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MMORPG.com's Jaime Skelton uses her Player Perspectives column this week to talk about the darker side of the role-playing sub-culture in MMOs.
You've just started your adventures into the newest game to hit the market. Without thinking, you select the server with the coolest name, the best balance of population, or some other criteria in your head. As soon as you step into this new world, you're greeted by a friendly sort who helps you along your way. They make you feel warm and fuzzy, secure and comfortable all at once. In fact, you'd be more than happy to hang out with them, but something doesn't seem right. Little things pop up here and there, and suddenly, the dreaded question arises.
"So, how are you role-playing your character?"
At first glance, a niche group such as role-players seem relaxed and welcoming. In many cases, they are. They create helpful little topics like "How to role-play" and "Role-play 101" on the forums. Sometimes they even hold in-game tutorial sessions to get people comfortable with the idea of role-playing. They publicly role-play in the hopes that others will join in, even if new to the idea of acting a part in-character. It all sounds kind, fluffy, friendly. Like cotton candy dipped in honey and covered in sprinkles.