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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:14AM (Unverified) said

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This is an outrage!!!





Actually, good article, Mark. I played Ultima Online for years, but it took me over two years to even GM a skill. I wasn't about the fighting aspect of the game. I was a reporter for UO Stratics, so I would sit on top of the bank and socialize with other players. I would throw events, officiate weddings, and do interviews. I liked to call myself a GM Socialite.

Second Life affords me the ability to drop the pretense of battling monsters. I'm doing exactly the same thing as I did in UO, but I'm freely able to do them with better tools in SL. You'll only get out of games as much as you put into them. Most people won't even give SL a chance. :(

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:17AM (Unverified) said

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Certainly, while there aren't a *lot* of roleplayers in Second Life (most people are themselves), role-players have certainly thrived in the last couple years, and there are a variety of strong RP communities nowadays.

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:34AM gemski said

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I've never played SL. But from what I understand of it, this article is pretty dead on. RPGS in general have strayed far from role playing. The "rpg" in most MMOS and even solo RPGs has really come to describe something else.

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:38AM (Unverified) said

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That actually brings up another good point. Massively is all things MMO, not all things MMORPG. People keep telling us that SL isn't an MMO. Apparently those people need to revise their definition, because MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online, which is exactly what SL is.
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Posted: Nov 19th 2007 12:25PM (Unverified) said

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I think most of us in Second Life are role playing to a certain degree, even if we never set virtual foot in an actual role-playing sim. Here, we get to be who we want to be. For some, that may be very close to who they are in the real world. For others, not so much. For me, I get to be obsessed with purple in a way that would get me funny looks in the real world. Is that role-playing? I don't know, and I'm not sure I really care either.

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 12:35PM (Unverified) said

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I think many people discover that who they are (when they're relatively free to be themselves) - isn't necessarily who they thought they were.

That was the case for me, certainly.
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Posted: Nov 19th 2007 1:32PM Scopique said

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I don't think that most MMO games are (as) RP friendly as SL. Especially WoW. The mechanics are both missing (the simple things, like housing, my pet peeve) and confining (combat combat combat!)

On the other hand, not having a unifying stage means that RP in SL is more often then not disconnected from place to place. There's no common glue should RP group A want to merge with RP group B, or something similar.

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 3:58PM (Unverified) said

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There's way too many Second Life posts on this site. Second Life is not a game, it is a chat program with lots of graphics. For the love of god, please, less SL posts. I am tired of having to scroll past so many of them, and if anything is going to be a barrier to my reading this site regularly, it will be that.

Check out the number of posts listed on the sidebar. As of this post: 178 SL posts. Next closest, WoW (no surprise) at 84.

Arg. If there was less SL I could live with it. But really with the way things are now, this blog should be called "Mostly SL, and Some MMOs Too".



Posted: Nov 19th 2007 4:10PM (Unverified) said

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Who says that you have to read about only SL? If you care about a particular MMO, just subscribe to the RSS feed for the MMO of your choice. Problem solved. I don't care much about those "real" MMOs like Wow and what not and I'm not complaining about the other worlds that massively covers.

And SL is a little more than just a "chat program with lots of graphics". It's certainly not for everyone, but it's certainly a lot more than jutst killing X amount of enemies and getting Y experience points. (It can be a game if you want to).
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Posted: Nov 21st 2007 11:10PM kmeisthax said

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SL is actually the only MMO I care for. There's no annoying level grind or end-game content to worry about. So true, it is a fancy chat program, but so are all the other MMOs out there. Except this fancy chat program lets you make your own places instead of playing in someone else's sandbox.

In fact... When Massively started up, I was worried that the SLI staff would be overshadowed by all the other MMOs!
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Posted: Nov 19th 2007 4:21PM Ghen said

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In a very broad sense of the word I guess Second Life is a good example of a role-playing game, but to me the connotation of role-playing is pretending to be something a little bit further from the truth like a different race or a magician. So to me, meh. ;)

Posted: Nov 20th 2007 8:47AM (Unverified) said

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So take it further, Ghen. Are you male? Try being female. Avoid having sex if you wish; just try to act like a woman. Walk through a sex sim and deal with the jerks coming on to you. (Or deal with the jerks coming on to you when you're not in a sex sim - there's plenty of them.) Push your boundaries a little.
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Posted: Nov 20th 2007 8:00PM Ghen said

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beat, I've roleplayed a female in DAoC. To avoid sex-sims I just pretended like I was crazy.
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Posted: Nov 21st 2007 8:32AM (Unverified) said

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I'd say it's a good role-playing *platform* - but so's my kitchen table. Most CRPGs are so hard on real-time mechanics that they don't really make good RP platforms. That said, people can often find ways to RP nearly anywhere. The level of difficulty of it varies.
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Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:56PM (Unverified) said

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grrr! I hate you! no one till now had been able to shale mey belief SL is not an rpg! Xp

lol, anyway, great article :D

Posted: Nov 19th 2007 10:58PM (Unverified) said

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shake my*
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Posted: Nov 20th 2007 1:08AM (Unverified) said

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First, I have to say that there has to be a clear-cut definition of what roleplay is - it has different meanings to different people. To me roleplaying has always involved assuming a wholly different persona, and since a large number of SLers who don't join in roleplaying sims/factions are simply themselves, with perks (ie. having some other occupation or appearance in SL) the way they approach and use SL does not qualify to me as roleplaying, as they are extending their real selves into their SLives (augmentationists).

Wikipedia: In roleplaying, participants adopt and act out the role of characters, or parts, that may have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own.

Do I have different motivations in SL? Desires? Personality? My aims and motives in SL are somewhat different from RL, but my personality, though affected by the milieu and thus a little different, remains largely the same. Apart from what I earn within it, I treat SL as a self-contained world, and my Second Life is discrete from my first one. In roleplaying of course, like acting, facets of your personality will have a part in the character's makeup. But unless the role is created specifically for you, the actor, or is meant to be you in a different scenario, the personality is not yours.

In the end, it probably boils down to what you use SL _for_.

(Btw, them hardcore roleplayers don't call statting and killing X monsters for XP roleplaying - that's "roll-playing." :P)

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 1:33AM (Unverified) said

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Anyone who accuses Neverwinter nights of not being a roleplaying game has never set foot online, or seen NWVault.. or the sheer amazing player content/player base for it.

Second life is a scary thing due to the fact that : yes, it is wonderful that you can do "anything" but there are people on there that do just that, without any action from moderators. Pedophelia, "cyber"-prositution that leads to genuine real life income? I'm not even starting on the whole combination of things furries which reside therein would call "victimless".

Like the sims online I steer clear because of this "cyber brothel" stuff that stews on there.

Posted: Dec 1st 2007 7:28PM (Unverified) said

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A long time ago I heard the term "Narrative Gaming" thrown out as a better definition for what we call "Role Playing Games".

Anyway, I agree. Second Life and other sandbox games make better RPGs than most true "RPGS". I've argued before that GTA: San andreas is a better RPG than say, Final Fantasy 12. You can run around and do more or less whatever you want in SA.

Even more importantly, SA handles stats better than most RPGs. They are pretty dynamic as a whole and more importantly, increase as they are used and not based on some arbitrary "level". Use you're pistols more than your shotgun? Your pistol stats will be super high. Drive a lot, you actually improve! Want to be fat? Eat 20 burger, though chances are you'll cause your character to puke if you do.

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