College Thesis on Role Playing?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Navi Jay, Oct 25, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hello,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I am in college and preparing to write a few very important essays for my Composition course and I have chosen the role playing community as the subject.

    Specifically on how we are a discourse community and what genre of writing do we tackle. I have been an member (Though not recently active due to my studies) for almost 4 years but I want some outside perspective from the community.

    So if you would be so kind as to answer the following questions below I would be most grateful and who knows maybe I will publish a paper on us in the future!

    1. What do you think are some of our goals as Role Players? Can be personal goals or on a larger perspective.
    2. Are we just co-writing stories or are we living out a fantasy?
    3. How has this community (Not just this website but the community as a whole) changed you life?
    4. Name some special terms or special language that we use in this community. Ex. GM=Game Master

    Again thank you so much,
    -Navi Jay
    #1 Navi Jay, Oct 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
    • Love Love x 1
  2. On the larger perspective I would say there's a few main trends, however you will also find many unique individual cases.

    1. An escape from the real world. Movies, Books and Video games share this escapism, people are unhappy/unsatisfied with the world, so they run off to another world to live a life they wish they could have.
    2. A desire to experience new things. Likewise Movies, Books and Games also share this, people may not be unhappy, but they still want to experience something not available in real life, roleplays function as a way to explore that.
    3. A desire to take on new persona's. Kind of like experience, but by taking on a new personality and perspective. It act's as a way to expand your mind and horizon, practice and grow on traits you might find yourself lacking in real life.
    4. A desire to create. Some people just love to make a story, roleplaying is one of many avenue's to do such a thing.
    5. A desire to socialize. Roleplaying in a nutshell is writing as a group (and yes, there are differences before neighsayers who say roleplayer's aren't writers start trying to debating this). It provides a group experience, one that can also have some of the perk's of points above such as a new world, a new identity etc.
    I find this depend's on the writer and how much they choose to invest themselves into their roleplay.

    Some prefer to stay more separate, and see it as writing a story to exercise their creativity.
    Other's truly want to enter another world, escape into it and experience something new.

    And personally I've experienced both at times.
    Some I managed to sit more back and write it simply as a story.
    Other time's I could fully immerse myself, to the point I even briefly feel like I'm in the fantasy myself.
    Roleplaying has been something I've done for the entirety of my teenage years (well, there was a 2 year gap. But in this gap I started D&D so some form of roleplaying was still happening).

    During which I've met a ton of people/fellow roleplayers who have became great friends, friends I have learned things from and grew from.

    I've also created many memories in the roleplay's themselves, and not memories in a "That was a good scene" sense like as if I saw a movie, but this was a tale I directly interacted with and help create.
    In a sense it's a memory or sense of accomplishment almost as if I had been on those roleplayed adventures myself.

    In a nutshell, the community has vastly increased my ability to be creative, create, take on the perspectives of others, experience new things, and has helped expand my social life (would easily have one any ways. But the more friends the merrier).

    I can't really look back and point at a specific instance that I've had some sort of revolutionary change, but the overall experience has been something I've grown up with. And as a result as played a significant role into making me the person that I am today.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Our goals vary. Escapism is one of the bigger ones. Game is also obvious. Then there's social motivations, people who perceive roleplaying as an idea ground for other projects, there's even some who think it helps them practice their skills for other projects. I've probably missed a bunch, but if you're writing a report you should ask what motivates a person as an individual to rolepay.

    As such, for me it is entertainment and the social construct. I take satisfaction from creating but require a constant feedback loop in order to stick with a project for longer than a couple weeks.

    Both. One side may take precedence over another depending on the individual roleplayer, which if I'm too make an estimate would be the fantasy aspect. Again, for me personally it is more about co-writing a story. A friend of mine once divided roleplayers as actors and directors. Actors crawl into the skin of their characters and experience the story through them (leaning fantasy) and directors direct their characters what to do (leaning co-writing). I'm closer to the director archetype.

    Eh... I roleplay more?

    The roleplaying community is quite broad and I've roamed a number of sites. There's a few skills I learned through GM'ing that were applicable in other situations. I've come into contact with a wide variety of individuals and ideas. I've also sparred a lot with these ideas. I've met people who I talk through online means. Though I don't think I've actually met with anyone I met through a roleplaying board. While I have met up with people who I've played MMO's with, on the other hand. So, yeah. There's that.

