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Why can RP lead into RL/OOC sometimes?


Jochen Alex
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I have noticed, sometimes people mix up RP with RL/OOC. Or if they have different alts, it would confuse them.

Let me give you an example:

"M" doesn't want "K" to visit any Gor sims. He says "you are not allowed to ..."

A couple months later... They are still together but on new alts. And she would still think that he doesnt want her to visit any Gor sims.

But... He only wanted "K" to stay away from Gor sims. (and only this one alt of hers).

Do you understand what i mean? Sometimes it seems people mix up RP with OOC. Or... If they have a little fight/discussion, it would lead into an RL fight and they would get angry for real.

((One sentence i remember from a RP: "dont give me sh*t i get that in RL all the time"...))

Why is that? Why do people sometimes mix RP with OOC? And how can i prevent that?

 

PS: We are not always emoting. Sometimes, instead of saying /me crosses his arms, glares at you "why did you do that?"

i would just say "why did you do that?"

 

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Jochen Alex wrote:

I have noticed, sometimes people mix up RP with RL/OOC. Or if they have different alts, it would confuse them.

Let me give you an example:

"M" doesn't want "K" to visit any Gor sims. He says "you are not allowed to ..."

A couple months later... They are still together but on new alts. And she would still think that he doesnt want her to visit any Gor sims.

But... He only wanted "K" to stay away from Gor sims. (and only this one alt of hers).

Do you understand what i mean? Sometimes it seems people mix up RP with OOC. Or... If they have a little fight/discussion, it would lead into an RL fight and they would get angry for real.

((One sentence i remember from a RP: "dont give me sh*t i get that in RL all the time"...))

Why is that? Why do people sometimes mix RP with OOC? And how can i prevent that?

 

PS: We are not always emoting. Sometimes, instead of saying /me crosses his arms, glares at you "why did you do that?"

i would just say "why did you do that?"

 

Jochen, this is an interesting question. I'm not much of a role-player, so I'm going to approach this from a different angle by asking how people CAN accurately separate RP from RL/OOC. We're all real people sitting in chairs, pretending to be something either slightly or completely else in-world. It seems likely to me that there will be the occasional error in understanding whether a statement pertains to the RP character or the actor in the chair.

This opportunity for error, I think, increases as the level of connection of the two players increases. If you are role playing romance (which I'd find terribly difficult) isn't there a significant potential for the feelings expressed by one "character" to be felt by the other "actor"? This happens to movie actors, why can't it happen to SL actors?

If you've noticed this happening in your relationships on more than one occasion, you might consider whether you are able to decouple your character from yourself more completely than the average person. I don't RP, so I don't encounter this problem. My relationships here are with the actors in the chairs. The roles we play (I happen to have fallen into the role of a murdering cook with a penchant for bum pinching) are merely affectations.

As for saying "don't give me that, I get it in RL", I don't see that as being any different than me saying "don't give me that, I get it from Mom all the time". I'm simply making a request for you to treat me, the actor, better than you are at the moment.

I don't think you can prevent people from mixing RL with OOC, we are who we are. The best you can do is be ever mindful that there's a person in a chair doing the same thing as you, and you should always treat them with as much kindness and respect as you can muster.

As for why I peer over my glasses at you, that's because we don't have any other way to create many of those rich visual cues. But in a few short words, I can create a mental image that recalls a thousand words of your own past experience. You'll see this same kind of emoting in novels, used for the very same reason. It's a powerful and efficient way to tell a story.

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When I read your title, I thought this would be yet another thread about people meeting in SL and wanting to take their SL romance into real life. Refreshing to see that it isn't.

Personally, I try to keep OOC chatter on a completely different channel when roleplaying. For example, I might be in my SL home's living room as Ceera, chatting with three friends in nearby chat. I decide I need to tell my SL Partner (who is on the couch beside me in SL) that the magazine that they have delivered to my home in RL arrived, and that I'll be forwarding it to them tomorrow, after I copy out an intriguing article on 9mm concealed-carry handgun choices. Now guns is a topic Ceera would never mention, except in prohibiting any sort of firearms from being present in her home. Ceera detests firearms and ranged weapons. So I open an IM to that one Player, inform them about their magazine, and they reply by IM, stating that they recently bought a sweet 9mm pistol. We continue that OOC converstaion while the nearby chat goes on, unaffected.

