Hey all, What does Iwaku and roleplaying as a whole, mean to you?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jack Shade, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. So I have this project y'see, and I'm looking for volunteers to give the me the straight and narrow on what makes roleplaying interesting to you all. What about the community causes you to stay? Why make so many different art designs for new roleplays (Banners, pictures, etc). No one is paid for their efforts, and yet collaboratively we build stories and scores of pages worth of text following a singular idea...even developing it, expanding it.

    Why not write alone?

    What is it that you find most compelling, appealing, or drawing about online roleplays or Iwaku?

    What makes this worth your time?
  2. Roleplaying is interesting to me because the thing I want to do in life is become a writer. I find it very challenging and rewarding to be able to write something that other people contribute to as well. I am also a very creative person and when I'm not able to draw/paint or have an idea for something to write, I turn to roleplaying. I've been doing it for about 7 seven years now so it's something I've committed myself to.

    I think one of the odd things about having people to roleplay with (at least for me) is how little you interact with the person behind the character. I could be playing with somebody I would absolutely hate in real life and still enjoy the experience. What becomes really relevant about roleplaying with a community is if those people are committed to sticking with the story, no matter how long it takes for people to post. Iwaku is a very interesting community because people do interact with each other and you get to learn all about their traits, but when you're strictly looking at the roleplay there is almost nothing you can learn about the real person unless you delve into the structure and voice of their writing.

    I am recently very guilty of doing artwork for a roleplay. :bsmile: I spent about five to six hours working on a montage for a roleplay on a weekend where I should have been studying and doing my paper. Why did I do this? (The artwork, not the whole skipping out on a weekend of required work.) Same reason why people listen to music, read, write, and socialize with friends. It's entertaining, it's relaxing, and it's a nice way to get my creative juices out.

    All of this is appealing to me because it's enjoyable. I also get to learn about myself and about others, and I'm learning about different styles of roleplaying and writing I couldn't get outside of this environment. You don't always need to read the most elaborate piece of literature or read the most comprehensive essay to be able to take something of value from it.
  3. I thought there was some specific science to this but. I guess I'll just give my 2 cents.

    When I was younger, role play and I were never really on the same foot. I went from being absolutely enthralled, to despising it, to now... being okay with it. I mostly write stories and poems, and I used to scoff at role play. Why? I guess I never understood its importance to people, and what it does. When I was in band, I used to scoff at choir people until I learned that partaking in choir will help to perfect my skills. I fell in love with choir in my senior year. That situation is kind of why I role play now... to hone my skills. Yet, as I go along, I find that I am enjoying myself.

    I will be honest and say I used to be one of those role play snobs. I used to be extremely picky with grammar and sentence structure, and overall the people involved. I used to be one of those snobs until I matured, and I grew mentally. Iwaku, and past places I have been to within this last year, have taught me that if you want to fix something... then by damn, help yourself by helping the person causing the problem. There is nothing more awful than sitting and stewing over ill feelings. Within this past year, I have seen what it has done not only to myself, but the people around me who have practiced it. It ruins things. And in turn, I am learning to be more aware of what I say, instead of relying on how I say it through tone. To me, it just seems like a cycle of positivity. If someone is having problem with their grammar, then you give them some pointers or direct them to someone who can help. I in exchange, get a chance to practice being helpful without appearing condescending. The person who was having problems, then gets information and a chance to refine their writings.

    The appeal to me, in a role play forum, is helping people. It's not just about the role plays, the characters, the plots [although some are delightfully entertaining] it is that by helping, I am making someone's life a bit easier.

    The fact that roleplaying in general is a facet of my life, and that through it, I not only become a better writer, but a better person is what makes role playing so worthwhile. It is not just the roleplays that make it so, but the community. You cannot role play without a partner, and why have a single partner when you can have a myriad of teachers helping one wade through the mucks and trials of every day life, in character and out?

    Roleplay is a therapy. I write often when the mood is darkest, because to me, that is the only way I can channel through everything when I feel emotionally cornered. It helps to get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper in a palpable form. They not only become words written by me, through me, byt they become a scenery, a character, a plot, an idea. They -are- me.

    Despite role play being a therapy, and a life changing experience, I find that it also is a challenge. You aren't writing by yourself, you're writing with a bunch of people. They may post something you never expected them to do, and so you have to find a way to counter it, react or otherwise find a way to keep the role play flowing. It challenges the mind, and it certainly keeps those juices flowing.

