Friday, July 4, 2008

The Cardinal Sins of Roleplaying - Roleplay Elitism & Exclusion

This one really needs no introduction...

Roleplay Elitism

First, let me explain the difference between a "Roleplay Enthusiast" and a "Roleplay Elitist"...

A Roleplay Enthusiast has been around roleplaying in some fashion, whether it's been through World of Warcraft, MUDs, LARPs, or whatever. They know the lore, study the story vehicle's background, make well-developed characters, and strive to preserve and encourage the RP community. Overall, they are generally warm to newcomers and if they need "tutoring" they are more than happy to oblige in a gentle informative manner.

And now for the Elitist (aka: "RP Nazi" in some circles). It doesn't matter if you're new to the roleplaying scene or if you have been participating in the fun for years... You will always meet someone who thinks the way they roleplay is perfect and EVERYONE should follow their example. If they do not, they automatically shoot your stories, scenarios, and characters down. And the funny part is, the Elitist might not even be a very good roleplayer themselves.

Thankfully, the Elitist, if not in a position of authority within a guild, is generally disliked by the members over time. Not only do they stir up trouble with their dictating "this should be this way and that should be that way" attitude, some actually have the gall to actually call the RP of others "crap" right to their faces (though I will admit that certain cases do deserve it). Either the hardcore RP elitists are eventually ousted by guildmates or they leave on their own accord to found their own guild under their own rules.

There are of course other shades of elitism in roleplay and that brings me to the next subject...


Roleplay in the World of Warcraft can be trying for the average RPer. While Blizzard encourages and embraces the roleplay aspect of their game, they have no real way to enforce it within the general populace. This can unfortunately jade a lot of people over time...

Say you've been in the roleplay scene for a couple years now and over time you've developed a very small tolerance for RP newbies or the blissfully-ignorant. You try to include them at first, not knowing how "horrible" they are, but once you get a good taste of what their RP and characters are like, you quietly shun them and try not to include them in any of your future group RP.

While I do understand that it's a person's own prerogative to build their stories around who they deem fit, it doesn't hurt to be inclusive. If someone hits a few faux-pas in roleplaying, gently offer to give them guidance in improving their RP. That's if they are willing, of course, because there are some who do get offended if you inform them that they are godmodding or something. If they don't want to improve, then there's not much you can do. Eventually someone else will call them out on it or they'll notice their folly through some other means (hopefully).

So in closing, there will always be people that will rub you the wrong way or people that don't quite know RP etiquette. But it is always important to embrace the ideals of RP and practice tolerance and understanding. Help those who are willing to learn, be inclusive, and try not to push other RPers away unless they really are that insufferable. If you practice being a good roleplayer, and most imporantly a good PERSON, the roleplaying environment will flourish.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sketchy Artistry: Zevahiros

Well I decided to dust off my artistic skills because it's been a good two years since I've done anything than a simple doodle with a pencil. So I decided to do a sketch-and-ink of my slated Night Elf Death Knight to-be, Zevahiros. It's a front profile with minimal shading to try and show Zev's gaunt physique. It's not that bad of a sketch for someone who hasn't drawn in two years, IMO.

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