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THE ROLEPLAYING CARICATURE

19 February 2005

As my eyes glance over the bloodsmitten gashapon underneath my monitor -its leg extracted and replaced by a stump of thick hemoglobin with bone sticking out- I think about nothing in particular. I would write about World of Warcraft again, but then I'd become a predictable caricature.

Ah what the hell. There are worse things. If I had to pick between ranting a bit more about Wereld van Oorlogsambacht (as it is fortunately NOT translated directly in the Netherlands) or being, say, the molested sexbag of Michael Jackson (TM Idle Thumbs), a preference for the former would be facile.

As I might have mentioned, I play on a roleplaying server. I've also noted that I would not like to be among overly pretentious people reciting Shakespearian quotations. But unfortunately, it seems the reverse is in effect: more than I had hoped against, people are reluctant to adhere to roleplaying guidelines, frequently resorting to chat-speak in public channels. Also, while we are in the beginning stages of play, the emphasis lies still too much on powering up and grinding in the treadmill. I can only hope this shifts as everyone gets strong enough so that levels don't matter anymore.

When the game itself has revealed most of its secrets, it's probable that people will settle down and think about how to enrich the experience themselves. Which would be through roleplaying. I just hope this happens soon. Now I'm not blameless myself, as I catch myself now and then rushing about to level as well, being caught up too much in the competitive play. But I strive to take it more easy and really get into character. I already had some good roleplaying experiences and I wish for these to grow in number. It's possible. It just takes an effort.

What I've also noticed is that I more gladly roleplay to not shatter someone else's experience, than doing it for my own. Rather than roleplaying because it would enrich me, I do it in the service of the greater good. A justifiable deed in every way, but I'd still like to change that. Because playing solo would then mean that all roleplaying would be gone. I have to start roleplaying for myself, instead of others. But I don't know if this is a common state of mind among roleplayers.

Roderick.