    The options are endless when it comes to role play, it's just exploring all those options that make it interesting.
  4. The benefits of roleplaying for me is the fact that I get exposed to ways of thinking about the situations that are presented in a roleplay in a different way, since we all have our own thought patterns so when we are working together to create a story all of us think about things differently and that's fascinating and helps me as a writer grow.

    I also enjoy interacting with other characters using my character, it gives a whole new life for characters that I might use in personal writings as well, there's only so much personality you can create when you make all of the characters yourself.

    I've been roleplaying for about 11 years, maybe longer now and there's just something enjoyable about escaping into a little world created by you and your friends that really makes it appealing.
  5. I've been playing pretend my entire life. Even before I knew what "role playing" was. XD

    It's always been an escape, way to work out problems or learn new things, and even entertainment. As a kid, I would take stuff I learned in school and apply it to the pretend games I was playing. As a tween and teen it gave me a way to feel like I had control over at least ONE life.

    Now, roleplaying is my way of experiencing new places and emotions. A chance to live through other events I would never do or achieve in my real life! It's a really fun way to be creative AND interact with other people. It's my favorite means of entertainment, and an excellent way to get therapy.

    The interaction with other people's ideas is the best part. The surprise of what happens next. If I wrote these stories alone, I wouldn't be surprised. It wouldn't really be like "living" it, because I would already know the outcomes.
  6. To start with, my writing is my way of expressing myself and of working out any negative feelings that I have. When I'm upset or angry, all I need to do is immerse myself in story to feel better. Even when I'm not writing something negative, when it's nothing more than a dialogue and some story, it still whisks me away from that which is upsetting me and gives me clarity and peace of mind. It makes me happy to create worlds and people that have never existed, will never exist. People who are not and scenarios that I craft. This is why I write.

    But now, why I dedicate so much time to Iwaku? There's something about the difference in people that tantalizes me and will always make me desire this element. What I come up with in my mind is common for me, my thoughts and my ideas are so easy for me to place and unravel. I can grow frustrated with working alone because I want to push myself for more, something more unique or clever. Even if my idea were truly quintessentially original, it does not feel like it because I can trace where the idea stemmed from as well as the influences that are impacting it. My own ideas, in short, do not impress me.

    However, the ideas of others! I do not know everything that goes through their minds, I do not know their pasts and their experiences. I fully believe that the mind is a beautiful, unfathomable thing and just the glimpse offered by their writing mesmerizes me. The human element makes Iwaku truly addictive to me, because it gives me what I could not get by myself - writing influenced by a completely different mind shaped by entirely different experiences than my own.
  7. I role play to escape, plain and simple. I do it to bring all my fantasies to life, to be able to get away from the grind of 'everyday' and live life through someone else eyes. The involvement of multiple people, as opposed to writing alone, makes the fantasy all the more real, thus becoming the ultimate escape for me. Sounds a little selfish? Well I hope that the people I RP with get the same enjoyment that I do out of the stories we create.

    Role playing for me is a form of therapy, whenever possible I try to create situations that trouble me in real life. After Rping through these situations they seem less intimidating when the time comes. It is like a drug, in a lot of ways, although a hell of a lot cheaper and less painful.
  8. The beauty of writing with others is that it gives you so much more vision. We all see things, wonderful things, but we don't all see what others see. Sometimes we have similar visions and ideas, sometimes we give each other totally new visions and ideas. Everyone's frame of reference is different. Everyone's experiences bring something new to the table.

    It's personal. It's friendly. It's beautiful.

    Roleplaying has really opened up my mind in ways writing alone sometimes could not. Plotting with other people is a wonderful thing because so many different opinions come in to play and often people aren't too harsh about sticking to their own. Everyone gels. Everyone bends a little so that nobody breaks. When I plot with other people I want to hear what they have to say and I want to expand on it. Sometimes I sit back a bit and see where it goes and sometimes I dive in head first with a strong idea. When plotting alone I don't really have the pleasure of other people's input. Sometimes that is lovely, but sometimes it can be dry and heavy and obnoxiously one sided.

    I believe that people put so much effort into graphics and pictures for role-plays because they put so much effort into the role-play itself. It deserves the love and care it gets because it is a wonderful display of creative minds coming together to write a story.

