Finding Myself With Online Roleplay

10/07/2017


When I say "roleplay" you will probably thing of something sexy, right? Your mind is entirely in the gutter right now. I hate to let you down, but my experience isn't with /that/ kind of roleplay. No, I'm talking about the mass online roleplaying world that isn't really discussed outside of it's realm. No, not D&D or anything like that, this is far more simple and is usually done on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. Yup, right under your nose. Saying that, it's been a few years since I was an active player, so there could be a heap more options nowadays.

To quickly summarise, you roleplay by portraying either a fictional character from whatever type of entertainment you want (shows, movies, books, games, etc.) or make an original character. These can be plain humans or have a multitude of abilities, anything is possible. Then you write. As simple as. You write your characters story, whether that be in a chapter-by-chapter basis, or an ongoing story line that you can include other players in. If you aren't interested in anything ongoing, you can just take it day-by-day and write whatever you feel like. Tweets, statuses, anything. In theory, it's the same as having any normal social media account, only you're free to express yourself in any way you like, without the judgement of anyone in your real life. It's online freedom, and far safer than chat-rooms or whatnot as you're all hidden behind masks and it is rare for players to trade a whole lot of information about their real selves. Heck, I've been friends with one player for 7 years and only recently traded photos.


I discovered this world when I was around 14, which is extremely young. At least it felt it at the time, but nowadays when you look at a 14 year old's Instagram profile you don't know whether it's a typo and she's actually 18. Dangerous, but not the point of this post. I digress. I discovered the world by stumbling across a Alice Cullen account and being entirely confused. Speed up a few weeks, and I was obsessed with this imaginary world where everyone was welcoming and no one cared who I was behind the screen. I've always been a little too mature for my age when it comes to the company I keep, which isn't always a good thing but when it came to this, it was a blessing. Within a month I was pulling all nighters with these people I could call friends, I had over 1,500 followers (my platform of choice was Twitter) and spoke to a good half of that number. It may not make sense to someone who is looking at it from an outside view "No one knew each other, how could that be friendships?" which is a valid question/point, and I did often wonder that. But you know that dating app that surfaced last year, I think, that the more you spoke to someone, the more of their photo you'd see? This is kind of the same thing, but with friendships. We all had the stories in common, we all adored writing, we bonded over appreciation for characters, and let's face it, we were all needing the escape from something in our own worlds behind the screens. Nobody who is entirely happy in their reality has the time to spend half a day acting like someone else. With time, many of us broke characters and gained friendships that translated into our lives. My best friend who I've met multiple times? Met her through roleplay. My two other closest friends? Yup, roleplay.

Friendships aside, I gained confidence from roleplay and it began to define most aspects of my life. My first love was through this world and though, now looking back, it probably only half translated into the "real world", it was still love. Anything you feel is real. I learnt more about myself in those few years than I ever did in school, I educated myself about a mass of things to better my roleplaying experience and yet they have helped me with blogging, graphics, writing. I carried all the important aspects with me when I slowly came to a halt in the world. I will forever be thankful for the memories I have clung onto from those years. My partner and I broke apart after I was a little too honest about how difficult it was, which heavily influenced my short story Starhill. But because of that I met my soulmate.

I do pop onto my own RP accounts every now and again, but it's mostly for memories sake. To be entirely honest, everyone bowed out before me and it somewhat felt like I was left standing alone - like it was all a play and the curtains had closed, but everyone forgot to tell me. Which, yeah, is mildly bleak but I think that's just how to happens with roleplay. If you're wondering when I stopped trying to fit that world into my own, it was when reality started to be better than the fictionalised one. And believe me, that will happen. If you're currently in the world and feel like you'll always have to experience happiness through a character, it isn't true. Time just takes it's time and maybe you need to learn something from whatever it is you're currently going through.

I guess the point of this post was to suggest this world to anyone who is lost right now. Who needs a firm distraction that resembles a saviour. If you don't know where to start, check out the RP accounts that I've listed below and familiarise yourself. Make a character and start having fun, be safe, but express yourself through these profiles and be unashamed to.



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