jerusalem by Europeans attempting to create a Western feudal society in the Muslim Middle East. These laws, drafted only decades after the first crusade, specified death by burning for “sodomites,” and it is quite clear that the word in this case referred to homosexual males.

    Although this legislation was not imitated in the West for more then a century, the feelings which produced it were only slightly less powerful there. Crusaders who remained in the Holy Land were accused by Western propagandists of adopting the “effeminate” ways of the Muslims, and those who returned were rumored to have brought back with them the filthy custom of the pagans.

    […]


    Gay people were also sometimes associated- to their manifest disadvantage- with the most despised of all minorities of the later Middle Ages, heretics. The push for conformity was nowhere more pronounced then in matters of faith, and the great theological discussions of the twelfth century by the mid-thirteenth in the establishment of ridged and exacting standards of faith to which all Christians must adhere or face the powers of the Inquisition, recently given to the order of Dominicans (whose severity in enforcing orthodoxy earned them the sobriquet “domini canes,” “the hounds of the Lord”) Although the excesses of the Inquisition are often exaggerated, especially in regard to physical abuses and capital punishment, there is no doubt that its indefatigable prosecution of intellectual non-conformity profoundly altered the intellectual climate of Western Europe and created an ambience of fear even among the perfectly orthodox. Under this cloud of suspicion generated by inquisitorial concerns, the orthodoxy of no less a figure then Saint Thomas Aquinas, later considered the ultimate standard of Dominican orthodoxy, had come under question.

    Numerous heretics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and some whole movements, like the Albigensians, were accused of practicing “sodomy”, often (though not always) in the specific sense of homosexual intercourse. Civil and ecclesiastical records of trials dealing with heresy mention “sodomy” and crimes “against nature” with some regularity. It became commonplace of official terminology to mention “traitors, heretics, and sodomites” as if they constituted a single association of some sort. “Bougre,” a common French word for heretic, even came to refer to a person who practiced “sodomy” or, more particularly, “a homosexual male”.

    […]


    On balance, the most reasonable inference would seem to be that, while heretical movements might attract nonconformists of all sorts and might have some reason to deal with homosexuality more flexibly then the Catholic church, most of the charges of sexual deviation leveled against heretics were formulaic, either the consequence of fear and prejudice or conscious fabrication for propaganda purposes. Many heretical movements of the time were noted for extreme asceticism, even among their critics, and the indulgence of those abandoning the organized church. It does not seem likely that persons willing to suffer gruesome deaths for the sake of restoring Christianity to its early purity would have preached sexual license of any sort, homosexual or heterosexual, and there is no reliable evidence that most heretics’ sexual mores differed from those of their Catholic contemporaries except in the direction of greater restraint. There is, on the other hand, considerable reason to suspect ecclesiastical officials of wishing to portray heretics in the most damaging light possible, and sexual peculiarities were slightly useful for this purpose in the changing climate of opinion of the thirteenth century."
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 26-05-2010 at 10:09.


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    Buckler of Wales Drachenfire's Avatar
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    “But what practical considerations would you suggest a game could incorporate to represent this? Would it just be for flavour purposes or would it translate to practical bonuses/penalties for individuals and their realms?”


    I believe that, if done striking the right tone and with sensitivity, adding a gay trait and story lines would enrich the storytelling aspect of Crusader Kings. However, recognizing that not everyone would welcome a gay themed storyline, I believe that the scripted events should allow the player an “out”, if you will. The gay trait would open the character to events which would add or subtract from his suite of bonuses and penalties as a ruler.

    I imagine this:

    An event fires whereby the character is presented with options. Option a would be to reaffirm the character’s gay identity- outing the character, which might lead to traits ranging from selfish to valorous (depending on the storyline). Option B would lead the character to hide his identity-keeping it in the closet or on the down low, as it were, which might lead to traits ranging from amature pettifogger to grey eminence (again, depending on the storyline). An option C (the out option) might reject his sexuality and lead to the character gaining a stress trait, which of course may lead to illness traits and mental traits. The AI could be set to pick option C more often then not. Additionally, every option would reduce the fertility of the character to a 1, 2, or 3.

    There may be a variety of storytelling options available which could be both fun and educational.


    Additionally, perhaps events might be scripted which would allow a ruler to offer greater tolerance to gays (and other minorities) within his lands which may strengthen peasant and bourgeois powers within a province. Characters with gay traits would more likely be friends with other gays as well.


