RP, or not RP? That is the question…

Continuing the re-posts from F4L… and we’re up to the blogs themselves.  The original was my first entry specifically as a blog, posted 3/14/09.  It’s surprisingly relevant, 6 months later — one of my interests, which dovetails with so many others whose blogs I’ve since discovered and now follow, is the relation between the avatar and the person behind the keyboard.  *waves  at Botgirl*

This was the first time I experienced a clash of differences.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Since I haven’t been any-virtual-where else but Second Life, I’m not as attuned to roleplay as I probably should be. I’ve been blithely wandering (and teleporting) about, being — as my F4L profile says — myself in a virtual fursuit. Well, I recently had an episode that nearly became “drama”, all over my misunderstanding that the other person was roleplaying — being a character, and not really “in the moment” at all.  We’ll skip over what kind of moment it was…

Took me a couple of days to get over being disturbed about it, thinking to myself, “Why do the roleplayers assume that everyone else is, too???”

Took a couple more days to realize I was doing the same thing, in reverse: assuming that everyone I meet and talk to (and flirt with) is really the person behind the keyboard.

Lesson learned – I hope.  But I added this note to my SL profile:

Lalo Telling is not a ‘character’.  I don’t need to pretend to be anyone other than the guy behind the keyboard, in order to have fun in Second Life.  When you interact with my avatar, you get the real me.

If you, too, are being yourself in this virtual world: hurray!  Let’s get real.

If you are ‘playing’ SL, do me the favor of saying so.  I don’t want to accidentally breach the wall you think you’ve put up between yourself and your character.



3 responses to “RP, or not RP? That is the question…

  1. I've run into this problem before as well. Running into people who are not being their own selves though is fairly rare in my experience (except for designated role-play areas, of course, where you expect it)

  2. A lot of furries come to SL already experienced in text-based virtuality where everything is, essentially, “roleplay” — that is, descriptive narration of surroundings and actions, as well as dialogue. I guess old habits are hard to break.

  3. Well, almost every role-play environment (certainly every one that I can think of) also has an OOC (out-of-character) mechanism or convention for inevitable OOC communications. Some have IC/OOC zones as well.

    In SL, when I'm wandering a marked role-play area, I dress appropriately, put on a titler that marks me as OOC/NPC, and try not to pass close enough to others to hear their chat conversations. That allows me to easily be passed off as a background figure, which allows me to get my photography or whatever done.

    A lot of different environments essentially have an OOC area, and an IC area, where OOC or IC is the prevaling default. For those who come in with the notion that SL is an RPG of sorts, it makes sense that they treat it as if it were all IC — though it's an error to do so, as really, the default for SL is OOC (unless otherwise marked).

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