dynamite with a laser beam (51stcenturyfox) wrote,
dynamite with a laser beam

Gwen E Cooper Declassified

It's big reveal day forask_captainjackI was so jazzed to finally find out who "he" is, since I'm a fan and have been speculating to no avail for months.  All we had was Jack's city from the IP address, and nothing else.  Wrong on all guesses made!    :D

You may want to read that story before you read mine, because there are spoilaz under the cut. (IF I could make a cut today without messing up the post. Sorry! Ew!)

In the spirit of full disclosure now that the big cat is out of the bag, I'm spilling, too.

I’m “Gwen” in the Askworld RP, orgwen_e_cooper.  *waves*

This might be is definitely tl;dr, but I've been keeping it secret for months!

I've been interacting withask_captainjackas a commenter since the first day I saw the column…back in January.  I realize some people don't enjoy it, but I have always LOVED THE HELL OUT OF HIM.  I LOVE PARODY, KIDS.

On one Saturday, he was in a secret.  (ask_aboutcoffee submitted it, and it said, in effect: "I'm having a blast, but I have no clue who ask_captainjack is either!”)

While discussing the secret post with copperbadge (since I knew he was another a_cj fan) I guessed and he confessed that he was Coffee/Ianto.  Two things tipped me off:  his habit of talking about FOOD and “Ianto’s” sense of humor.

(I totally ruined his reveal to me. I’m still sorry, Sam!) :D

In the secret’s comments, someone mentioned a desire to join in as the Rhys character, so I thought, "Well, if there will be  a Rhys, Gwen should come out and play, too."

Sam said that I should go for it - that the game was a bit of a boys' club - and it was - Jack, Ianto, PC Andy and now with Rhys on his way, Myfanwy was the sole female. Scrrraawww!   (timeagency was female but I didn’t realize that at the time.)

So, I showed up.

...and I've never had so many LOLZ!

Why Gwen?

I LOVE Gwen and to be honest, I feared someone who didn't feel that way would pick up the sock and bash her instead of creating an affectionate portrayal. I mean… it’s an over-the-top parody so therefore ridiculous, but Gwen wasn’t about to be  inaccurately characterized as a harpy on my watch.  My Gwen was generally guileless, liked to overcompassion the populace and bring in fairy cakes and choccies and tease Jack and Ianto and insult Hart.  Well, he did try to kill Gwen. TWICE!  It wasn’t personal, Timewhore.  

(Nick/cruentum (Hart)  knew I was Gwen too – he was the only other person involved in the RP who was aware of this. He thought he might come in to play after me, and considered being ghost!Tosh. (Heh.)

She’d already been referenced before I joined, so I made Gwen the kind of Gwen who’d call the paramedics and surprise Ianto in the bubble bath when he didn’t answer his comm, or scribble hearts and smiley faces on his cast when she signed it. She wasn’t entirely Gwen Cooper on Torchwood. She was Askworld Gwen.

"Anyone who bashes my Gwen gets a fucking boot in the face before they get the bullet in the face." -ask_captainjack

It was fun to see Rhys join the game, and John Hart and Martha and the Doctor. And the Queen and Jenny! And everyone else. All were a surprise when they appeared.  (And Jack was SO COOL about accepting everyone, not to mention returning comments to all of the "civilians".  I really liked that and thought it was just...  nice.)

If you're doing RP, you have to like the character you're portraying. (Or so I have heard. Not that I know fuck all about RP... I've never done anything like this before.  This felt like improv acting, most of the time, because we never knew what other people were going to throw at us.)


- Not much  (barring the April Fool's Day prank - Jack sent us the Assignment DEETS for the Community Report - Ianto's coffee coma, our advice columns and the CoT party -  was planned in advance.  Even when they were, (OMG, I think Zombies are attacking this weekend!) there was no plan.  When Ianto announced he’d woken up married, Jack just reacted to that. HILARIOUSLY.

