Thursday, September 24, 2009

What is Roleplay?

There seems to be a bit of confusion in among the MUD administrator community of what is roleplay (RP). Even RPGs (roleplaying games) can be devoid of what is real roleplay. The term RPG seems to classify these days any game that has a storyline and is played from a first person perspective. For instance MMORPGs are mostly devoid of any form of RP.

So what is roleplay anyway? RP is simple adopting the role of a character. An apt way to define roleplay on an online game is cooperative improvisational acting. A good roleplayer will take their character's motivations and temperament into account with every word and action. If a player is truly roleplaying they are setting aside their own motivations, wants, and desires for their character's motivations, wants, and desires.

An important step to aid in roleplaying is to develop a character properly. The character's family and friends, history, past occupations, social and economical status, and nationality or race are all important factors to the way they look at the world around them and how they interact with it. Well developed characters will fit into their game world. Don't forget the vision of the game creator! Good characters compliment not clash with the world for which they were created.

Just as we evolve and change from our experiences, characters on games should as well. A good roleplayer will let a character change based on what happens to them during game play. Sometimes characters can even evolve in ways that are unexpected or not originally envisioned.

To maintain a true roleplay environment it is important for a player to stay "in character" at all times (unless there is a means to out of character (OOC) conversation.) Just like an actor would not begin talking about the latest ball game during acting in a play, someone who is roleplaying while playing their character.

It is important to those active in the MUD community to understand what "roleplay" (RP) means when classifying, choosing, and playing on a game.

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