I've decided to do a post that's been bugging me for quite some time. The reason I was procrastinating in posting this was because I knew how long it could turn up to be and while I love blogging (even though I have very few readers) I do have another things I have to devote my attention to first like work and cleaning and taking care of my family. The reason I've been wanting to blog about this topic is because it's something I know a lot of otaku's go through. Roleplaying. (I'll abbreviate it as 'RP' for now.)
So What Is Roleplaying? (In the terms Otaku-folks use it.)
In the direct definition, Role-playing refers to the changing of one's behavior to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role. This is a basic definition of what it is. But let's skip the basic stuff and I'll explain it to you so you have a better idea. When someone RPs it's usually online (although I've done it with pen and paper before). It can be done through IM, social networking site, emails, or forums. I find the most popular place to RP is on social networking sites such as FaceBook or MySpace and also on Forums. RPing begins when you create a character. You can choose to create an OC (Original character) or choose to take on the role of thousands of video game or anime characters (even some dopey things like Edward Cullen or Aladdin). Secondly, you find an RP partner. I know that's not really an official name for it, but I guess it seems fair to call it that. Anyway, you and your RP partner, who also has their own character set, basically work together to create a story. Typically, this is done through text between the two explaining scenes and dialogue between their chosen characters.
The text is usually done in free-style mode (one-liners) which basically is the two going back and forth with short responses, making the story go faster.
Example of Freestyle RP:
Suppose my character is Sora from Kingdom Hearts. My RP partner choose the role of Riku from the same game.
Sora: Riku, stop it, you're embarrassing me. *blushes*
Riku: You don't like it? *he stops and looks at Sora*
Sora: I do but..... *he continues to blush* I've just never done this before.
Riku: It's ok. I'll be gentle. *he kisses Sora lightly on the lips and resumes*
So that would be considered a "freestyle" RP. It's quick, easy, and it continues the story. This is how most RPers start out. More advanced (or in some cases, more needy) RPers, will do something called Literature RP (the slang term being para or multi para-RP). This consists of basically the same story happening, but it much more detailed, in the form of writing as though it can be a novel.
Example of Literature RP:
This time, I'll be Riku. =P
Sora: Sora drew back from Riku, "Stop it," he said softly, "You're embarassing me."
His face was turning many shades of red, darkening as he thinks more about the events unraveling in front of him. Was this truly happening? It didn't seem natural to Sora that Riku could even act this way. So affectionate, so caring, it almost scared him, yet at the same time, excited him.
Riku: Riku looked into Sora's eyes, confused by his words. Did he really want to stop? He had come this far, letting all of his defenses around his heart break down, only to be halted abruptly, "You don't like it?" he asked, watching him to see any signs of regret in Sora's expressions.
Sora: "I do but..." he looked away, blushing even more when Riku looked at him. His eyes were so beautiful, he couldn't help but feel a tug at his heart. He wanted to be with Riku, so why was he so afraid to be? "I've...never done this before," he said slowly.
Riku: Riku relaxed, smiling and relieved that it was merely a case of Sora getting the jitters. It was his first time too, being with a man, so he was afraid of what to expect. Even so, he wanted to experience it with Sora. No one else could take his place in his heart, "It's ok," Riku said finally, inching closer to Sora, "I'll be gently," And with a smirk, he lightly presses his lips to Sora's, taking this hand and them reaching down to (CENSORED!!!!!)
While I apologize for anyone I may have offended (particularly those who aren't a fan of boy on boy action), you get the general idea, you get the general idea between the two.
So now that you understand what RPing is, let's continue.
I Love Roleplay!
There are many reasons to love RPing. To put it simply:
1. It's a way to be creative. Whatever your reason is for RPing, you become creative as a person. Weather you suck or rock at it at first, you'll soon blossom into a writer. A lot of RPers will say, "I'm not much of a writer" or "I don't write well" but when they RP, what they write is so beautiful! Your imagination has no limits with RP, so writing becomes so natural.
2. It's a way to escape. If you have something difficult you're dealing with in your life or if you're just bored, RPing is a great way to relieve stress. It distracts you from whatever could be bothering you and brings you to a place that makes you happy and entertained.