    All of this can be affected now; it just lacks a coder willing to script the events. I wish I could script events but I fail miserably every time I attempt it.
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 26-05-2010 at 10:48.


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    Wow! This is a much more extensive reply than I was expecting! Thanks very much. I'll have to take a look at Boswell if I get the chance. This is all very interesting stuff, a lot of my work involves social change albeit on the rich-poor and secular-ecclesiastical scales rather than the gay-straight one.

    I like the ideas you put forward for gay traits and stories within the game although I also agree that they could be controversial (in a game that depicts religious warfare this shouldn't be much of a problem, but I fear that it would be). I'd like to see gay and straight portrayed as not necessarily being absolute, but that would just raise another level of complexity to the events you describe.

    I suppose a secondary controversy could be the frequency of the gay events and the effects that being gay had. Would coming out drop your piety (and maybe intrigue, diplomacy, martial or even stewardship)? I suppose it would have to be tempered by your county/duchy/kingdom's attitude towards homosexuality, and by that of your lord and the church. Thinking about it, this should probably apply to the heresy and excomunicate lines of events.

    Anyway, you've certainly given me a lot to think about! Thanks very much, it's greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
    I've been invited to join the dev team of the project you mentioned, so I've been thinking about some of the same issues. I agree, with some ambivalence. The fact that a significant fraction of the human race is attracted to members of the same sex is an important facet of the human condition. We should treat them with respect, and not turn the topic into an elephant in the room.

    At the same time, I can see a strong argument for filtering most of what the player sees through the perspective of the main character. Lesbians seem to have been especially invisible, and women had very little autonomy, so in a game that showed everything in-character, all you might see is a daughter who would be miserable if you ever forced her to wed. In that game, your informants might call the virgin queen of England a "virago" and warn that your son has a reputation as "effeminate," and the players would understand that to portray the attitudes of the past is not to endorse them. Or possibly that kind of portrayal is too painful to be in good taste. I don't get to decide that by myself.

    To the best of my knowledge, and I am by no means an expert, people back then didn't think about homosexuality in anything like the terms we do today, so a story about a prince coming out to his father just wouldn't have happened. "Coming out" as a "gay" person wasn't one of their options because they had no such concepts as we understand them. Most of the stories you could realistically tell about the son who lived back in those times are at least partly tragic. Maybe, to him, "coming out" meant confessing what he saw as his sin to a priest, who later broke his vow of secrecy in return for a bribe. Maybe he dutifully married and continued his dynasty and stayed faithful to his wife, because that is what he thought a good man must do. Maybe he found the love of his life and lived to a ripe old age, but he and only he could never tell anyone. Maybe, not knowing what else to do, he took advantage of his title to exploit young men he knew wouldn't dare say no or expose him, and maybe they also exploited him. Each of those things has happened, to some human being.

    Inheritance laws are a topic I've been thinking about for even longer in the context of the game. My ideas on that are technical and off-topic for this thread, though, so I'm going to discuss them in an older one.

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    Buckler of Wales Drachenfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobbit View Post
    Wow! This is a much more extensive reply than I was expecting! Thanks very much. I'll have to take a look at Boswell if I get the chance. This is all very interesting stuff, a lot of my work involves social change albeit on the rich-poor and secular-ecclesiastical scales rather than the gay-straight one.

    Boswell is a starting point, but there are other perspectives. Criticism of Boswell is that he is a "Catholic apologist" and glosses over Catholic hostility towards gays and minimizes heretical tolerance of gays in general. Nevertheless, his work is groundbreaking and offers an important fresh review of minorities and gays in the period he covers.

    I like the ideas you put forward for gay traits and stories within the game although I also agree that they could be controversial (in a game that depicts religious warfare this shouldn't be much of a problem, but I fear that it would be). I'd like to see gay and straight portrayed as not necessarily being absolute, but that would just raise another level of complexity to the events you describe.

    The out for players who do not wish to delve into a gay storyline would be option C (which prehaps may be moved to an option a), in which the player choses for the character to supress his desires and gains a stress trait (and a gay trait). I'm curious as to what you mean as gay and straight as not absolute. Do you mean to suggest a character should go gay then go straight, or visa versa, in the corse of his life?

    I suppose a secondary controversy could be the frequency of the gay events and the effects that being gay had. Would coming out drop your piety (and maybe intrigue, diplomacy, martial or even stewardship)?

    I personally do not think that just having a gay trait itself should impose any penalties to prestige, piety, or gold. Rather, I think it should act as a trigger which leads to other traits gained through storytelling by choices the player makes for the character.

