I'm not a very skilled role-player. It doesn't bother me that I am not very good at the art of role-playing. Is it an art or is it a science? It's hard to tell being kind of out of the middle of it all, but I have had some recent experiences that let me know just where I stand in the world of SL role-playing.
You've seen my designs. You know that I make a lot of products that do well in certain circles that encourage role-playing and combat. So you know I have the design chops, but in case you didn't know, those design chops do not seem to translate into actual combat or role-playing skills. I have received many, many compliments and rave reviews for my design work. Not so for my feeble attempts at role playing.
First of all, I had no idea that "proper" role playing required me to chat in a very specifically formatted manner. I was asked by one resident to have a role-play session with him and each time I chatted a response by "speaking" as opposed to emoting (including what was "on my mind" as I was speaking) he got more and more fidgety - as if he had thousands of tiny insects in his ears chewing away at his brain as I typed.
In another incident, a role-player was so displeased with my responses that he began to "suggest" what I should give as responses to his somewhat hard-to-follow fantasy. I think he would have been happier role-playing with two alt accounts instead of with another avatar capable of independent thought.
In a similar session, the other role-player (are you ALL guys?) was not so infuriated that I was capable of responding in my own fashion, but he was brutally upset at me because I would not veer off into his intended direction - which was the bedroom. Oh, he tried to smooth his way in that direction in all sorts of amusing ways, but he soon learned that I was not having any of that and he was nice enough to say goodbye before he quickly teleported off to someplace that, presumably, had more to offer his tastes.
I can't say that it doesn't bother me that I "suck" at role-playing. Actually, I think I would be good at it and very creative if it had less pomp and circumstance and left more open-ended participation. I think of it as a few (or maybe even many) avatars collected together to improvise a story. Apparently, it's not.
I still love hanging out in some of my favorite themed areas. There, at least, I can participate as part of the theme without "officially" role-playing. I do love to people-watch. There are all sorts of people one could run into in themed and role-play areas. Here are my absolute favorite people types in those zones:
The God - This player proclaims that she or he has powers and privileges beyond those of anyone else in the area. She or he could take on anyone, and win by nothing more than merit of their perceived rank. Meanwhile, this person actually retains no actual SL powers and usually has a wardrobe/shape/skin/etc. from the discount rack or the latest freebie promotion. The excuse? "I am in disguise so that I can freely walk amongst the mortals without notice." I frequent the Tron: Legacy Adventures sim a LOT and more than any other type of character, I run into this kind. There, they claim they are "users" or sometimes, program warriors that have been specifically anointed by the previous lord of the realm to own the world like Scarface.
The Nobody - Quite the opposite of the God, the Nobody remains relatively quiet, does not stir fights, less often gets kicked out of the sim and tries very hard to blend into the background - creatively. The Nobodies in the Tron sim often wear titles like "word processor program" or "library file" and generally keep it friendly and light with the other residents. This player generally wears modest but nice outfits.
The Admin - Okay, not quite a role-player, but these avatars are the real deal. They are the ones who can tell you what to do and take the actions the Gods think they have or deserve. They don't like to be pestered but still enjoy mixing in with the other players. These avs are typically under-dressed, that is, minimal attachments and simple but nice outfits that minimize sim resources.
The Merchant - That's me! Well, sort of. Merchants sometimes pester people while peddling their product. I (hope I) don't do that! A lot of us don't, but some of us do and it gets irritating enough that the Admin will sometimes intervene. We are usually dressed in out latest release and our favorites made by non-competitors. ;)
The Style Queen (or King) - This player dresses to the nines in the latest, most expensive outfits and exists to flaunt what she or he has. This player is either WAY too into their role-play or not into it at all. Either way, it's to the extreme. This is the same player who will irritate everyone with excessive gesturing and particle showers.
The Niche Type - This player is tiny, furry, Gor or whatever other group is en vogue and does her or his best to emphasize whatever trait defines the avatar. Any trace of role-play seems to center around that defining trait and she or he tends to unleash a tiny, furry or Gor-y wrath if role play in any way interferes with that.
The Child - I refer to those in SL who have their main role-play overlay of child/parenthood dictate their actions and behavior superceding all else. This is a great source of role-play confusion and super amusing to watch - from a distance.
The Baby - not at all like the Child, the Baby will whine and groan and stomp and cry because you're not doing it right. Scroll up to near the beginning of this post to read about my experiences with the Baby.
The Creep - All but complete with greasy hair and heavy breathing, the Creep will "role play" others into any possible form of sexual encounter. Scroll up read about my experiences with the Creep. I need to go wash my hands, I'll BRB.
I'm sure you have met some colorful characters in your role-play experiences. Because I haven't been that immersed in it, I suppose my exposure is limited. Hey, why not post about a "type" you run across in your adventures? Leave a comment and share what player you encounter! I just ask that you keep names and specific avatars out of it because LL could role-play the Admin type and send you packing if you slander someone. But keep it real!
No matter what type you are, I'm glad you're part of the diverse world we second-live in! See you around the grid.