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All the World's a Stage: Anonymosity

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Roleplaying is a journey of trust you take with strangers. You may now and then start out with a group of people you know in real life, but for the most part, the people you roleplay with have no idea who you really are, or why you are sitting here at the computer. You can tell them if you want to, but most people don't ask. Roleplayers tend to keep personal details private, and don't intrude on one another's space.

Besides, other roleplayers don't necessarily care that much about who you "really are" either. They're there to get to know your character, not you as a person, unless your character first makes a very good impression and they decide that they actually want to be friends as real people. Even though you respect each other as people who share the same interest, there's still a distance between you which either (or both) of you may wish to maintain.

And yet, the relationship you have is one of trust. It's not at all at the same level as a best friend of course, but you still have to trust one another in a very creative sense -- you rely on each other to create interesting things for your characters to share with one another. You're not just buying a shirt from a salesperson or holding the door for a passerby -- you're exchanging behavior and language in an unpredictable and totally interconnected way. Any little surprise a stranger brings to an interaction may completely alter the whole game session and stick in your mind as one of your most memorable gaming experiences. Roleplayers have to trust other roleplayers to help make those experiences positive, even without knowing anything at all about one another. Sometimes two characters can even become very close friends, even though the real people behind them do not.

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

Partying at BlizzCon

Tickets are only going on sale today, but already people are planning the most important part of BlizzCon: the parties. There's a whole crew of people planning to meet up at the Hilton, and if the past few years are any indication, all of the restaurants and bars around the area will be hosting roaming groups of World of Warcraft and Blizzard fans after the show every night. Whether you're meeting up with your guildies or just sitting down with random strangers to talk about whatever Blizzard announced previously in the day, partying at Blizzard's big event is always a good time.

Most plans are still up in the air, though we do have one event for you to mark on your calendar: our regular WoW Insider meetup will be held as usual on Thursday night again this year (that'll be August 20th). We haven't quite figured out a location yet -- unfortunately, I think we've finally outgrown The Lost Bar, as last year it was not only packed to capacity, and not only did my throat wear out from yelling to the crowd, but the bar's lone bartender has soured us on going back there. We're looking around for someplace a little bigger, preferably with a stage and a mic, where the drinks can flow freely.

Wherever we end up, it's sure to be a hoot -- we'll likely have giveaways, WoW Insider editors and staffers aplenty will be in attendance, and, probably the best part, you'll get to meet all of the fellow readers who fill the comment fields next to you. If you're grabbing tickets today (or even if you're just planning to be there anyway), stay tuned as we get closer for more news on where the meetup is going down.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, BlizzCon

All the World's a Stage: Joining the right circle


One of the most common difficulties many roleplayers face is that of finding other people to roleplay with. To help overcome this challenge, All the World's a Stage presents a guide to finding roleplayers in three parts: "finding the right realm" for roleplaying, "joining the right circle" of roleplaying friends, and "wearing the right mask" to attract other roleplayers to you.

So, here you are. You decided that you want to give roleplaying a try, so you picked an RP server and started leveling up. You even tried roleplaying with one person you met along the way, saying "Hail, traveler! Would you like to undertake this task with me?" Things were going along quite nicely for a few minutes until the other person said, "Dood, this quest suxxors, lol," and you realized that something had gone horribly, terribly wrong.

A mystery baffles roleplayers everywhere: why is it that even on a space like an RP server, set aside for roleplaying, it can be so hard to find other people to roleplay with? Even if you have thoroughly researched the question of which server is the best place for roleplaying, still you will not be happy there until you find a circle of friends whose roleplaying you can appreciate, and who appreciate yours in return.

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

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