Kinds of roleplayers

In Uncategorized on 2008-03-19 by Kyle Maxwell

There are 10 kinds of roleplayers: those that understand binary, and those that don’t. (Geek joke alert!)

Well, I do believe there are two types of roleplayers, and I’m going to do my best to describe them here.

Group one, what I’ve called “immersioners” (or Motoko calls “rolegamers”
, focuses on playing the game itself and immersing themselves in it. These are the folks that try to take game mechanics as IC as possible. A “rolegamer” enjoys the underlying game and his RP revolves around that. That doesn’t mean taking EVERYTHING at face value, or every character since the NGE was rescued by Han Solo and Chewbacca. He’d barely have a moment for making time with Leia. For this group, game mechanics are the primary definition of the limits of their characters’ abilities.

Group two, what Motoko calls “worldplayers” (I never had a good name for them) focus on enjoying the world that’s been built on top of the game. Things like PvP, grinding, and gear are of little to no interest to this group. A “worldplayer” isn’t really interested in the game, but in using the environment for something close to freeform RP. The only limit on character abilities is “common sense”, which may vary wildly from group to group or even player to player, but certainly allows for much more variety than what SWG directly allows.

Obviously, this isn’t entirely cut and dry. There are folks that enjoy the game but keep it fairly separate from their RP, though I’d classify her somewhat in the second group because her gameplaying isn’t IC. There are folks that can indulge in the freeform RP from time to time, but prefer to play the game ICly. It’s a spectrum, not two discrete bins.

My personal belief is that most of the drama that infests RP communities (like /emote versus /duel or the proper role of Force users and powers) stems from not understanding on which side of the line another player is standing. As Motoko said over on the Starsider Galaxy community forum:

Worldplayers need to have as many people as possible around them to get to that critical mass where freeform roleplay starts happening or you end up with nothing happening. The more the marrier, to the point that they want to continually include the Rolegamers.

Rolegamers minimum player level is far far below that, and the addition of Worldplayers to their playerbase adds a much smaller amount of “fun” for them than vice versa.

Worldplayers need Rolegamers, but Rolegamers don’t need Worldplayers.

Regardless of which end of the spectrum you personally prefer, it’s important to realize that other players may have a different view. That doesn’t make one side right or wrong or even that you can’t play with someone with a different perspective, but recognizing and tolerating that difference is important to avoid OOC conflict and even expand your own notions a little.

(based on my post There are 10 kinds of roleplayers… on SSG and many thoughtful replies from other SS RPers)


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