    For example, if the player wishes to choose the option which suppresses his desires, then the character will receive the stress trait which exposes him to gaining physical illnesses, depression, crazed, and even possibly leading towards schizophrenia. Additionally, choosing this option may expose the character to gaining one or more of the traits weak-willed, shy, hostile, and reckless.

    Likewise, if the player chooses to "keep it on the down low", then the character may gain intrigue experience, clearly because he has to lead a double life. The character may gain traits such as deceitful and suspicious, amateur pettyfogger to even grey eminence.

    However, another option should be available to the player as well, and that should be for the character to fully accept his homosexuality and live more or less openly (if not overtly), approximating the sense of living “out”. If the player chooses this option, the character might gain any range of traits ranging from honest, just, trusting, wise, skeptical, or even selfish, indulgent, proud, stubborn, romantic.

    These range of traits already have built in effects, and I do not feel it necessary to unduly compound them.


    As for frequency, well for me there is the kensley study which places the number of gay men in any given society at a very conservative 1:10, or one man in every ten as exclusively homosexual. Prehaps some matrix could determine how many males are alive at any one time, and make approximatly 10% of them gay with the subsequent gay trait. I would imagine that the initial gay trait could fire from 16 to 60 plus.


    I suppose it would have to be tempered by your county/duchy/kingdom's attitude towards homosexuality, and by that of your lord and the church.

    Just because one is gay does not necessarily translate into not being a good Christian (or Muslim, or Jew, or Pagan), which is what (in my opinion) the piety should measure- especially for CK II and/or Cool Toxic's project where it should be possible to play all religions and sects. For me, piety should measure how your character adhears to his chosen faith, rather then strickly to Rome. Though I recognize others view piety as being pious to the Catholic religion rather then something more universal.

    Ideally, I would suggest that the default reaction for the AI towards gay characters would be the historically hostile one. However, I think the player should have the option to be tolerant to minorities within his realm, including towards gays. Prehaps the gay characters may be more likely to become heretic or convert to another sect of Christianity (or whatever religion), especially if these other sects will be playable and distint from heretic.

    Prehaps the ruler would encounter some resistance by some to his tolerance of minorities, which may lead to some revolts in provinces or rebellious vassals. However, if the AI were dynamic enough, prehaps over time and a series of rulers, then the tolerance of minorities and gays would become more widespread within his realm and vassals, and resistance much less likely. Though I am at a loss as to how this may be done.



    Thinking about it, this should probably apply to the heresy and excomunicate lines of events.

    Anyway, you've certainly given me a lot to think about! Thanks very much, it's greatly appreciated.
    No problem,

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorehead View Post
    [...]
    Gimme a moment to review,
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 27-05-2010 at 12:03.


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    Buckler of Wales Drachenfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorehead View Post
    I've been invited to join the dev team of the project you mentioned, so I've been thinking about some of the same issues. I agree, with some ambivalence. The fact that a significant fraction of the human race is attracted to members of the same sex is an important facet of the human condition. We should treat them with respect, and not turn the topic into an elephant in the room.

    At the same time, I can see a strong argument for filtering most of what the player sees through the perspective of the main character. Lesbians seem to have been especially invisible, and women had very little autonomy, so in a game that showed everything in-character, all you might see is a daughter who would be miserable if you ever forced her to wed. In that game, your informants might call the virgin queen of England a "virago" and warn that your son has a reputation as "effeminate," and the players would understand that to portray the attitudes of the past is not to endorse them. Or possibly that kind of portrayal is too painful to be in good taste. I don't get to decide that by myself.

    To the best of my knowledge, and I am by no means an expert, people back then didn't think about homosexuality in anything like the terms we do today, so a story about a prince coming out to his father just wouldn't have happened. "Coming out" as a "gay" person wasn't one of their options because they had no such concepts as we understand them. Most of the stories you could realistically tell about the son who lived back in those times are at least partly tragic. Maybe, to him, "coming out" meant confessing what he saw as his sin to a priest, who later broke his vow of secrecy in return for a bribe. Maybe he dutifully married and continued his dynasty and stayed faithful to his wife, because that is what he thought a good man must do. Maybe he found the love of his life and lived to a ripe old age, but he and only he could never tell anyone. Maybe, not knowing what else to do, he took advantage of his title to exploit young men he knew wouldn't dare say no or expose him, and maybe they also exploited him. Each of those things has happened, to some human being.

