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RPR Archive What are Role Players - Gamers or writers?

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by darth_nemisis, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    This has been approved by Imperial_Hammer and Saintheart ;)

    In a discussion during an RPF chat last night, an interesting topic came about when comparing role playing with writing fan fiction. It was said that some Role players (RPers) consider themselves gamers in the sense that they are only playing a game and nothing more, where as some consider themselves writers in the sense that they are telling a story. I thought this would be an interesting topic of debate/discussion with the RPing community. So, tell us, as a RPer, what do you consider yourself?
  2. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    A gamer. This is because you, the RPer, are playing a game, and others are making the storyline go. However, fan fiction is hwere you alone (or with a group) decide what will go down before you write it out. In RP's, you have to respond depending on what the other players post. This reliance on others to post can make the game go in any direction.
  3. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    This distinction is completely pointless. I'm here to have fun.
  4. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I am going to say the opposite of what JediGunship has said. I definitely consider myself, and those I RP with, writers. What we are doing, in my eyes, is no different than writing fan fiction, it just has many different authors, and is far more interactive. We tell a story, but in a different, more unorthodox way.

    LightWarden: Why is it pointless? One can have distinctions yet have fun at the same time. I do. ;)
  5. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Because the terms you've established for this discussion aren't very good?

    some Role players (RPers) consider themselves gamers in the sense that they are only playing a game and nothing more

    some consider themselves writers in the sense that they are telling a story

    I'm not really seeing how these are either distinct categories, or even good categories. I'm fairly certain that you can play a game and tell a story at the same time. Not really sure what the "playing a game and nothing more" means, since not only does it set up some sort of divide between them, but a tiered divide as well, which seems like a sort of elitist approach to me. So when you say "game and nothing more", you're talking something played for fun without any sort of plot, so... something like Tic-Tac-Toe or something (which is by no means a slight against Tic-Tac-Toe)? And do you see any game around here whatsoever that fits this idea?

    This whole thing seems like it's some form of segue into some sort of fan-fic/RPG nerd hierarchy thing.

    And we already have that.

    [image=http://www.brunching.com/images/geekchartbig.gif]

    I really don't see where you're going with this. Both fanfic writers and RPG enthusiasts are a bunch of nerds, and any attempt to justify either group only ends in pointless ego-stroking and drama.
  6. Yukari_Nahashi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2008
    star 1
    I may be reading that chart wrong... but everything goes back to Furries somehow?
  7. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    With my being great at writing, I consider this gaming because the plot depends on the other players, not exactly what you come up with yourself. However, it is a good topic in my opinion.
  8. Reynar_Tedros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2006
    star 6
    Welcome to the RPF.
  9. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    LW, I admire you for your ability to cut down people's ideas.
  10. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Nope, it was just a question...me being curious as to what other RPers viewed themselves.
    A bunch of nerds? I guess you could say so. Another possibility: they could be people who enjoy writing and this (SW/sci-fi in general) just happens to be a topic of their writings...;)

    Personally, I think you're making a big deal out of this. I was simply asking what people view themselves, nothing more. So, it is an opinion based thing, no sort of hierarchy going on here. There are other options besides gamers or writers I guess, but I didn't think of any when I made the post. I am curious as to what you view yourself as, LW. You say you are here to have fun, but what do you consider yourself then, if not a gamer or writer?

    Same question to you Reynar and Nick. Perhaps you could actually contribute something to the topic. :p
  11. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IMHO, it's a tiny but important distinction. You can have good RPing without good writing, and good writing without good RPing.

    You can have a technically perfect post that, once you distil it down to the salient points, you realize that what's actually being written is (a) godmoding; (b) tactically unwise; (c) a lot of pretty words that say absolutely nothing (or the character has the depth of cardboard and the author is trying to obscure this by rhetoric); (d) combinations thereof, etc. That's the extreme of "writer, not gamer."

    On the other end of the spectrum, you can have posts that are abysmally written with grammar and spelling mistakes everywhere, or in *actions* format, or are a wall of text with no paragraphs, whatever - but the actual actions contained in the post are probably sound. The videogamer's mindset, basically.

    Obviously, most people fall somewhere in between, because you won't get very far with one or the other. But it's a matter of priorities. Do you rather just get the job done, or do you try and tell a story? Tell a story while getting the job done? Get the job done while telling a story?

    (There are also those who fail at being either writers or gamers, but that's neither here nor there.)