    I find it difficult to point this out, but to be honest I take so many weird turns throughout life it may just be hard to tell what impact roleplaying has had by comparison in the big picture. Also if we're talking about RP-communities as a whole that includes a bunch of actions over a span of >7 years. Including roleplaying, GM'ing, debating, pissing about, trolling, IM-chats, etcetera. Not so easy to pin down.
    • Like Like x 1
    1. What do you think are some of our goals as Role Players? Can be personal goals or on a larger perspective.
    I cannot speak for the population as a whole. Though I can make observations I will speak only from my own perspective on this matter. My goal as a Role Player is to make a great story with a partner or group and to be an active part of it from the start, something that cannot be done simply by reading. Another personal goal of mine is to use it to commit to daily writing.
    1. Are we just co-writing stories or are we living out a fantasy?
    For me I am co-writing stories as I am most focused on the plot and character development rather than just chatting and acting as my character. I want the story to move and the characters to grow. I never find the lines blurred between myself and my character though there is an undeniable element of fantasy in it for me. The fantasy elements are less a matter of a self-insert into a story and more the ability to move a story to a point I want that I don’t always find in books.
    1. How has this community (Not just this website but the community as a whole) changed your life?
    It has made me write just about every day for the last 6 years and has sharpened my skills and honed my storytelling. It has also put me in the path of some wonderful individuals I never would have met had I not been Roleplaying, several of these have made the transition from online friends to real life friends. It has also taught me some valuable lessons about safety and boundaries as I have had to deal with some people for whom the lines of fantasy are not so clear. All in all I see my participation in this community as a net gain and look forward to many more years of it.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  4. I had two goals: connect with people and improve my writing skills. These were two goals I could work on through a computer, where I could always be myself and freely express myself, because I lived a life where being those ways would get me hurt in some way. I've been expanded my vocabulary, formulating new ideas with brilliant minds, and connecting with a few of them personally on the side. Having fun and challenging my creativity all at once is a nice way to spend my free-time.

    I would say both, and that it varies from person to person. For me, it's like both options combined. All of my stories are co-written fantasies, maybe that's how I would put it. Everything about my roleplays are important to me. The setting, the character development, the dialogue, the NPCs--I want to nurture it all and watch it meet its full potential. They're precious baby plot bunnies I want raise into mature story rabbits. (What a goofy thing to say, right? But I stand by it.)

    Aside from helping to shape me into a much better writer... I've met a lot of awesome people around here. Some that have kept touch with me for years, been there for me in hard times, sappy shit like that. The friendships I've had on Iwaku have been truer than any I've had in real life. I've even fallen in love with one of the members here, had a kid with him, and married him. Happy as can be. Shit gets real around Iwaku, yo.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. 1. What do you think are some of our goals as Role Players? Can be personal goals or on a larger perspective.
    The goal is to have fun; it's entertainment. Maybe also to polish writing skills.

    2. Are we just co-writing stories or are we living out a fantasy?
    Depends on the player. I prefer to tell stories than to insert myself into them, but whatever's fun for you.

    3. How has this community (Not just this website but the community as a whole) changed you life?
    It hasn't.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  6. 1: To create an rp that actually ends story wise/curing our boredom.

    2: I visualize it as the latter since that's how it feels to me. However I'm a musician at heart and I tend to get attached to my work both mentally and emotionally so it can be different for others.

    3: During the early years of my life, I did not have many friends due to my single mother moving me and my brothers around often. When she finally decided to settle down, she chose a place that was far away from society than you could fathom. Typically that left me with no oppurtunity to make friends with whom I could call my own and I began scouring the internet as a result. Now that I've explained that part of it, I can proceed with answering this question. In short, this online community along with many others serves as a social gathering for those outcasts, undorthoxed, and loner groups(Myself included) who either need an escape from the real world or who are just socially awkward and have difficulty befriending people as a result. Also, did I mention that it cures boredom??
    • Thank Thank x 1
  7. Thank you for the part on modivation I feel like it is a bigger part of goals but I should contribute that to personal goals as well.
  8. I want to be more than just me. I want to be more than a socially awkward, frail, depressed little thing. I want experience being a hero. A villain. An animal who fights against his powerful instincts with logical, human like reasoning. I want to write a story and show the world "hey, look at this! This is my world!"