    Inheritance laws are a topic I've been thinking about for even longer in the context of the game. My ideas on that are technical and off-topic for this thread, though, so I'm going to discuss them in an older one.

    I welcome you to CoolT’s Dev team. It is an exciting project!

    I am sorry to hear of your ambivalence towards the gay experience in the Middle Ages. For me, it kind of hits home and is as real to me as is the Catholic experience for others playing the game. I don’t like how Total War has treated the gay experience there, and CK completely ignores it. I want it done right, or not at all.

    While you are correct there was no single “Gay Culture” of the time, there certainly were homosexuals who identified with each other and shared a common experience. Because of the increasing reactionary nature of the Catholic Church in the mid and late 12th Century, many medieval gays sympathized with heretical movements. And scholars agree that there is distinct gay influence in Troubadour literature, poetry, and song.

    I take your point about modern phrases such as “coming out” and “in the closet”, and “gay” (though Boswell links the modern word gay to a Catalan word gai, meaning approximately the same thing, with obscure origins possibly in the Middle Ages. He suggests modern gay may have had an origin in Catalan. Catalonia was highly influenced by Cathar Christianity, a sect considered heretical by Rome. The Cathars in Aquitania apparently tolerated homosexuality to a greater degree then elsewhere in Western Europe.)

    However, other anachronistically modern phrases are used in various storytelling events in CK. Many of the traits have distinctly modern associations. I believe the tongue-in-cheek delivery and anachronistic use of phrases makes many of the stories more accessible to a modern, albiet less technical, audience. Accessability by a modern audience is this reasoning why modern spellings for culture names are used as the default rather then the more correct medieval spellings. I think it is reasonable to use some anachronistic phrases where appropriate. But like you, I would rather avoid them with use of crafty and witty language.

    It is true that most stories of gay persons in the Middle Ages were tragic, but -as Boswell notes- it was more tragic from the 13th century onwards and less so in the Early Middle Ages into the mid-12th Century. If possible, this is the treatment that the AI should offer as a default- less tragic then increasingly so. But as I intimated before, I think the player should have the option to buck the system, as it were, and play in a tolerant fashion.

    What I think is important for the treatment of the gay experience in CK is to avoid gross stereotypes from becoming standard storytelling (even if such stereotypes were propagandized by the mainstream religious authority). On the whole, gays did not corrupt “youths”, or were transvestites, or even effeminate. Straight men are vastly more likely to abuse young girls then are gay men to abuse male youths. Straight men are vastly more likely to be transvestites- those dressing in women’s clothing. And there is little correlation between effeminacy and homosexuality, with the characteristic “gay lisp” only occurring in under half of all open gays.
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 27-05-2010 at 12:53.


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    This no longer seems to deal with CK the game.

    Moved to the history forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldmaarschalk View Post
    This no longer seems to deal with CK the game.

    Moved to the history forum
    Veld, how does it now qualify for the History Forum? We were referencing the subject in relation to implementation in CK, either in CoolT's project, as a current mode that can be created right now, or in a future CK II.

    If anything, it should have been moved to CK Modes as a discussion thread.


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    Additionally, perhaps events might be scripted which would allow a ruler to offer greater tolerance to gays (and other minorities) within his lands which may strengthen peasant and bourgeois powers within a province.
    Eh? If anything I'd argue it should strengthen noble and burgher power. Not to say that homosexuality didn't exist among the poor (it almost certainly did!) but acceptance (if only implicit) of it seems to have been somewhat restricted to urban and aristocratic mileu's. (The renaissance I know saw something of a gay subculture developing at least in part deliberately modelled on ancient Athens, f.ex. Genua and Venice in particular, but this may lie outside of CK's scope per se)

    I'd rather handle it rather differently, "coming out", seems a relatively modern phenomenon. Although I think the idea works fine it would probably work better with less... Modern wording.

    A good starting point would probably be to have characters with the gay trait get options of how to approach their attraction to the same sex, either suppress it (getting chances for stressed, zealous... Possibly further repressing might lead to celibacy...) try to hide it (giving as mentioned, deceitful and intrigue-oriented stuff) or indulge it (more or less) openly. (which would give relevant traits as well, depending on chance and such)

    The second stage would probably be about falling in love, etc. (since the "Friend" tag is already used to represent infatuation it's probably OK to use it that way for two gay characters as well) etc. etc. (some of these things mihgt make a character re-evaluate his status, eg. someone who represses his desires might get an option to act on it more openly if he or she falls in love... Or suffer even greater mental stress if not!)