3. You meet some awesome people. Weather the person you're RPing with is trying to act like the character they're portraying or not, the person behind the character will always shine through. You'll be able to connect with someone without technically meeting them or talking to them directly. Let's admit, how many people can you meet face to face write a complete story with them from start to finish and everything in between? Not many, which makes RPing so much special.
4. Your fantasies become reality. Weather your fantasy is to see Sora and Riku have a cute, lovey relationship or you truly wish to be pregnant by Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club, you will always find this fantasy coming true when you RP.
5. You can fall in love. A lot of people will find this a silly thing to do, but you can seriously fall in love with the people you meet on RP. It happens a lot more than you think. These people just RP such beautiful things, you may feel as though you love them and want to know them more.
I Hate Roleplay.
While there can be endless reasons to love RPing, there's always reasons to loathe it as well:
1. Where there is roleplay, there is drama. This is the biggest reasons a lot of people go on hiatus with RPing or completely stop all together. A lot of times, RPers will get jealous of one another. Weather it's because someone 'take their RP boyfriend' or 'insults their characters', it's bound to happen. Trolling, spamming, and stalking ensues after this. I will have to admit, I have stopped RPing over a dozen times because of drama that literally left me sick in my stomach for days to the point where I couldn't function and never had a good day until the drama was resolved. Best advice, keep your RPs private and don't pay attention to those who start the drama.
2. People take your Roleplay seriously. While it's natural to know that what happens in RP isn't real, this actually becomes a big issue with younger RPers, who becomes so attached and submerged into RP, they begin to take offense when something doesn't go their way. Weather it's an RP breakup or makeup, things just start to get weird. Best advice, don't become emotionally involved with the RP or someone who constantly seems to be upset with how the RP is going.
3. Roleplaying is addictive. This couldn't be any further from the truth. You see all of the reasons I've listen in the 'I Love RP' section? Those and plenty more are the reasons why many people become addicted to RPing. I have to admit, there were a few times when I've become addicted to it myself. It was so terrible, it was to the point where I almost destroyed the relationships I had with real people that weren't met over the internet. I spent every hour on the computer from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, only pausing to eat, go to the bathroom, and take a shower. That's over 12 hours on a computer, RPing. It's not healthy. Best advice to deal with it, if you've noticed you're becoming addicted to RPing, take a day off. Just one day and get away from the computer. This works. Or set aside only 2 or 3 hours to RPing. That's like playing a video game, you play after school, and then you get on with your life. Don't hover over your inbox for replies to RPs, just wait for you time.
Do YOU wanna Roleplay?
Chances are, if you're reading this, you're probably already an RPer. But if you aren't and my post interested you to begin, then let's start!
Step 1 - Create A Character
Do you have a character from an anime or video game that you just absolutely love and wish you were? Good! That means step 1 is already complete for you! You've chosen who you want to be! However, if you want to create an original character, you have to think of a lot more. What does your character look like? What's their name? How old are they? What's their background story? These are things you need to compile into a profile and make it available for anyone to read so they can get to know your character.
Step 2 - Choose A Place To Roleplay.
Basically, this is all up to you and what you're comfortable with. Forums are good for RPing in a specific category or storyline but if you are looking to be more open and original, then go to a social networking site.
Step 3 - Befriend A Bunch Of People
For the first few days, you'll be befriending a lot of people. Try befriending 'characters' you're already familiar with. Talk to them and ask them to RP. Eventually, you will have a good group of RPers replying to you.
Step 4 - Set Some Rules
Do you want to have an RP with mature content? Do you only want specific characters or age group or sex to RP with you? Are you willing to give out personal information to those who ask (cell phone number, email address, or a real life photo)? Set all of these rules and include them in your profile. Try to make them short and sweet. Don't be mean about it! A lot of people will turned off by you if you sound rude or mean in your rules, trust me. If someone breaks your rules, give them a benefit of a doubt and explain that you're rules say otherwise. If this person continues or tries to convince you to break the rules with you, then don't continue the RP with them anymore.
Step 5 - Have Fun With It
RPing is not going to be fun at all if you're negative or controlling. If you're not used to a certain style of RP, just go with it. It may become a new favorite of yours. Meet some friends, relax, and escape! Roleplaying is a great leisure activity!
See you in cyberspace! *she waves and logs off*
She waves with a sure smile, for she knows she will meet with you again. With a polite bow, she says, "See you in cyberspace!" And she clicks the 'Publish' button, making her blog post available to all who will read it.