Roleplaying, was RE: I'm back!

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Thu Aug 22 08:23:17 EDT 2002


On Tue, Aug 20, 2002 at 12:55:55PM +0100, Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:
> 
> Well, I'll stand up as a representative of the other side.  I don't role-play.
> I have had friends try and introduce me to D&D and related games, but when it
> comes down to it, role-playing leaves me cold.  The games may be good
> games [1], but it's the role playing that I don't like.  I'm uneasy
> when we're given roles to play on training courses.  I suppose I just
> don't like suppressing my own character.
> 
> Anyone else get similar feelings?

Well, the reason I stopped doing fantasy RPG was sort of similar.  Thing
is, I think there's a fundamental difference between role-playing and
reading.  When you're reading, you look at a world, and suspend your
disbelief, but at the same time, you can think critically about it, and
put it down, and so on.  When you're role-playing, you are not just an
observer, you're a participant, you have to behave as if it's real.  And
it's more than just acting -- with acting you're playing someone else's
part.  With role-playing you are creating the part as well as playing
it, which means the character, after a while, becomes a sort of
alter-ego.  And you can find yourself thinking, outside of the RPG,
"what would my character do in this situation?"  So it can then end up
that your character can influence the way you think about some things --
engender certain "habits of thought" -- and this could be a good
influence (like making you more confident) or a bad influence, or a
mixture.

And I decided I didn't want to play RPG games which required me to act
(for the duration of the game) as if I believed there were many gods.
 
> (I would mention at this point that, as a Christian, I totally disagree with
> that small number of other Christians who claim that RPGs are evil.  I think
> they have misunderstood the nature of fantasy.)

Interestingly enough, my brother-in-law earnestly tried to persuade me
to give up RPGs because he thought they opened the way to demonic
influence.(*)  I didn't agree with him, but I did end up giving them up
for my own reasons (see above) but not for his.  I don't think RPGs are
evil, but I do think roleplaying isn't a neutral activity.


(*)It's actually been one of the very few occassions when we did
disagree about something of that nature -- I don't want to give the
impression that my brother-in-law is a rabid Fundie or anything like
that.

Kathryn Andersen
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"Listen.  I don't want to make any snap decisions -
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		  -- Sarah Jane Smith   (Doctor Who)
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