    I'm not quite clear on the scripting system, but it could probably then be scripted for chances of discovery (and possible denunciation) and reactions from other characters, with varying degrees of consequences. (loss of prestige or piety, courtiers getting angry at you, etc. etc.)
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
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    Bad mojo Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
    Veld, how does it now qualify for the History Forum? We were referencing the subject in relation to implementation in CK, either in CoolT's project, as a current mode that can be created right now, or in a future CK II.

    If anything, it should have been moved to CK Modes as a discussion thread.
    Read the rules, on how to respond to a moderator post

    You are discussing Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality in the Middle Ages and Crusader Kings is a game set in the Middle Ages.

    That doesn't mean that everything about the Middle Ages can be discussed on the CK forum. The CK forum is about issues with the Crusader Kings the game.

  12. #12
    "I'm curious as to what you mean as gay and straight as not absolute. Do you mean to suggest a character should go gay then go straight, or visa versa, in the corse of his life?"

    I meant that restricting someone to being "straight" or "gay" may be too simplistic a system. An otherwise "straight" character may have a few "gay" experiences (not neccessarily sexual in nature) over the course of his lifetime. Maybe he has a particularly close friendship with a fellow noble, or finds himself attracted to a young man dispite revelling in the company of whores. Bisexuality would also be worth considering and asexuality could possibly use a rethink (I think at present in CK it's based solely on the celebacy trait). This isn't to say that you wouldn't encounter characters at the "straight" or "gay" extremes, just that there will be something in between as well.

    How to represent this in the game? A crude system could involve two meters (scaled 0 to 100 for simplicities sake), one representing "attraction to men", the other "attraction to women". Events throughout the characters life would alter the values of these meters (both set to zero at character birth). Typically, by the time the character was 16/18, these events would lead to a score of about 50 in the heterosexual meter and about 10 in the homosexual meter, but any combination would be possible. Events throughout the rest of the character's life would generally erode these values, but some exceptions would exist. The values in the meters would have an impact on certain events. High values in hetero would lead to increased chances of getting the lustful trait, the bastard is born events and would give a boost to fertility. Low values would mean reduced fertility and less likelihood of bastards being produced. The values in the homosexual meter would effect the odds of getting "gay" events which could be anything from scandals at being outed to developing a relationship with another same sex character with high homosexuality meter to, if the meter is low, becoming a rampant homophobe and disowning a "gay" son.

    This is a very crude system and ignores many aspects of sexuality. It also doesn't mesh particularly well with the existing CK system. A simpler method could just involve introducing two other traits along with "gay" and "straight": "asexual" and "bisexual". Other varieties of "Lustful" would also be useful.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobbit View Post
    ... Bisexuality would also be worth considering and asexuality could possibly use a rethink (I think at present in CK it's based solely on the celebacy trait). This isn't to say that you wouldn't encounter characters at the "straight" or "gay" extremes, just that there will be something in between as well.
    Asexuality is better represented by low or 0 fertility IMO, since celibacy could also be just a religious choice (like it was supposed to be), or be "caused" by separation or impotence.

    In general your suggestions are way too in-depth for the game. They fit the modern era much better, but not the medieval times.

    A 'gay' trait and associated events (new "friends", maybe some confontrations with the church with MTTHs depending on what religious techs have been researched, events for the gay man's wife, father, brothers, etc.) would be the best way to portray it in-game IMO. Doesn't one of the mods for CK already have a gay trait?

  14. #14
    There is quite an overlap between asexuality and celibacy, but I think you could probably make the distinction that asexuals (is that a word?) didn't feel the need to have sex while celibates may still have felt that need (hence the number of bishops and other clergymen with "nephews"). At a pinch though, celibacy does cover the two.

    I agree that my suggestions are too in depth for the game, I was just presenting a system for representing sexuality in a bit more depth than a "gay" trait. As to whether the more complex system would fit the modern world more than the medieval one, I think that the less well defined concepts of homosexuality that seem to have been present in the middle ages would lend themselves to the variables I suggested more than the often more defined ideas of the last century or so. Of course, I'm not the best informed on this so feel free to correct me.

    Just adding a gay trait is certainly a step forward in this regard, you're right, there is such a trait in at least one of the mods (DVIP I think). But, given how central the dynasty is to CK then greater focus on sexuality traits which may effect the production of an heir could be worthwhile. Impacts on relationships would also be worth looking at.

