And yet, I'm spending much of my free time writing a game set in that society. Why? Because it's fun to fantasize, and fantasizing is okay. Creating or playing a game in which the player character can commit appalling evil is fundamentally no different than writing or reading a book with an evil main character, or recording or listening to a song with an awful protagonist. This isn't a self-justification, because none is necessary; this is art like any other art and needs no more justification than Flashman or The Cask of Amontillado or Hallowed Be Thy Name. Nevertheless, just because this is a little text-based slave management h-game doesn't mean I don't think about these things. The questions I think most need answers are:
- Why have I made it possible to be extremely evil in Free Cities? Because I think, in a postmodern slaveowning society, such evil would occur. Truly awful things happened to slaves in historical slave societies. I don't think anything in FC strays too far from what's come before. I personally enjoy games that make internal sense, so I'm trying to make the world of FC internally consistent. These options are available because I think they probably would be.
- Even if extremely evil things would happen in the Free Cities world, why include them? Because without the possibility of sin, there can be no virtue. My favorite role-playing games all offer evil character paths. I never take them, but I would enjoy the good character paths much less if the evil paths weren't there. It's possible to try to be good in FC, but that would be devalued if it weren't possible to be bad.
- Why are extremely evil things in Free Cities presented so casually? Because I'm making a point. Just because this is a little text-based h-game doesn't mean I'm not going to try sneak a little meaning in. If you've played the game and felt a little cognitive dissonance about the banality of the evil you're witnessing, or even committing, good. There's no reason this can't be erotic, fun, and a little thought-provoking. I'll be blunt: a lot of h-games out there present non-consensual sex accompanied by stupid excuses. Magic, brainwashing, unreasonably attractive player character, whatever. FC doesn't and won't do that. I try to present things in a fairly straightforward way, without excuses, hedging, or commentary, and leave it to the player to figure out what, if anything, to feel about that.