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Posts with tag roleplaying-layers

All the World's a Stage: The core layer


This week's edition of All the World's a Stage concludes a three-part series on the layers of social interaction in roleplaying. Next week we will continue looking at how to roleplay one's professions.

Good friends are stars in the sky of life, and especially as roleplayers, friends are absolutely essential to our hobby – our whole reason for playing WoW involves creative social interactions. Even if you never really know who a roleplaying partner is in real life, just roleplaying with him or her for a few minutes can create a memorable experience.

Previously, we discussed how to roleplay when you first meet someone, as well as what to do once you've gotten to know them a bit more. The key in each case is remembering that roleplaying is a social experience first, and a creative one second – your character must conform to the rules of good socialization before he or she can succeed creatively. Even though at first this seems more limiting, in the end it will be more liberating, because through sociable characters, you can collaboratively create stories and experiences in a way that no other form of storytelling can.

In fact, the closer you become to your group of friends, the more the possibilities bloom. The core concept characterizations you used to use to entertain strangers are still useful, but here they can take on a deeper meaning. You still listen to your friends and adapt your own character to theirs, but now they will listen to you, and adapt their characters to yours. The closer your friendships are, the more your exploration and creativity are truly mutual and cooperative, and the more you can try out new things that you've never done before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: The inside layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage continues the discussion about the layers of roleplaying, still taking a break from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions. Last week, we looked at how to interact with strangers in roleplaying environments, on "the surface layer."

So there you are -- you've got a character who is gregarious and gets into roleplaying groups relatively easily. Your character's way of interacting with others makes it easy for other people to recognize you as a roleplayer, and even encourages them to come out and roleplay with you, even if they're not that much into roleplaying themselves. You've followed some good advice about finding roleplayers -- maybe even joined an RP guild -- and you're meeting characters you think are interesting, and you really hope they think your character is interesting too.

But then something goes wrong and you feel that special RP feeling start slipping away. The people in your guild stop talking to you as much -- sometimes the whole guild atmosphere seems to go quiet and dull, and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get the actual spirit of roleplaying flowing again. You start to think maybe your interesting character quirks aren't all that good after all. You keep trying to think of new ones, but no matter how funny your accent or entertaining your antics, people just aren't getting into it like they used to.

The problem here isn't actually you -- it's an assumption that many roleplayers, even experienced ones, sometimes have when they are in new roleplaying situations. We take the burden of creating a roleplaying atmosphere too heavily upon ourselves, when actually what we need to do is not create the atmosphere, but nurture it. Questions are the key here -- if your character has a genuine interest in other people then he or she will be able to draw out the spirit of roleplaying in them, get them talking about themselves, and start having interesting interactions together.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: The surface layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage diverges from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions, in order to have a closer look at different layers of social interaction in roleplaying, and see in which ways you can tailor your character for each one.

So there you are -- you've got the coolest, funniest, most heartbreaking character idea on your whole RP server. You login, create your new masterpiece, and start leveling up... But as time goes by, you realize you have a problem. No one seems interested in you! You may be having trouble meeting people who actually roleplay on a roleplaying server, or the roleplayers you run into may not realize how truly awesome your character is. Let's say you even join an RP guild and try to impress your guildmates with your witty "/guild" chatter, only to discover that they're seem mildly interested at best.

What's a roleplaying genius to do? It would be tempting to think that you are not such a great roleplayer as you think, or that your character idea isn't as fantastic as you had hoped, but the truth might lie in something far less depressing: You may have created a character with true depth, yet lacking established friends to explore that depth with, your character has no way of showing it. Making such friends is never easy if you are too deep for them -- they expect some sort of interesting surface-level interaction first. Likewise, if a character is all silly gimmicks designed to entertain strangers, without anything deeper for potential close friends to enjoy, he or she may seem like an attention grabber, entertaining in the short term, but mostly shallow in the end. Choosing the right kind of surface-layer character traits to suit your personality and social needs is essential if you want to have a good experience in roleplaying.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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