  15. #15
    Sorry to respond so late. I lost a long post on scripting to a forum outage and haven't yet had the heart to rewrite it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
    I welcome you to CoolT’s Dev team. It is an exciting project!
    Thank you.

    I am sorry to hear of your ambivalence towards the gay experience in the Middle Ages. For me, it kind of hits home and is as real to me as is the Catholic experience for others playing the game. [...] I want it done right, or not at all.
    That makes perfect sense. I'd like to clarify that my ambivalence was between two different ways of portraying gays and lesbians in the game, and not to their historical experience!

    What I was specifically thinking about was the way CK presents schizophrenia. The tooltip says something close to, "Back then, people thought that it was something they could catch," which directly addresses the player as someone in the 21st century. I found it jarring.

    I take your point about modern phrases such as “coming out” and “in the closet”, and “gay” (though Boswell links the modern word gay to a Catalan word gai, meaning approximately the same thing, with obscure origins possibly in the Middle Ages. He suggests modern gay may have had an origin in Catalan. Catalonia was highly influenced by Cathar Christianity, a sect considered heretical by Rome. The Cathars in Aquitania apparently tolerated homosexuality to a greater degree then elsewhere in Western Europe.)
    If you're not interested in the history of the word gay, please skip the next two paragraphs.

    Thank you for that piece of information; I'd never heard that theory. I'm not sure how the chronology would work, though. The English gay is attested from the late 12th century, which was also the height of Catharism in Catalonia, but it developed its current meaning only in the 20th century. Take Chaucer's famous description from the late 14th century: "He was a verray parfit gentil knyght. But for to tellen yow of his array, / His hors weren goode, but he was nat gay," meaning "fancily dressed." Was this before or after the Catalan connection? Is Boswell's hypothesis that English borrowed Catalan gai, possibly meaning "homosexual," back in the 12th century, but with the meaning "happy," which later expanded to "showy," and after eight centuries back to the original meaning by coincidence? Or is it that the modern Catalan word influenced some or all of the shifts in the usage of the English word gay since the 19th century? I should probably read Boswell.

    In any case, if gai did mean "homosexual" in Medieval Catalan, a claim which I acknowledge you hedge with "possibly," then gay is not the anachronism that I had thought. Thank you for telling me.

    However, other anachronistically modern phrases are used in various storytelling events in CK. Many of the traits have distinctly modern associations. I believe the tongue-in-cheek delivery and anachronistic use of phrases makes many of the stories more accessible to a modern, albiet less technical, audience. Accessability by a modern audience is this reasoning why modern spellings for culture names are used as the default rather then the more correct medieval spellings.
    Oh, every single sentence in CK is in modern rather than Middle English. That's going to be even more true for a game set before the Norman Conquest! If we're playing a Danish King of England, should the user interface be in archaic Danish? If Wales and Denmark are battling it out for control of Great Britain, should the vocabulary of the message boxes change to become more like Welsh or more like Danish, like the photographs in Back to the Future? That would be funny, but the answer is no.

    My argument was that the concepts underlying a story about a man "coming out as gay" in the Middle Ages are anachronistic, not that we should look up authentic Medieval vocabulary to use. I don't see how it could have happened in that society, but I would love to be proved wrong. Are there any good examples?

    It is true that most stories of gay persons in the Middle Ages were tragic, but -as Boswell notes- it was more tragic from the 13th century onwards and less so in the Early Middle Ages into the mid-12th Century. If possible, this is the treatment that the AI should offer as a default- less tragic then increasingly so. But as I intimated before, I think the player should have the option to buck the system, as it were, and play in a tolerant fashion.
    These are good points, and part of the reason for my ambivalence about how to represent the historical experience of gays and lesbians. One question it raises is, how much leeway does the player have? Based on the Viking thing and the northern Italian republics, can a kingdom become a republican democracy? Based on the settlement of Vinland, can one colonize the Americas? Based on Khazaria, can one convert to Judaism? Based on supporters of heresy (Raymond VI of Tolouse being one who jumped out at me as I was reading up on the Catharists), does a king have the option to break from Rome and declare himself head of a new national church? Can the player introduce modern economic ideas that Christians at the time considered blasphemous if they conceived of them at all, such as a deficit financed by interest-paying bonds? I don't mean these as rhetorical questions. If nothing can happen differently than it did, we have an interactive documentary, not a game.

