Friday, August 6, 2010

Role Playing—The Good, The Bad And The Downright Ugly

Dear Reader,

I have to admit I have rewritten this particular post several times, and it has changed immensely since I wrote the original “Meet my Face-Book Cornwalls Characters”, my own Role-Playing venture, but this post is no longer that.

I have debated the intelligence of posting about such a topic over and over again, knowing it sensitive. But after what I have read and seen go on as of late, I rewrote it once again, this evening in fact and this time plan on posting it and risk offending someone.

It isn’t like it would be a first time. Nor will it be a last.

The world of Role Playing has exploded in the last few months…at least in my little corner of it. I have taken notice of some very nice and imaginative people, who have inspired me in so many ways. I have made friends, and love to follow these people and their stories.

I started out following a few of one author’s fans, whom took her characters from a particular series and created a neat tapestry of entertaining excitement that was drama-free; a relaxed atmosphere for everyone to participate in. Those few people grew into many, far more than I can keep track of anymore. And I had enjoyed them all; their dedication, banter and stories, relationships and inclusion and respect of the fans and fellow characters, groups alike.

The good side is, these people entertain thousands of people with plotlines that are well-thought out. I admire their creatively in their own branch of the “market”, and fully support those individuals that do it right.

I have made quite a few Role-Playing friends who make an extra effort and live up to the expectations they set for themselves by assuming these identities. I watch them flourish and grow into their role, expanding and having fun with it. They talk to fans, include them, draw out thoughts and ideas. Having read some of these series’, I see the work it takes for them to maintain these roles they have undertaken. I applaud them.

A lot of the time it is all in good fun, but there are two sides to every coin. Like just about everywhere, not everything is always perfect.

And this would be where I am split in two directions, seeing both sides of it.

I have seen some gang up on others, bully and push them around until the victim gives up and leaves. Sometimes people who just want to have fun and interact with each other are singled out by those who have taken Role-Playing a step too far, and even dragging personal issues and information into the mix and making it ugly for everyone involved, and sometimes people who weren’t even involved to begin with.

Now, I have seen spiels of “freedom of speech” etc, etc, etc. How some will even use it as an excuse for what they do. I’ve seen and heard it all, including the fighting, the degradation that has transpired. Friendships both lost and gained, some dragging out matters that have nothing to do with Role-Playing out into the limelight and “stardom” they have achieved. And the victim having little control over what happens. Because quite frankly some just don’t know when to drop it, that they have caused enough. The damage is already done. As well, the deletion of profiles and continued abuse by malicious people for whatever their reasons may be. I have watched as some were verbally battered in ways that are far too high-school for my tastes (which gained immediate deletion from me, if the “abuser” was on my list to begin with, and over the past few days has taken a dramatic spike).

I have my favorites, all of which have left Role Playing on Facebook, or taken a break—not able to take the mistreatment anymore. Perhaps that is what made me stop biting my tongue and staying out of it, but too many friends get hurt when all they want is to entertain.

So, the question remains, do I approve of such a venture? That is such a loaded question. I guess it all depends if we can all get out of the sandbox long enough to act like the adults we should be.

I guess it’s just a matter of opinion, and that was mine…

Kayden McLeod

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I was involved in RP for years - both as a player and a moderator - and I could give any number of examples of both types of RPs, and both types of RPers. Having had the first RP I ran disintegrate mid-plot amidst a fight between two camps (both consisting of incredibly talented writers who just couldn't keep real life separate from fantasy), my co-mod and I set a rule for our subsequent board - anyone guilty of creating an uncomfortable RP environment for other players would be warned and subsequently dropped.

It was a remarkably drama-free board.