Is In-Game Roleplaying Dead?
Amuntoth from Manifex Pixel graciously took up my guest post offer from a weeks ago and suggested a very interesting topic – he wanted to know how I felt about MMO gamers taking their roleplaying out of the game. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a huge roleplayer (I’ve never done it in ‘real life’ and most of the people I discuss it with think I’m trying to invite them to a BDSM session), I have done it in a few MMOs and always found it incredibly fun and rewarding. The problem is that it’s now becoming harder and harder to find roleplaying within the actual walls of the virtual world.
The curious thing about Amuntoth’s topic was that he had accepted roleplaying within MMOs was all but completely extinct whilst I had still been fumbling around with the foolish notion that I could still find it alive and kicking somewhere. Unfortunately my optimism was finally shattered last week once I got back into Age of Conan and even there the dedicated geek-knowledge of the Robert E. Howard fanbois couldn’t prevent it’s RPG servers from turning into juvenile gank-fests with no attempt to even create a sense of immersion or motivation. I’m by no means a name-Nazi but seeing someone on a RPG server with the handle “Sgtawesome” really takes the biscuit. It seems that in-game roleplaying is truly dead, doesn’t it?
But, as was Amuntoth’s point, it seems as if gamers are moving away from this traditional notion of RPG and instead of spending their times writing short stories, articles and blog posts and creating movies and imagery to represent their roleplaying feelings. It’s very impressive and exciting stuff and leaves me with a spark of hope for the MMORPG genre.
You can read my full guest post on the subject over at Manifest Pixel here and feel free to have a look around around whilst your at it and explore some of Amuntoth’s great posts.