    What I think is important for the treatment of the gay experience in CK is to avoid gross stereotypes from becoming standard storytelling (even if such stereotypes were propagandized by the mainstream religious authority). [...]
    I agree completely. This is why I wrote, "[T]o portray the attitudes of the past is not to endorse them. Or possibly that kind of portrayal is too painful to be in good taste."

  16. #16
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    There is quite an overlap between asexuality and celibacy, but I think you could probably make the distinction that asexuals (is that a word?) didn't feel the need to have sex while celibates may still have felt that need (hence the number of bishops and other clergymen with "nephews"). At a pinch though, celibacy does cover the two.
    I think the celibate trait is supposed to be for people who are not just SUPPOSED to be celibate but who actually *mean* it.

    Not all CK priests are celibate after all
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  17. #17
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    CK trait would be Celibate but conviction, Priests who are celibate wouldnt get it because its just part of their job, not a bonus to piety because it is not a dedication to it, merely an aspect of them being priests
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  18. #18
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    My apologies for not responding sooner, it was my intent to have commented a week ago! Events have conspired to distract my attention! At any rate, I find myself having to back track somewhat on the origin of ‘gay’, as I have revisited the exact text. The first point was I misidentified gai as Catalan, when Boswell wrote Provencal, the language of South West Aquitainia, and the epicenter of Cathar Christianity. The region heavily influenced the Aquitaine, which if you remember was the maternal legacy of the Plantagenet dynasty, having inherited Aquitainia from the indomitable Queen Eleanor, Duchess by Right of the Aquitaine and Patroness to the Troubadors and Cult of Courtly Love.

    In Boswell’s choice of the word gay rather then homosexual in what, at first, might seem as an anachronistic sense, he writes (pages 43 and 44), “gay’ (in the sense under discussion) probably antedates ‘homosexual’ by several centuries and has generally been employed with far greater precision: most speakers use ‘gay’ to describe persons who are conscious of erotic preference for their own gender. This obviates the most urgent defect of ‘homosexual’ (i.e., who is and who is not) by making the category one which is principally self-assigned.” Boswell continues “In this study, therefore, ‘homosexual’- used only as an adjective- occurs either in its original sense of ‘all of one sex’ (as in “a homosexual marriage”) or elliptically to mean “of predominantly homosexual erotic interest” (“a homosexual person”). “Homosexuality” refers to the general phenomenon of same-sex eroticism and is therefore the broadest of the categories employed; it comprises all sexual phenomena between persons of the same gender, whether the result of conscious preference, subliminal desire, or circumstantial exigency. “Gay”, in contrast, refers to persons conscious of erotic inclination toward their own gender as a distinguishing characteristic or, loosely, to things associated with such people, as “gay poetry”. “Gay sexuality” refers only to eroticism associated with a conscious preference. This book is primarily concerned with gay people and their sexuality, but it must necessarily deal at length with other forms of homosexuality, because it is often impossible to make clear distinctions in such matters and because many societies have failed to recognize any distinctions at all”


    As to the origin of the word “gay”, Boswell writes in note 6 (page 43) “No scholarly work has been done on the origins of “gay” in the sense under discussion, and an embarrassment of riches complicates its history. The Provencal word ‘gai’ was used in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in reference to courtly love and its literature and persists in Catalan -Provencal’s closest living relative- as a designation for the “art of posey” (“gai saber”), for a “lover” (“gaiol”), and for an openly homosexual person. It is by no means clear that the last-named use is not borrowed from English, but such contamination would not constitute proof that “gai” had not meant “homosexual” at some earlier point. The cult of courtly love was most popular in the south of France, an area noted for gay sexuality, and some troubadour poetry was explicitly homosexual. Moreover, both troubadour poetry and courtly love were closely associated with southern French heretical movements, especially the Albigensians [Cathar Christians], who were internationally suspected of favoring homosexuality. Possibly “gai” also acquired homosexual connotations outside areas familiar with the full range of troubadour eroticism. Bruce Rodgers, “The Queen’s Vernacular (San Francisco, 1972) s.v. “gay” or its cognates, opines that the derivation is from “16th-century French gai=homosexual man” but offers no substantiation, and I have discovered none.”
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 15-06-2010 at 08:53.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobbit View Post
    "I'm curious as to what you mean as gay and straight as not absolute. Do you mean to suggest a character should go gay then go straight, or visa versa, in the corse of his life?"