===

Dealing with alts or different RP scenarios is another matter. In SL, Ceera has a daughter, who is one of my alts. That daughter has a boyfriend, who is one of my SL Partner's alts. We both know that these are alts. But when the daughter and her boyfriend are in RP together, she refers to Ceera as "mother", or as "Lady Ceera", and as if any actions by Ceera are performed by a third party. Her boyfriend does the same, acting as if he has no knowledge of his alt's opinions and actions other than what the boyfriend would know in-character. As before, OOC comments, including how the other characters would react to certain things, stays in a seperate conversation, by IM, while the RP is in local chat.

===

Sometimes, the RP itself is by IM. I may be building, and he may be shopping, but we stil take time to role play a date that we are both on. In this case, we will use ((OOC: By the way, your magazine arrived today.)) as a way of making it clear that the 'comment' is not part of the RP, even though it is posted in the same IM thread where we are role playing. 

===

Keeping the details straight between multiple characters and settings is half of the fun in roleplaying multiple characters, for me. If there are differences in what should be known or spoken of in different settings, that should be clarified before the RP starts, or the RP should be paused while you work out an agreement.

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I'll be honest, it is because a number of the roleplayer here on Second Life began roleplaying within Second Life, they have no other frame of refrence.  Keeping IC and OOC entirely separate is not something which seems to be a common rule of thumb in terms of Second Life roleplaying. Whereas in LARP, Tabletop, Mucks/Mushes, forums and chatsites it is the golden rule.

In Second Life you have to put "I am not my character" or "IC relationships only" because the lines between IC and OOC get blurred for whatever reason. Some people are too new to understand, others were never corrected on their behavior and then you have the few that like to mix them to control the person they are with.

 

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For my part it's usually jealousy/frustation over something not going smoothly or as expected - such as a more experienced character defeating me, or stumbling into an arc-rail story (one that can't be altered, so no suggestion, idea, action will matter - there is almost no point in being there sometimes). - but that's on me.

Sometimes the situation just wasn't forseen, and RP cooperation is not assured for important reasons.  Playing a sci-fi sim (now gone) we had a pretty funky irreverant engineer who'd visit our ship frequently.  He did nothing but get drunk and unfriendly time after time.  We got attacked and boarded, and suddenly he's up and coherent and messing with engineering... well, after fighting off the first wave of boarders, three of us ran him to ground - he did not cooperate.  Not knowing what else to do, and without restraints or a way to deal with keeping him in one spot - we kept unloading on him repeatedly (with weapons).  

He was pissed, and considered it griefing - I finally contacted him and explained his behavior was that of a saboteur, that we had no way to restrain him, and if he was a saboteur, we needed to keep him isolated.  He agreed to hate me IC, and we otherwise dropped it OOC.   Communications can go a long ways - sometimes it doesn't float tho, but I try to make my outreach, particularly if I am in the wrong, after that tho, the rest is on the other party. 

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Speaking as a long time tabletop RPer and SL RPer, the huge difference is in SL you have no RL frame of reference. You are not looking at your buddy Bob across from you, you are looking at Bobs av. In SL there are many many distractions to RP, IMs, Group Chat, Voice chats, and of course RL. In the RP group i was involved in we had a strict rule.. OOC stays in IMs. unless you needed a bio break. which we turned into RP by saying "/me goes in search of a bush."

I have found Gor to be one of the worst OOC RP groups in SL. most of the Kajirae are princesses and the Masters are whiney little boys. When you do find a Gorean sim that is BTB and has good RPers, it seems to fold up for some reason.

just my 5L

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thanks for your answers. I have also noticed... When i am in SL with my partner and try to add some RP they would sometimes react totally different than what i would expect. So basically i would talk IC and they talk OOC. Not always, but sometimes...

I mean... just an example: If a Master wants his sub/slave to take a break from building and come with him, she can't just say "let me finish this" or "you sound rude". Thats a totally wrong response.

(( or if i use doube brackets to talk ooc, they would talk ooc too but WITHOUT double brackets ))

 

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Jochen Alex wrote:

 

I mean... just an example: If a Master wants his sub/slave to take a break from building and come with him, she can't just say "let me finish this" or "you sound rude". Thats a totally wrong response.

 

If you are a Master and have a slave that builds, and you expect them to drop  whatever they are doing just because you snap your fingers..... you obviously haven't talked to them about what you both expect from this relationship. Most, if not all, slaves that build should have told their prospective Master/Mistress that they do build and have time set aside  for it.

Of course there are also the asshat jerk Masters that expect their slaves that create to create for them for free.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Jochen Alex wrote:

I have noticed, sometimes people mix up RP with RL/OOC. Or if they have different alts, it would confuse them.

