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Steve Wilson birngs back his Casual Play column and takes a good, hard look at roleplaying form an outsider's point of view.
Read the whole article here.
To most players roleplaying is, frankly, a little bit weird.
In all honesty, the current state of roleplaying and its supporters are both odd and useless. The first and most obvious sign of this is that there is no benefit to roleplaying whatsoever, except for the warm fuzzy feelings it produces. While a player pounding out text chat in a close approximation of a Scottish/Dwarvish baroque can be amusing in small doses, too much of it produces an awkwardness that can kill the enjoyment of the game for most others. The worst part about roleplaying currently is that some roleplayers are so self righteous in their belief that they actually do represent some sort of superior playstyle. To the masses of casual players, however, there is no benefit to roleplaying other than looking and sounding silly. That alone is enough to turn off most of the uninitiated. What tactile benefit does roleplaying provide in a game other than some feeling of smugness?