    I meant that restricting someone to being "straight" or "gay" may be too simplistic a system. An otherwise "straight" character may have a few "gay" experiences (not neccessarily sexual in nature) over the course of his lifetime. Maybe he has a particularly close friendship with a fellow noble, or finds himself attracted to a young man dispite revelling in the company of whores. Bisexuality would also be worth considering and asexuality could possibly use a rethink (I think at present in CK it's based solely on the celebacy trait). This isn't to say that you wouldn't encounter characters at the "straight" or "gay" extremes, just that there will be something in between as well.

    How to represent this in the game? A crude system could involve two meters (scaled 0 to 100 for simplicities sake), one representing "attraction to men", the other "attraction to women". Events throughout the characters life would alter the values of these meters (both set to zero at character birth). Typically, by the time the character was 16/18, these events would lead to a score of about 50 in the heterosexual meter and about 10 in the homosexual meter, but any combination would be possible. Events throughout the rest of the character's life would generally erode these values, but some exceptions would exist. The values in the meters would have an impact on certain events. High values in hetero would lead to increased chances of getting the lustful trait, the bastard is born events and would give a boost to fertility. Low values would mean reduced fertility and less likelihood of bastards being produced. The values in the homosexual meter would effect the odds of getting "gay" events which could be anything from scandals at being outed to developing a relationship with another same sex character with high homosexuality meter to, if the meter is low, becoming a rampant homophobe and disowning a "gay" son.

    This is a very crude system and ignores many aspects of sexuality. It also doesn't mesh particularly well with the existing CK system. A simpler method could just involve introducing two other traits along with "gay" and "straight": "asexual" and "bisexual". Other varieties of "Lustful" would also be useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snaake View Post
    Asexuality is better represented by low or 0 fertility IMO, since celibacy could also be just a religious choice (like it was supposed to be), or be "caused" by separation or impotence.

    In general your suggestions are way too in-depth for the game. They fit the modern era much better, but not the medieval times.

    A 'gay' trait and associated events (new "friends", maybe some confontrations with the church with MTTHs depending on what religious techs have been researched, events for the gay man's wife, father, brothers, etc.) would be the best way to portray it in-game IMO. Doesn't one of the mods for CK already have a gay trait?

    This is as I understood. Human sexuality is complex, and modern science tends to favor a genetic predisposition for a particular expression of sexuality that may later be influenced by social conditioning, a conditioning which may or may not be successful through-out a persons life resulting in sexual experimentation from young adulthood well into later life.

    As you noted Wobbit, our use of trait tags is very limited, and considering that only three are undefined their use has to be especially judicious. This necessitates simplicity to some degree, but a simplicity that can be enriched by proper storytelling. I, for one, do not believe that the underlying genetic impulses of sexuality are any different two thousand years ago, a thousand years ago, or today, but the manifestation of that sexuality has shifted in time, like a pendulum.

    In CK, where it is possible to achieve seemingly anachronistic results, there is no reason why a story arch could not be developed that would allow a player to chose a varity of options, from one absolutely historical, to one anachronistic which may lead to a greater acceptance of minorities in the player’s predominate culture. What if the Cathar Christian’s were able to resist the Catholic Church’s declared Crusade against them? Perhaps that sect and the Occitan culture of Aquitainia may have evolved to a high degree of toleration towards minorities in general and homosexuals in particular.

    Ultimately, this is what I would like to achieve in a story line. One that would allow a player to choose the historical hostile example, or a story line that would allow the player to alter history somewhat. I believe we have the tools available already, but a lack of coders who would volunteer their time to help create these story arches for us as a download available in CK.

    Taking into account the limitations of CK, I think it is generally to be assumed that one is strait if they do not acquire a “gay” trait. And that a character may acquire a gay trait between the ages of 16 and …. what … 30? That the rate at which a character gains the gay trait would be proportional to the Kinsley 1:10 ratio, now largely considered conservative. Dr. Kinsey’s report suggested that one in ten were exclusively homosexual, and that one in ten were exclusively heterosexual, but that the vast majority of sexuality fell somewhere in between with social conditioning affecting the public display of sexuality. With this in mind, if it is possible, I would suggest a matrix that would make 10% of the “living” population of the game as having the gay trait at any one time. Already there is a matrix in game that governs the male to female ratio.
    Last edited by Drachenfire; 15-06-2010 at 08:58.


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  20. #20
    Thank you for looking that reference up, Drachenfire. It's unfortunate that we don't know whether gay or gai came to mean "male and homosexual" first, but there doesn't seem to be any solid evidence for the latter at this point. Maybe, if enough people are curious, an earlier attestation will turn up.

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