Roleplaying

Roleplaying is not something I thought would be that interesting to me. My initial lack of interest or maybe thought that I would not ‘get’ it is probably why I never tried to check into it or at least to attempt to experience what roleplaying was about until now. For the past year I had been very actively involved in another group that took up a lot of my time and I accomplished a lot in my group so I certainly do not feel my time was wasted. I left a substantial legacy behind as well as nominated someone who is more than capable of taking up the reins. But after a year of frustration with an incredibly dysfunctional management team and some ethical issues that arose, I decided I had to put all that behind me, move forward and look for something else to do with my time. My friend, Honour McMillan, and I have a mutual friend who has been involved in roleplay for sometime and he suggested we try checking out the Tombstone sims.

Winslow is the Tombstone shopping area and is the only area you can get into without the group tag. The rest of the sims are strictly for roleplay while there but the denizens from the roleplaying areas will often be walking around in character in Winslow so you do get the flavor of what is going on. They do ask that you dress for the period and some stores as well as the Welcome Center in the Broken Rose sim have some lovely free clothing to wear so you will not be at a loss for something to wear.

Immersing oneself in roleplay can be engrossing. Thinking about appropriate wear, mannerisms, speech, etc. are important to fulfilling roleplay.  I did and continually do research on the period (1899) so that my persona’s viewpoint reflects that and not 21st century slang or mores. I highly recommend looking at what you can find on the period and then writing yourself a persona notecard outlining who you are and a bit of your history within those parameters. It makes a great reference point when making your first conversations in character trying to explain why you have come to their fair town and it is something to fall back on when you need to.

Having experienced this for several weeks got me thinking about our community and how maybe just being what we are has been and still is a form of roleplay as well.

Within the whole Myst genre, we are the ‘Explorer.’ As the series progressed we interacted more with the main characters, Atrus, DRC, Wheely, etc. Prologue, D’Mala, MOUL/MOULa put us in a more direct roleplay situation as explorers from the surface with the DRC and with each other. From the beginning we increasingly interacted with what was going on around us. Our creativity took flight based on what we had to work with. Out of an event where Wheely was trapped and sadly died, the Relayer Corps was born. Those of us who participated felt very privileged to be part of the ongoing roleplay at the time and felt the ensuing roleplay had become important enough to share with the other explorers. Other events transpired, triggered by the imaginations of people like Sil-Oh-Wet, Rils and others. Some created groups to examine the D’ni such as the Puzzlers group who presented some interesting and cogent arguments on the origin of the D’ni. We created and attended regular events in the Cavern – Karaoke and Spoken Word Night originated there.

When we got the word we would have to leave the Cavern, we were dismayed; shocked. I remember sitting with a close friend who told me that maybe he would go to Second Life – a place he knew of but I knew little about. At that point we all knew we would have to, “Find a way; make a home.” And we did. Some went to There, some to Second Life to join others who had come earlier and who helped pave the way for the rest of us. Throughout I think we roleplayed. We were explorers from the surface who found a cavern and an ancient civilization then a disaster forced us to leave much like the D’ni. The Cavern was going to be destroyed so we found a place to go. In our ways, wherever we went, we found the means to keep our community together and thriving. Overall I would say we have thrived. Yes, There ended and many immigrated to SL. Shards came into being, the MOUL forums continued for those who chose not to move into the metaverse and eventually Open Source Uru became reality which is something we all hoped for. And we continue to roleplay. We are in essence the D’ni. We endure, our culture endures across the metaverse.

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3 Comments

  1. deanndufaux said,

    March 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Fabulous article and a perfect analogy! Thanks DM. We really did immerse – most of us without even thinking about it. We “became” the explorers.

  2. Anne Donahoo said,

    March 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Love it, DMom!

  3. jade said,

    March 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I have always thought of myself as an explorer, my avatar myself.
    This was a wonderful analogy, thank you.


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