Let me give you an example:

"M" doesn't want "K" to visit any Gor sims. He says "you are not allowed to ..."

A couple months later... They are still together but on new alts. And she would still think that he doesnt want her to visit any Gor sims.

But... He only wanted "K" to stay away from Gor sims. (and only this one alt of hers). 

Jochen, this is an interesting question. I'm not much of a role-player, so I'm going to approach this from a different angle by asking how people CAN accurately separate RP from RL/OOC. We're all real people sitting in chairs, pretending to be something either slightly or completely else in-world. It seems likely to me that there will be the occasional error in understanding whether a statement pertains to the RP character or the actor in the chair.

 

As for saying "don't give me that, I get it in RL", I don't see that as being any different than me saying "don't give me that, I get it from Mom all the time". I'm simply making a request for you to treat me, the actor, better than you are at the moment.

I don't think you can prevent people from mixing RL with OOC, we are who we are. The best you can do is be ever mindful that there's a person in a chair doing the same thing as you, and you should always treat them with as much kindness and respect as you can muster.

Its quite common to keep up an 'actors wall' that divides actor from character, and to see the character as just a character in the story that you are expressing. An expression that ends the moment the curtain falls.

Actors do it all the time.

Children do too - in games of 'make believe'.

And well... the 'so-called-geeks' do it all the time when they play LARPS or D&D.

There's no real reason people -need- to associate a character so tightly with themselves - but I'll concede that most people do exactly that.

 

In, well... erotic fiction circles, and elsewhere now as it spreads into wider use... there's a term, 'squick'. If something 'squicks' you - its a topic that even in fiction or RP, huts your RL buttons and bothers you. You avoid things on your 'squick' list...

Urban Dictionary: squick

"Fandom term. A pairing or situation that one finds utterly repulsive."

 

The comment about Gor made me think of squick. Gor's notion of female oppression is an example of something that 'squicks' me - and I've heard that said by others as well. By contrast some people are 'squicked' by things like furries.

Everyone's 'squicks' are different. Some things are common, but some are not. Don't assume that something is obviously squicky to any sane person... or that its not. ;)

I'm also squicked by the entire D/s BDSM concept - something I discovered early in SL when a good friend introduced me to it and I got physically ill in RL.

- In 'squick' moments, the 'actor's wall' wil break down, and you'll be unable to keep real emotions out of in-character ones. It'll all bleed together and get very, very messy.

 

A lot of SL roleplayers might RP easier if they understood what 'squicked' them and what didn't - and worked to move comfort zones closer together among those they RP together with.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting topic. This is my first time to post on these forum, and quite honestly, the only time I've felt compelled to put my one cent in. That said, my opinion is strong on this matter, because too many times (in the type of RP I deal with), it's necessary for there to be a boundary between myself and my play partners.

 Why it happens: I think when people begin to RP (and this is a problem I find more commonly in people who are beginning, rather than others who continue to do it), they make characters that are extensions of themselves. Their second character may be a bit further from them in personality, and it will take months--years before they are comfortable with the idea of creating a character that is far placed from their personal self. Since we have a tendency to play characters who (in some shape or another) find situations appealing as we do, I think we can find ourselves attatched to the idea being portrayed in the RP. And there are those, of course, who take the idea further into a mental problem when they become too affixiated with it.

There is, in my opinion, a rather large difference between choosing to rp scenes on subjects that you do find enjoyable (or avoiding rp topics you dislike). . .  and being unable to recognize the difference between IC and OOC, or fictional character happenings versus OOC statement/action/commentary directed to the player personally. Likewise there are a great many nutjobs that spend their time purposefully making OOC problems into IC ones.

A harsh statement maybe to say nutjobs, but I am sorry, if a person cannot maintain the distinction between a fictional pixel character they are animating via text on a screen, and their personal self and actual personal feelings, then there is a problem. They may indeed be unable to create a character that has a different range of reactions and actions from their own and those of their own life experience. But they certainly should be able to maintain the distinction between the pixel life, times, and responses of CharacterA and their own rl ones or they are one giant moment of BS waiting to happen.

There is a distinction between OOC communication and IC communication...to help make it more clear. The moment someone informs me that they do not wish me to go into X place or talk to Y person, I politely yet firmly insist, that, if they cannot accept that I am not my character and that I am not their slave to entertain them solely, then I will remove myself from the situation entirely so that they can find time to seek their mother, therapist, or some other kind spirited individual who can teach them the difference.

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