    As far as the community and what keeps me around it is simple: the people. I was with another site before Iwaku for a few years. It was just me and three other people, but we all grew so close and we all were so open to ideas that we just kept each other roleplaying. Sometimes they died fast, sometimes they lived long, but it didn't matter so long as we were feeling the creativity and ideas. With Iwaku I don't even roleplay so much. I am spending more time getting to know people than I am roleplaying. The community here is warm and wonderful and just...so welcoming. I made friends right away and that really made me happy.

    I don't roleplay as much as I used to, but it holds a special place in my heart.

    There is just something special to me about being able to come together with another person, or a group of people, to write one intertwined tale. As a photography major I'm not really a fan of working with others. Putting two or more photographers on one project is just too stressful for words, but two or more writers? Splendid. Lovely. Creative. So many other positive words.

    I suppose the conclusion of my ramble is that roleplaying to me has always been about the beauty of people coming together to create something, and that really means something to me.
  9. A roleplay really allows me to freely and openly develop a character with unexpected input. That foremost makes roleplaying interesting to me. When I don’t know what is going to happen next it really allows my character to expand what experiences they have and what they can “handle.” In addition it allows me to get a handle on different styles of writing. For instance I was so used to third person that I never even though of writing my posts for the roleplays in first. Heck even second could be doable at certain points. But the fact remains that the roleplays allow me to see what kinds of writing styles people have and incorporating what I like into my own.

    So what about the community makes me stay, the consistency. No matter what I do I know there will be an audience for it. And that said the community isn’t so large that I won’t recognize everyone in said audience. Perhaps someone I roleplayed with before comes in and joins, and then new faces join because of that. Or perhaps a new face is looking for that specific kind of roleplay. In the end the community makes me stay interested in the community.

    The community does grow every day because of that. And with it the banners really do help. I like the roleplay advertisements at the top and I enjoy peering into them ever so often. It reminds me people are still out there making ideas. But there are those ideas which one person must have full control over. In those ideas I do prefer to write alone. Such things like detective stories, a mystery which has numerous working chains put together, even a diary of a madman. All of these are things that I prefer to write on my own, however, that is mostly for an established atmosphere I would like to keep. If the atmosphere is flexible then writing with everyone is much preferred.

    Iwaku has really shown me that no matter how many different people I meet, there is new and exciting things to try, there are characters that have yet to be written, and most certainly there are worlds yet to be discovered. Nothing quite defeats a good roleplay, an adventure you can share with all those around you. From the bloody brutality of a fight scene to the intricate politics at work everything has no definite outcome and that makes it very exciting. Of course input from others that aren’t part of the story is always entertaining as well making the community the best I’ve ever seen and the stories unique.
  10. I Roleplay because I want to be someone I CANNOT be. I want to be a knight in shining armour that rides in on a stallion and saves the day, cutting down the evil villain. I want to be the villain that hides in the shadows and lays elaborate plots, turning everyone against each other. I want to be the kid that is thrown into the real world and loses his innocence after his parents died to war and etcetera. That's what roleplay means to me - Escapism!

    Also, I love Iwaku because of it's community. I love the Skype nights that we have - I feel that I actually belong somewhere, after coming onto Iwaku. It's part of how the internet works, to draw similar people together and make them feel comfortable with each other.
  11. Already got a chance to send this to Jack on Skype, but I'll go ahead and copypasta it here.

    I’ve been roleplaying online for roughly a decade and roleplaying offline (tabletop gaming, as well as acting and live-action roleplaying) since elementary school; I’ve also been writing solo practically my whole life. While I enjoy both, I have often found that roleplaying (particularly in written format, online) energizes me in a way that writing alone does not. I can do it for longer, struggle less for ideas, and come away from it fresher than I was when I began.

    The key difference, I think, is the collaboration. “Two heads are better than one,” goes the phrase, and for me that rings true when it comes to writing. When writing on my own, while I get an initial rush from conceptualizing a new idea or character- and while seeing that come out the way I conceived it is satisfying- I’m never surprised. There’s little for me to wonder about, to be rattled by, little to challenge me or make me think on my feet. Add in one or more other writers, however, and suddenly the stakes change. What kind of characters will I see, and how will they mix with mine? What plots can I participate in that I would never have come up with individually? How will others contribute to my plotlines, when I can’t control what the characters will do? And in many ways, it does come down to the characters. Character interaction is one of my favorite parts of reading and writing, and there’s nothing so compelling as watching it unfold without having the inside scoop, so to speak.

