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Old 04-16-2011, 03:19 PM   #101
Suicide Boy
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Re: What turns people from RP?

I believe one of the major problems from which the entire MU* community suffers is cliquishness. If every active MU* (e.g., the top 50 on TMS or MUDstats) were combined into a single uber-MU*, the total population of said uber-MU* would still be lower than that of just a few World of Warcraft servers. In actuality, we're thinly spread across dozens of MU*s. What you end up with are extremely intimate MU* communities populated by rather geeky folks who often exhibit symptoms of Unwarranted (Internet) Self-Importance. Our vastly superior intellects can grasp an all-text game, succeed in the face of typically old-school game mechanics, and triumph against other geeks in the battle for social supremacy, right? Depending on the game, we may also spend sums of real-life money that beggar the imagination for in-game perks.

Escapism is all well and good, but when someone becomes homicidally obsessed with (and/or invested in) their MU* character and his or her e-reputation and e-honor, I can't help but wonder what the rest of their life must be like. Surely it can't be healthy to pour so much energy into an online game. Am I alone in thinking this...? But I digress.

You may be wondering how this relates to "turning people from RP." Simply put, cliques can be a major force in turning people from RP (also from the entire MU*, but not necessarily). Cliques tend to have their own very specific ideas about what constitutes "good" RP; considering that there are many different (and perfectly valid) ways to answer the question "What is RP?", in my mind this is nothing more than preferential elitism.

Now, I'm not talking about clearly bad role-playing. I believe there is indeed such a thing as clearly bad role-playing, and that almost anyone can recognize it as such. For example, everyone reading this post could probably recognize a bad singer in real life: someone who hits sour notes, sings off-key, constantly wavers into falsetto, can't carry a tune, etc. I'm talking about cliques that shun perfectly good role-players who simply don't fit their very particular ideas of good role-playing. This would be like shunning someone for playing a trombone rather than a violin.

And that leads to my next-to-last point, which is twofold: One, that sometimes these elitist cliques' ideas of good role-playing is in fact bad role-playing, the ultimate irony. Two (a significant side note), bad role-playing in and of itself can turn people from RP, because they recognize it as being bad and don't wish to participate in the nonsense.

The cherry on top is that our communities are so small that oftentimes players shunned by the "with it" elitist cliques have nowhere else to turn. Of course, this may lead to someone leaving the game entirely, but not always. They may simply become loners, or "borg" a lot, or hang around with just one or two friends, or be an overall negative (but not bannable) presence on the MU*.

In closing, please try to keep your Unwarranted Self-Importance in check. I freely admit that this applies to myself, too, and that's not self-serving false humility... no one is without sin in this matter.

Last edited by Suicide Boy : 04-16-2011 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:54 PM   #102
Darren Brimhall
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Re: What turns people from RP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suicide Boy View Post
I believe one of the major problems from which the entire MU* community suffers is cliquishness. If every active MU* (e.g., the top 50 on TMS or MUDstats) were combined into a single uber-MU*, the total population of said uber-MU* would still be lower than that of just a few World of Warcraft servers. In actuality, we're thinly spread across dozens of MU*s. What you end up with are extremely intimate MU* communities populated by rather geeky folks who often exhibit symptoms of Unwarranted (Internet) Self-Importance. Our vastly superior intellects can grasp an all-text game, succeed in the face of typically old-school game mechanics, and triumph against other geeks in the battle for social supremacy, right? Depending on the game, we may also spend sums of real-life money that beggar the imagination for in-game perks.

Escapism is all well and good, but when someone becomes homicidally obsessed with (and/or invested in) their MU* character and his or her e-reputation and e-honor, I can't help but wonder what the rest of their life must be like. Surely it can't be healthy to pour so much energy into an online game. Am I alone in thinking this...? But I digress.

You may be wondering how this relates to "turning people from RP." Simply put, cliques can be a major force in turning people from RP (also from the entire MU*, but not necessarily). Cliques tend to have their own very specific ideas about what constitutes "good" RP; considering that there are many different (and perfectly valid) ways to answer the question "What is RP?", in my mind this is nothing more than preferential elitism.

Now, I'm not talking about clearly bad role-playing. I believe there is indeed such a thing as clearly bad role-playing, and that almost anyone can recognize it as such. For example, everyone reading this post could probably recognize a bad singer in real life: someone who hits sour notes, sings off-key, constantly wavers into falsetto, can't carry a tune, etc. I'm talking about cliques that shun perfectly good role-players who simply don't fit their very particular ideas of good role-playing. This would be like shunning someone for playing a trombone rather than a violin.

And that leads to my next-to-last point, which is twofold: One, that sometimes these elitist cliques' ideas of good role-playing is in fact bad role-playing, the ultimate irony. Two (a significant side note), bad role-playing in and of itself can turn people from RP, because they recognize it as being bad and don't wish to participate in the nonsense.

The cherry on top is that our communities are so small that oftentimes players shunned by the "with it" elitist cliques have nowhere else to turn. Of course, this may lead to someone leaving the game entirely, but not always. They may simply become loners, or "borg" a lot, or hang around with just one or two friends, or be an overall negative (but not bannable) presence on the MU*.

In closing, please try to keep your Unwarranted Self-Importance in check. I freely admit that this applies to myself, too, and that's not self-serving false humility... no one is without sin in this matter.

Agreed.

Darren Brimhall
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