- Jack always stayed in character, and so did we in interactions off the blogs with characters whose identities we didn’t know. When I messaged Rhys, I did it as Gwen. Jack emailed me as Jack, etc.  Random chat was in character, too:

Ianto: ...I can't imagine a situation in which I would be wearing vintage tiger underthings, unless for some reason it was necessary for saving the world
Jack: Give it 7 years
Gwen: AHEM. Himalayas. It was cold.
Ianto: Hooray! I'm in favour of tigers, as long as they're not trying to eat me or be worn by me
  That was yak, not tiger
Gwen: You were hypothermic and cataleptic. We did put you in tiger pants.   Oh right, yak pants.
  My bad.
Jack: WHOA great story there   Snow. Snuggles. Yak cocoon.

- I had a really hard time writing Gwen in fic after entering the RP, because I really got into the character. You’d think that would help, but I was playing her for giggles. We used canon events but you know, having the Freaks Rift Vics at Freak Island Flat Holm hold Maypole dances and Spoken Word Month ain’t exactly canon.

For one thing, I was afraid of popping my cover by making a fanfic Gwen accidentally sound like the fictional parody sock Gwen, as unlikely as that would be.

In a fic context it was like writing RPF with my own coworkers and friends... which was just like...  EW. DUDES. I LOVE YOU, BUT I  CAN'T. WRITE  EXPLICIT FIC.  ABOUT MY  FRIENDS. BECAUSE. NO.  :D  I just couldn’t do it, (except for Gwen/Jack’s coat). I wrote a lot of Tosh fic during this period.

Rhys was apparently sort of busy and wasn’t around very much, so we didn’t get to interact as much as Jack/Ianto did. Well, that’s sort of like the show, anyway.  But I wish he’d been able to play more… he was fun!

- It was difficult not to screw up. As far as I knew at the time, I was one of only a few people who had a character and also commented as myself, so had to keep it up for two reasons: I liked commenting as a watcher - and flirting with "Jack" in Italian because. Hey, It was fun... and I didn’t want to obviously disappear. I could keep replies straight, because I did Gwen in UK English, but it was tricky to keep the logins separate. The trick: using different browsers and email accounts for each persona and tracking the hell out of the threads. I accidentally friended someone back and also replied to someone in my Fox journal as Gwen. Thank you both for not blowing my cover. :D

- I don’t/didn’t know who else was in contact with other players, but Sam, Nick and I were.  Andy’s player and I later chatted in character. (He Britpicked me and I passed… I was really happy to hear that!)

I had a blast being sock Gwen E Cooper and hope she made you laugh a little. That was the only point to this. :)

Favourite things:

- Ianto’s manips made me laugh myself sick.

- Swapping rhymes with "Boe"

- Making terrible puns

- Hart stuffing cuddly toys down his PANTS. And taking PICTURES.

- Jack stealing choccies from Gwen's purse and then giving a pressie back. (Okay, he and Ianto nommed my Flake after that, but it's the thought that counts),  Tickle Fights

-  AU Genderswap day I found it disconcertingly easy to hit on women as the male Gwen, Gary (Gary Cooper – Jack came up with that one).  I am not sure what this says about me, but it made me suspect that Jack was being played by a woman.  Because it's really fun to flirt with chicks when you have a sexy guy icon. :D

- The Master/Ianto macro-off, Timeagency's fashion posts, Martha's kickass feminism, Harold the Butler's thong, the Queen's brick-in-a-handbag weapon, Jenny's exuberance,  Andy's FOOD posts and Janet's (LOL!) emo poetry.

- Swine Flu quarantine weekend and Zombie Attack Day.

- #1 thing - the friends we've all made over the course of this RP.  Love for Jack, especially, really brought out a lot of people who don't take things too seriously.  I can't thank you enough for that, Jack.   :)  

For a more detailed account of the Askworld saga, check out Sam’s post, which is much more comprehensive. OBVS!

(Or asask_captainjackwould say, “HA HA HA. ONCE AGAIN IANTO DOES ALL THE WORK!”)

Here’s the group Q&A post.

Team, allies, civilians:  I <3 you all. I <3 you all HARD.

By the way - If you'd like to friend me, I'll happily friend you back; I roll the same way Gwen does.   :)

Annnnd if you had fun... a donation to Comic Relief via Jack's webpage: http://www.myrednoseday.com/askcaptainjack ...would be awesome.

Tags: cut tag fail sorry!, lol i'm a dork, torchwood
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