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November 3, 2008 / jadettman

Thoughts on Roleplaying

Roleplaying is an ephemeral performance medium.

Roleplaying is not the book that you buy in the game store, not the character you create, not the work you do to prepare for the game.

Roleplaying is the performance. It is the moments during which the participants interact as fictional personas. It is because of this roleplaying is ephemeral. You could record the performance but how many people would be interested in watching it.

Roleplaying is not high art, not intended to recorded or scripted. It is intended for an audience no larger than the participants in the game itself. To record it for display is to change the medium, to try to make it art is to encourage false play.

Roleplaying is a personal medium. When we take on a fictional persona, we are breathing life into parts of our personality that do no frequently see the light of day. The parts of us that want to be heroes or scoundrels. The parts of us that want to scheme about giving the asshole we don’t like his comeupance. The parts of us that want to do things that society calls evil or wrong.

Roleplaying is ephemeral in that it happens and then is gone. We may remember it but the nuances of the moment are lost.

Roleplaying is shared. It is done in groups. It doesn’t have to be a large group, it could just be two people, but it is time spent with friends as other people.


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