Taboo is officially defined as "prohibited or restricted by social custom" or "place under prohibition". Topics related to taboo typically progress as quickly as human society does with the focus changing to reflect political, social, and even religious norms at the time. Writing has always been one of the mediums that tackled "taboos" even in the past where it was used to question authority or dabble into previously untreaded waters including LBGTQA+ relationships, sexism, racism, and so on. Exploring the taboo has become norm nowadays, however, and many more authors have become willing to dip their toes into the water. This, of course, includes Roleplayers.
With that said, what are topics that you still consider to be taboo and where do you personally draw your line with that content? What would you consider as "tasteless" versus actually exploring a tricky topic (ex: racism, abuse, terrorism, certain historical events, etc)? Do you think that Roleplaying is an acceptable medium to explore these topics or do you think that the vast majority of Roleplayers are too "immature" to appropriately approach these things at all? Do you think that people who are unaffected by these issues should be allowed to comment on them either? Do you prefer to write with taboo or avoid it all together when it comes to writing?
I'm very curious to hear what others think. Please feel free to use as much or as little detail as you like, but remain civil and on-topic at all times. As always, please do not violate any of the Guild's guidelines. Thank you and happy discussing.
What each person considers "taboo" is generally a personal and individual matter. What one person is squeamish about, another may not be. Therefore, my opinion is mine only. I don't presume to speak for what anyone else should do or not do.
Topics I will not roleplay out:
1. Child abuse. The exception might be a scene of violence or neglect, in order to establish a background or support for a plotline. Absolutely no child sexual abuse, or anything excessively violent or dark.
2. Bestiality. Just hell no.
3. Anything that feels like it's just excessive, gratuitous, "grimdark", fetishist type stuff. People who get a sick thrill out of repeatedly RPing depraved content, like rape or gore. There's a crucial difference between acknowledging that awful things happen, and sometimes those things are part of a character's story, and getting your jollies by seeing a character assaulted over and over again. To the latter, no thanks; seek therapy.
I also think it's important to bear in mind that what we consider "acceptable artistic content" in general, does not have to translate into what we enjoy in our roleplaying and writing. I can watch Schindler's List
and not look away, and allow my heart to grieve for story it tells. But that doesn't mean I want to hop online with my friends and grind my thoughts with stories of butchering children and torturing people to death. I'm not less of a writer or roleplayer or creative mind because I know how to compartmentalize history, art, and hobby.