    Imagine twelve people, all in the same kitchen, some of which are professional chefs and some of which can barely crack an egg. They start in on a cake, with no recipe to go by, only a name and general idea of what the cake is. Each throws their own ingredients into the mix, with little to no discussion. Hopefully the experienced chefs can catch and correct anything that is put in by less experienced cooks that might ruin the cake’s flavor or unbalance the mix. The cake is baked, and everyone gets a slice. It may not always be the best tasting cake, and sometimes it looks crazy or falls apart because the mixture was flawed, and sometimes everyone has to call it quits and start over from scratch… But it’s always surprising, always has a different result, and now and then you stumble upon the sweetest treat you’ve ever had. And doesn’t it sound so much more fun than doing it on your own?
  12. When I RP'd as Rastul in oom, it was an exaggerated version of what I wanted to be.

    So yes, I mary sue'd. Sort of. I was never able to play a character well that I did not have some sort of connection to. This is primarily the reason why I've only ever had one main character, ever. If I try to play something different it ends up feeling like pulling the strings on a hollow puppet.

    Now? Maybe the novelty of RP'ing has worn off. Maybe because the pace is too slow. Maybe because I am more like what I wanted to be.
  13. Validation greater than reality.
  14. I grew up a ravenous reader! I loved the excitement and escape of a story, more in print than on television, because by reading you could be IN the story, looking at it through someone's eyes, and things could look how you decide they should look. You could go anywhere, be anyone, do anything. Roleplaying is a lot like that, only now I'm the one creating the story, and others get to play with me. Way more ideas are developed when you're with someone else than when you're alone. Also, I'm a natural storyteller. I love to share a good story!

    Roleplaying also gives me a place to release all this trivia and research knowledge that I accumulate on the internet. It gives me a reason for all my "What if" and "What is" searches!
  15. I always grew up reading, and from a very early age began to think, what would I do in their situation, then with a change in abilities....etc.

    This kept evolving until i found out about DnD
  16. Collaborate writing is awesome, that's why I continue to role play. I honestly grow bored if things become easy to expect. With another person, another mind, I'm able to be surprised by how they twist the plot, their characters and their creativity. It's always a ravenous curiosity about what a person might do in reaction to something I write. Something within me gets this rush- the same rush you get from finding information. Humans are rewarded for seeking information- this is why it's easy to become addicted to the internet. You're constantly rewarded chemically for seeking things out. I get this same rush from role playing. I'm gathering information and it's a bit meta but I kinda think about how a person might respond with a character. Seeing something that I didn't expect just gives a rush!

    tl;dr: I think too much.
  17. I can be someone I can't.

    I can bring to life the ideas that keep coming to me.

    I like the unpredictable factor you have with other people in the story

    But honestly Iwaku is more than roleplaying to me. Its my social life. I don't have an exceptional social life of any description outside of the forum here. Frankly without this I'd just be some lonely, miserable guy stuck with no job in an unforgiving economy letting fears of my future consume me.

    Roleplaying is a great escape from life, but its the social interaction that keeps me coming back, despite my being socially inept even behind a computer screen.
  18. The world we experience is linear and mostly unchanging. Sure life throws a curveball but... I'm the same person, regardless of my surroundings. My parents used to read to me, and I was reading before reaching playschool. I strive to create experiences and share them, to plumb the depths of my mind and imagination and share what I find with those who do the same. I don't have the attention span to write alone, I thrive on feedback and creative input form others. I've often said I'm not good at coming up with ideas and only build on existing ones.

    Iwaku for me is a collection of those experiences, thoughts and feelings all coming together to create a bigger, deeper and richer experience. Its driving force is it's members and it's character it's content all watched over and maintained by the staff. It is the foundation that rps are built upon. For me it is a home and a sanctuary that I can visit and be a part of. It is all it can be and is ever changing. I watch writers evolve and improve I meet people and help steer them towards what they could become. There are headaches, problem members and roleplays that just don't work but that is part of the experience.

    Its a home, it s circle of friendships I have held and maintained for years some of them. Roleplaying is a hobby and had been therapy, its what I loot forwards to and what most of my thought is directed towards. I never though I'd write as a hobby but now i can't imagine stopping.