    Personally, I think I'm about in the middle of the spectrum, leaning towards the writing side. I was going to say "writer, all the way", but my inner MMORPG player says that's not true.. :)


    ETA: Mind you, I'm not trying to make a case for writers > gamers or vice versa, or that they're mutually exclusive concepts. Like I said, I think of it as a spectrum, with one extreme being just as bad as the other.
  12. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    I actually am a member of the awesome brigade and consider myself as thus. I heard something similar about Reynar, so...
  13. Teegirloo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 6
    For me i think its a bit of both. Im a gamer but i love writing. In fact its helped my writing improve so much. That i consider myself more of a writer now than ever before.
  14. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    But, seriously, I'd say both. Because, I am participating in a game and writing.
  15. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    Gamer or writer? I would probably consider myself a gamer, and that is mainly due to the fact that I have been doing non-text gaming for about 17 years or so. Text based RPing is something that is relatively recent for me (as I have only done it for 5 years), and even then have only started making a concerted effort to polish up my writing skills in the past 6 months or so.

    One day I would hopefully be able to consider myself a writer, but between now and then I have a lot of work to do in order to not feel like I have just insulted those who are truly great writers.

    I_H Edit: Baiting
  16. Klaus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Coming from the otehr side of the game - erm, from fanfic, I mean, I did have problems making the distinction. For a fanficcer andy RPG looks like a round-robin on first sight. You form a group with the intention to tell a story together and somebody has to be the leader, telling where to go. (More or less, I am not sure how much leading you'd get away with in fanfic...)

    The biggest difference I have seen so far is that in RPG there can be challenges and prizes. Fanficcers on the other hand, often write the characters of other fanficcers in round robins which is forbidden in role-playing.

    It might look similar, but the intention and process are different.


    This sock is brought to you by: MsLanna
  17. Sith-I-5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 5
    At time of writing, I am a writer.

    I am a gamer in other arenas, but here on the RPF, a writer.



    Ooh, ooh, can I be in the Awesome Brigade too? [face_praying]
  18. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    I guess it depends on how your classify a writer. Whether it's the obvious "if you write" type, or if there is a certain level of writing you have to obtain first. The question is too vague for what it entitles, IMO.

    Sith, you are a member.
  19. JohnHunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2006
    star 3
    LOL! LightWarden, your too friggen' smart. Seriously! You?re like Einstein when he was a kid. You?re so adept at perceiving everything easily that it all comes as a big pointless bore to you!

    I do sympathize that you have to deal with the machinations and questions of somewhat lesser minds, but this is all we have. :p
  20. JohnHunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2006
    star 3
    I like the chart btw...[face_laugh]
  21. Teegirloo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 6
    Oh that chart is priceless![face_laugh]
  22. JohnHunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2006
    star 3
    Yeah, now I realize how much of a geek I am![face_laugh]
  23. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    LOL@LW, nice chart.


    darth, we're actually both if you want to get technical. You have to write in order to game here. Therefore, you're both a writer and a gamer. :p


    On a more serious note, I consider myself both a writer and a gamer here. The times I have a sub-plot, I write a story involving myself and one or two other players (sometimes resulting in hijacking the game). The times I dont, I just see what trouble I can get into in the game.



    As for whether RPGs are round-robins or not and based from personal experience I can tell you that they are not. A round-robin has a set plot that authors have to work with and most of the time cannot deviate from it and very few sub-plots are created (if any at all). Although a round-robin does not have a limit on authors, they are often times written by less then 5 people. The more authors, the harder it is to write the story and keep it consistent. A round-robin also is often written in a single person, whether it be first, second or third and written from the perspective of one or two characters. The submissions are also in chronological order and the scenes are organized together like a book.

    A RPG has a loose plot that players can work with but don't have to and often times stray very far from it and dozens of sub-plots are created that have nothing to do with the main plot and can be so confusing sometimes that I bet not even LightWarden could sort them out if he wanted to ;). A RPG can have three to a dozen players or more at once writing for their characters only. A submission can use one of three persons resulting in the game having all persons and each one is told from the perspective of the character. Consistency, chronology and organization is kissed good-bye and thrown out the window.

    The fact that consistency, chronology and organization very rarely exists in an RPG should indicate to anyone that these are not fan fics. Honestly who would want to read a fan fic that is so disorganized, contradicts itself often and jumps around chronologically? I would call it very bad fan fiction and that stuff readers avoid like the black plague. Heck, WE don't even read what we write after 50 posts!
  24. DarthSolar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2008
    star 4
    Marxist Communist [face_thinking] That's what i class myself as.
  25. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    The answer is Yes. As a longtime (Okay, seven years, so not that long) GM, I can say I've met players who would go either way. There are the combat junkies who are just there to roll dice and hit stuff (in the game) in nearly equal proportion to those who view RPing as a chance to weave a story.

    Now, in an online context, I'm going to have to say there's a higher majority who tend to fall into the "Writers" category, because... well, the combat isn't as enthralling, IMO.

    As for myself? I like to think I'm more of a writer, but what I really want to do is direct.;)
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