When you think of the term ‘roleplaying’ many things might come to mind: The man in his early 30’s still living in his parent’s basement – licking the nacho cheese crumbs from his fingers whilst playing World of Warcraft. The girl desperately trying to keep her fingers out of harm’s way as she frantically tries to finish her costume before the big LARP event at noon. The group of close friends sitting down after weeks of planning to finally start a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Or even something less “kosher.” But what you don’t quite hear mentioned is the subject of prose roleplay. It is my intention to fill in that void by sifting through the sand -brushing off misnomers and stereotypes – to reveal the hidden jewel that is prose roleplay.
Now you might ask, “What exactly is prose roleplay?” Prose roleplay, self-explained, is a form of roleplaying in which others write out their character’s actions, speech and other mannerisms. Or as one of my colleagues eloquently puts it:
I have always seen prose roleplaying as a "multi-author book" sort of entity, whereas other [RP] is not so cohesive. Many, many people input characters toward one common storyline. Think of it as a book series such as Game of Thrones, where each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character. It is the same with prose [RP], except each character is written by a different author entirely. (Wyza)
What makes it different from other types of roleplay, like large scale MMOs and LARPing is that, like Wzya says, “…[P]rose [RP] does not assume a particular character onto a person. The writer is removed from the character and therefore can have many characters at once interacting simultaneously within the world…” In ma...
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...o make lasting friendships. “It 's a good community for outcasts to get along and feel at home. I still don 't have many friends here [in her home town], but on the [World Wide Web] I do. I 've made a lot of them” (Bishop). Most interaction between others in the community is done through the internet, connecting this space with another no matter the physical distance. Some pairs or clusters connect with each other outside of forums as well. They might share a forum in common but communicate via text message, skype, or even social media. There is a thick underground of nearly every prose roleplay site or forum. It is the connections between authors that build such a community. You could have hundreds of authors in one place at once but if there is no connection or drive to make one with any other writer than the very concept of prose roleplay ceases to exist at all.
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