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Video Game Tuesday: The Roleplay in MMORPG

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going on a bit of a rant about Roleplaying in MMOs.

Roleplaying: Roleplaying is difficult to define exactly, except for the obvious “Roleplaying is when you’re playing a role.” More specifically, it’s where you take up a character and play out the situation how you think that character would act. Think “improvised acting” and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what roleplaying actually is. It’s also been compared to playing “pretend” with your best friend when you were little, except for, well, grown-ups.

My problem with Roleplaying: I don’t really have a problem with Roleplaying, I actually have a problem with people ignoring the RP in MMORPG.  So few people take so little care to actually think about their character names, which is pretty much one of the very first things you decide upon in a Roleplaying game. They’ll pick something they think is funny like Ipwn Noobs. What are you twelve? I don’t roleplay often, although I’ve been in a bit of situation recently where I’ve been required to do so for a while now. It’s a heck of a lot more believable to other people or heck, enjoyable, if someone takes care in naming their characters. You don’t have to go full blown make a backstory of your character and decide everything you do in the game based on that, but at least take care to give your character a good name. A friend was having trouble deciding on a surname for their character, and I threw out a couple dozen suggestions, all of which she said maybe to. I log in the next day to find that not only did she decide on Latte as the name, but they thought to add a set of apostrophes to it. Latte” is not a name with “character” and it’s highly annoying to people trying to type a message to you. Be considerate and give your poor character a name that isn’t stupid please.

That’s it for my little rant on Roleplaying for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Make sure to come by next week for a very special post!

One thought on “Video Game Tuesday: The Roleplay in MMORPG”

  1. Hah ha – I was just talking about this at roleplaying last night. Guild Wars and its lack of name filters – Cr00ching Tiger and L00ke Skywaltzer.

    City of Heroes was the best for RPers, with really cool origin stories for some of the supes(EQ1&2 seems to be too, although I never played).

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