Why do we roleplay? What point do I dictate by typing these words upon this screen? To explain, to confined, to emphasize? What point is there in continuing to come back to this reality when the real world is so beckoning, so insisting that I take out the trash?
I’m sure many have tried this, to explain why we tend to write, to live outside ourselves through some off handed dwarf, elf, commanding officer, or some other conceived creature of creation. Many have come to assume it’s an escape, a means to leave the stress and sometimes confining reality we live in.
Who doesn’t want to be the hero now and again?
In some instances I can agree to such notions, but I don’t believe it explains definitively why. If its an escape, why then do we continually elude life’s slings and arrows, coming back here to not only allocate precious free time but hold the constant battle to maintain, and live within this world? Do you think its not costly to maintain something as expansive as a sim group or as expensive as web hosting?
At what point does roleplaying seize to be fun and become more about paperwork and maintaining the status quo?
The more simplistic of rationality is that it is, “fun,” to do these things. Truth be told I feel that a lot of the fun can be lost if you allow this world we’ve built to consume you; to do out of duty rather than out of fun. If you subjectively put yourself out there and fundamentally get nothing back in return then there isn’t a payout for your efforts, there isn’t a point other than the act itself. Still, I’ve seen a lot of people strive to do just that with new ideas, new avenues to approach this media of collaboration, failing miserably or succeeding so grandly that it because something big. It is a lot of work to maintain something like a sim group and its even that much more work to get up from a failed attempt at something.
But what sparks this effort? Why do we continue if not for something that goes beyond being merely, “fun?”
The question remains: Why do we roleplay?
We roleplay, we create these games, these works of collaboration, these worlds for the same reason the artist puts paint to canvas, the same reason the mountain is climbed or the sheer impossibility is overcome …,
Because it’s a challenge.
We are creatures of habit, we small insignificant monkeys who happen to have opposable thumbs and rationality of thought. We live in a society that stresses A and B mentality; home, work or school, than back to home again with very little in the way of spontaneity. In this tedium we seek to change, to find something within us to be challenged ether to do better, believe in, and/or make something of ourselves.
If we can’t find that challenge, or what challenge we do hold isn’t enough to maintain that habit, we create one.
Creativity grows from this, eventuality in technology and technique produces inovation in this practice, as such we develop new ways to continue the habit of the challenge and throw the gauntlet of said challenge upon those that are of liked minds.
Forward thinking breeds inovation in practice, as such we subjective ourselves whole-hearted into the act of the challenge; to constantly test the limits of our imagination, we write, we collaborate, we roleplay.
We accept the challenge.~Gabriel Logan is a laureate writer and producer within the Federation Sim Fleet. His works include Star Trek Eternity, FSF Radio 2, Ramble On!, and other forms of spontaneous creativity that may or may not be leering behind you. He writes only to silence the voices in his head. Check out his blog, Writer’s Words.