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Episode 7 – Role Player Sharon: I’ll Play Them All

Welcome to Episode 7 of Game on Girl!

This week we talk to the most elusive of the player types: the Role Player.



Sharon is one of the original participants in my research study and I was delighted that we got a chance to talk again. She shares many insights into the culture of Role Playing in MMORPGs, both in current games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and older games like Necron, Horizons, and Star Wars: Galaxies. Take a listen and let us know what you think!

Are you going to try some role playing now?  I am already thinking up back-story ideas for a new character.

If you are already a role player or active in a role playing guild of some kind, we would love to hear from you. Send me an email at or leave a comment here.

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Until next time, Game On!
Regina and Rhonda

5 thoughts on “Episode 7 – Role Player Sharon: I’ll Play Them All”

  1. I, like Sharon, have never done any sort of Real Life Roleplaying, but I have done a small bit of Pen and Paper. However, I've Roleplayed in MMO's since I was about 12, starting with Runescape back in 2001. The game was a 2D based MMO, featuring Player vs Player combat, questing, harvesting, and an array of abilities people could do to get involved in a community. It was mainly a way to escape the harshness of my realities, with being bullied at school and my parents constant custody battle, but over the years it became a real part of how I play MMORPGs. As the name suggests, as well as your podcast, Roleplaying Game is in the abbreviation and I have met many people over my decade of Online Rping who have played various types of characters, roles, some more exotic than others. I think the biggest point I can put across is that Roleplaying does NOT mean Erotic Cybering (which a lot of non-rp'ers sometimes group it as). Its essentially just putting your mind into another character, sort of like acting. Anyways, back to Runescape; I remember grouping up with some guys to form a guild, of sorts, and we started to pretend that we ran one of the cities underground thieving guilds. As a 12 year old, I was going through that phase where being a Thief or some sort of Hitman was super cool, so we would meet up with people ingame and form contracts and agreements to 'steal precious items' or 'kill specific targets'. We never considered this roleplaying, as I had never known what Roleplaying was (mostly seeing it as DnD, which I was never into at that age). But in a game like this, we thought that if we made connections with people and had dialogue between our avatars, we should do it in a professional manner; meaning that we did not use 'AIM-speak' (emoticons, lol, lmfao, etc). As the weeks progressed we wanted background stories for our avatars… where they came from, who their parents were, why they got into this life of crime. Soon enough, we would be conversing in the middle of major cities and people knew who we were.

    As the years went on, I have played various games: Lord of the Rings Online, Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and many more. I am currently Playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and am eagerly awaiting The Secret World. Right now I am apart of a guild in SWTOR called 'House Andel', which is an Imperial aligned group that is full of ancient traditions that are similar to Sith Teachings. I am one of the few guardians of the rituals, and the guild itself houses about 180 active members. Roleplaying really forces you to learn about your specific world and community, thus I have learned so much about Star Wars that I am practically a wikipedia article waiting to happen.

    I really think Roleplaying is a great way to express yourself, and if you plan to go into an English field it really helps to strengthen your craft as well as your grammar. ((* just saying, I am a bit tired so my grammar might totally suck at the moment, haha. ))

  2. Excellent observations, Harrison, and I appreciate your comments! I think that's one of the most intriguing ideas for me in terms of role playing – how it really can get your creative juices flowing and be a great place to practice creative writing skills. And on top of that, you get to act it out too! Seriously cool.

    So in your SW:TOR guild how do you guys keep tabs on your players? Do you have any hard and fast rules about how people role play in game or with the group?

  3. Well the main issue we run in to within the guild is immaturity. Yes, there are people who portray 'immature' characters, but Out of Character there is a strict policy on maturity when it comes to most topics (politics, religion, sexual orientation, so forth). Incidentally there are small cliques that form, mainly groups that tend to Role play more closely together, or families that form between character relationships, rivalries, and the like, but the best way to keep tabs on each other is via our forums, or just paying attention to guild chat/the guild window. Guild chat (the main /g chat ability) is kept In-Character at all times, as is used as a communications device between characters that aren't standing near each other. These people take it very seriously, more so than I have witnessed in previous games and guilds, and it only takes a few mistakes for you to find yourself guildless; I've seen it plenty of times from giant events.
    Also a big way of communication within the guild is our Ventrilo / Mumble servers which we used when Raiding or PvP'ing. To this day I have never seen a Role play guild successfully act out an entire Raid, and I don't think I could have the patience to participate, but it has been talked about.

    Hope that answers your question Regina!

  4. That is fantastic, Harrison! Thanks for answering and sharing your experience and insight. I really appreciate it!

    In my mind I can easily imagine staying in character in chat but on Vent? And in a raid? There is so much going on with game mechanics and keeping up with the group, it adds a whole new level of complexity to role playing in game. I think that is a completely different thing AND it takes my advisor's comment about role players being the most sophisticated of the gamer types to a whole new level. Love it.

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