    BOTH. Except Slice of Life. Ain't nothing fantasy about a roleplay that mirrors every day life. (I'm teasing)

    Its a double edged blade. Its actually caused some bad stuff to happen to me. But its also kept me going and determined.

    "Slice of Life", a term I could use to describe the type of roleplay that kills me the most. xD
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  9. For most roleplayers it's playing pretending and living in different lives. But another large group of roleplayers do it for the writing & story telling aspects. I'm in it for both. O___O I have always lived in a universe of playing pretend and writing little stories was how I did it until I discovered roleplaying. My goals are pretty straightforward. I want to live and experience the story. >:3

    Both. 8D Definitely both.

    In the beginning it was therapy for me. I could escape life for awhile and work out emotions and other feelings through my characters. This is especially useful when I have a lot of feelings of anger/resentment, or when I was feeling suicidal. >> I'd play out a character sharing some of those traits and through their choices/experience, I'd work out what I would do in real life.

    Beyond that, meeting people from all over the world has made me a more educated and creative person. O___O I have besties and a husband because I got online and made connections through roleplaying. I've learned a loooot about other cultures, people, and all kinds of things by interacting with people and doing research for stories.

    Iwaku has coined the term "charp" for chat roleplay. XD That is unique to us.

    For rp communities as a whole there is the "Mary Sue" which is a self-insert character with unrealistic and nonsensical attributes. There is "literate" (which I personally hate) than many players will use as a description of writing skill. Things like God-modding, hijacking, ahhm... I am drawing a blank to others. >>
    • Useful Useful x 1
  10. DM = Dungeon Master (GM is more common, but I've seen the two be used interchangeability. Usually among those who also have tabletop experience).
    RP = Roleplay
    IC = In Character/Interest Check
    OOC = Out of Character
    CS = Character Sheet
    CHARP = Chat Roleplay
    1x1 = One x One Roleplay
    Red Star = Member whose 18 or older
    Blue Star = Member whose 17 or younger
    Libertine = Mature RP's for Red Stars
    Liberteen = Mature RP's for Blue Stars
    \o/ = Praise the Sun! (This last one is a joke :P)


    These three aren't from Iwaku but were terms in past RP communities.

    Free = RP's where the post length requirement is generally one-liners, and there's little to no skill level requirements.

    Casual = The majority of RP's. Generally a few lines to a paragraph minimum per post, and basic Grammar and spelling skills are expected.

    Advanced = Essentially writing an entire essay's for a post. Almost perfect grammar and spelling is expected.

    *Iwaku has a similiar skill level system in place.
    They just divide it among a lot more categories, and restrict it to RP resumes.
    #11 Gwazi Magnum, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
    • Thank Thank x 1
  11. Meta-gaming. Meta-gaming is a good one.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  12. As role players in general I think the aim is to act/play out a story, be part of the development of a story, and play, grow, and create a character that contains a part of us.

    As for me, personally. I started out with a desire to develop my language skills. Purely educational thus and saw good chances in doing so by role playing. Later on it grew out into a fondness for writing, an adoration to write and develop a story while creating and watching a character grow.

    I say both. I believe you need a certain amount of both in order to write a story at all.
    Well, at first they helped me develop my English language skills. So they are my educators, and still are, but in a different way than how I started. Later on it became a place where I could relax and let my imagination run wild, which I have a lot of. Surely there were parts that I rather not have experienced within the role play community, but you can't only enjoy the benefits and deny the flaws.

    I can't really say that the role play community has a big impact on my life. I keep the borders far too clear for that. However, I can say that the role play community has taught me a lot, like previously mentioned, and helped me develop a lot as an amateur writer. I never knew I would come to adore writing as much as I do now.
    why don't you talk to dia about it?

    1) I'm lazy. 2) Why type them out when we have someone else do it for us? Perhaps that Iwaku has their own dictionary as well, I never saw one and I feel too lazy to look.
    • Useful Useful x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.