So in my previous post as well as in my brief history lesson, I had a lot of good to say about roleplaying. One might even call it “gushing.”
I definitely stand by everything I said, but nothing is all good. I mentioned before that those who have condemned roleplaying have their points. As much as I love it, I’ve also got to be honest. As much wonderful experience that I’ve gotten, I’ve also picked up my fair share of bad habits.
Now that I’ve defended probably my favorite pastime, it’s time to dig into the dark underbelly.
Let’s start off gently, shall we? Continue reading
I mentioned in my introduction that roleplaying, or any form of collaborative storytelling, often gets a lot of flack from the writing community. I’ve seen it painted as an exercise in infantilism that will hobble a writer’s ability by miring it into strict amateurism. That it’s a childish game at best, a crutch at worst.
Really, I find any writer taking a high horse on “playing pretend,” as so many are quick to call it, hilariously hypocritical. At the end of the day, every writer is just playing with dolls in a world of make-believe and transcribing the events. It doesn’t really matter if we fancy it up by calling the components “characters” and “setting.” It is what it is.
Sort of demystifies the whole process a little, doesn’t it?
That said, I don’t really see what’s so very different about inviting a friend and telling them to bring their dolls along so you can play together. There are a lot of benefits to adding another perspective to your writing; if there weren’t, there’d be no advice concerning beta-readers, critiques, or editors.
But what does bringing someone (or multiple people) along do to benefit your writing? Well, in no particular order, let’s begin.
Dungeons & Dragons passed its 40th Anniversary just last year. Although I’m willing to bet that human beings have been “roleplaying” as a form of entertainment in one way or another since the dawn of time, D&D certainly brought it to the mainstream consciousness in a way that it hadn’t ever been before.
If anyone is at all familiar with the fantasy genre, I’m sure you’re well and truly familiar with the surge in books that were quite blatantly the writer’s D&D campaign that they thought was too cool not to share. But I’m not going to talk about that here.
No, in those four decades, a lot has changed in the world of roleplay—and one of the biggest catalysts to those changes has been none other than the internet.