Slashcast Metachat: Role Playing

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Slashcast Metachat: Role Playing
Interviewer: charlotteschaos (Char)
Interviewee: sazzlette (Saz), wook77 (Wook), and irrevocable (El)
Date(s): March 3, 2007
Medium: online transcript, podcast
External Links: online transcript; WebCite
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Slashcast Metachat: Role Playing is a chat with sazzlette, wook77, and irrevokable. charlotteschaos is the interviewer.

"... today's meta discussion as you may have guessed, involves role play. All of us on the meta chat today are involved in our various role playing games and we wanted to talk a little it about slash in role play and how we got involved."

It is a podcast at Slashcast and includes an online transcript.

For more in this series, see Slashcast Interview Series.


Char: Okay, yea, and I'm Char, charlotteschaos. I play Harry on hex_files, James on biscuitarsed, and I used to play Draco on the leaky, which is now gone. Uh, today's meta discussion as you may have guessed, involves role play. All of us on the meta chat today are involved in our various role playing games and we wanted to talk a little it about slash in role play and how we got involved.
Wook: I started out watching dracolicious/boywholives when I just started on Live Journal, and I kinda got bit by the bug and joined this one game that didn't turn out to be a fantastic experience, but I sure learned a lot and I met a lot of interesting people, and from there it's kinda just expanded instead of going away with that poor experience.
El: Yea. Well, I actually started in the exact same RPG Wook started on. So I definitely share her sympathies there, but definitely, I met a lot of great people there. But I started out role playing way after I started learning about RPGs, because started watching nocturne_alley about three or four years ago, and that's what really got me started into it, and I an advertisement for this game, and that where I started. It was not too great, but it was fun.
El: I haven't really played many characters. Um, Draco is pretty much the only one I feel comfortable with, which is really odd because he is completely different from how I am in real life, because I'm 100%- 110% Gryffindor all the way. But Draco, there's something about him. I've always loved his character from the moment I started reading the books, and then I really got into Harry/Draco and I started seeing different perceptions of Draco. And I was like, "This guy is really amazing." After a while, I kinda, like, started thinking, like, "How would Draco take this?" or "How would Draco take that?" I've played Draco for a year now. It's hard to imagine playing anyone else, 'cause I just love the character so much.
Char: Right. Yea, 'cause having been in big games versus small games, in some ways there's this great dynamic that comes with sort of not really knowing the people that you're playing with, because then, you know, kind of anything goes and you don't have to deal with them personally, you know. In a smaller group, it's easier to get a story told or get through things that might be a little touchy, too.
Char: Yea, the Leaky ... But I've seen [bigger games branching off] in a lot of other games, too, is, you know, when it's a big game, it kind of clicks off, like, the dynamic of what you have in snitched, and I don't know that it's meant to be a personal thing so much as- I don't know about you guys, but for me, if you're role playing sex, it's really sex, but it's still sort of personal and, you know, there's boundary issues, and I know for me, it's just easier for me to deal with maybe one or two people on that level, versus, you know, just kind of smutting it up all over the place. I was in hogwarts_bound before all of this, and uh- and that one was more smut. It gets a little wearying. What do you guys do with that? Do you fade to black or do you go whole hog, so to speak?
El: With sex, I don't know. I know on vu_network we don't really touch on that because of the way our game style is played. It's mostly through journals and through- we have it set up as if it's a computer network within the school. You don't really talk about actions going on. It's as if they're talking to each other. It's like their own little, small Live Journal.
Saz: The funny thing is, because we're snitched, because obviously we role play in first person all the time, so if we're doing sex scenes, obviously it's all in conversation. So, I mean, the way we play, it's very tongue in cheek, anyway. Although, so when we do do serious, like James and Lily finding out that they're going to die in the future at the age of twenty-one or something, it makes it really, really poignant because, you know, usually it's just complete crack. So yea, with the sex scenes, I think it depends on the individual characters. I mean, Remus and Sirius, you know if you watch it, just are outrageous sometimes, but some of the other characters are getting the same, like Lily and James sort of do their little threats, so- they start to get a bit sexy and then they just cut off, and that's sort of just in the right place so you know what's going to happen. It's not spelled out.
Char: Yea. At hex_files, you know, again, set up in- I guess the premise to it is basically that it's sort of the mixed up files from the Voldemort Wars, and so someone sort of knocked over a filing cabinet and all of these files fell out, so you just have the premise of what's going on. You know, you might have an article about how Harry won the war and then in the comments, it's kind of anything goes, and it may or may not be game canon, so... But yea, it's done in the first person and, you know, the action's between the asterisks, which is really not so much of the sexy sort of way to role play, if you're going to do that, versus the leaky, which was very, very sexually oriented and that was really encouraged. I'm still not entirely sure where biscuitarsed is gonna go, since it's only, like, two or three weeks old. Do you guys prefer to do those, sort of, conversational sort of role play versus the third person?
El: For me, personally, I know that it's different. I mean, when I first started vu_network, I was really basically basing it off nocturne_alley, which is, like I said, my favorite RPG, and they did it all first person. I know when I started it, vu_network was probably one of the first ones after nocturne alley to start doing that, and then I had people who were applying that had no idea how to really do that, because I know it's a lot harder to get emotions through during first person because you really- especially when I play Draco, it's really hard, because he is the kind of person who would not openly write out how he's feeling across the entire network where everyone can read it. What I have to do is I have to slip in subtle hints or change the way, like, his punctuation, or change the way he does his words, so you can kind of tell that he's a little frustrated or he's stressed out or he's just being sarcastic, or what have you.
Char: See, what's interesting to me was coming into the Live Journal role playing games versus where I started - I started off in Yahoo!groups and there was a small group called "Ask Snape." Basically, you would ask Severus Snape something and I started off as just, you know, a person asking Snape questions, and then eventually started playing Snape there to answer the questions as their Snape left. So Snape was the first role play experience I had. And after that, you know, I was just in Yahoo!groups and obviously those aren't- you have to join them to read the messages, so they weren't really geared towards having watchers. So, for me, like, the big transition going from role playing just sort of for my own amusement and for the other person I'm playing with, to the leaky, where it was geared for other people to watch, was sort of a weird adjustment 'cause I never really thought about, "Well, what is everyone else going to think?" so much as, "Well, what is the Harry I'm playing with going to think?"
Saz: Um, with snitched, it's funny because we started with just the six of us, you know, we didn't have any watchers. It was just us and we thought, "Oh, this will be fun, let's just mess around and have some fun." And because we loved it so much, you know, we're all mad about it, so we talked about it all the time on our live journals, so our friends started watching, "Oh my god, I can't believe you're so gay!", because we are unbelievably gay. We don't play for watchers at all. We don't worry about what people are going to think when they read it, it's just, "Oh yea, it'd be fun to make them shag in a cupboard now," so we do.
El: I know that for me personally, I was only in my first game for a couple of months, and myself and that mod didn't get along, so we tried to avoid talking to each other as much as we could. Um, but, I've never really had someone come to me- I know, as a mod, myself, I’ve had to kind of, like, bring people into the conversation. Just kind of like, help them, because it basically comes down to people- because I know on vu, a lot of people were first time role players and so it- I kind of saw it as like, just a kind of fun opportunity to kind of introduce these new people into role playing games, 'cause I adored it and I was like, "They should as well," and you just give them a chance. Their applications weren't really that great, but it's still cool 'cause- and then as myself, as a mod, I would kind of bring them in and just kind of start with, "Well, why is your character a slytherin?" or "Why is your character a ravenclaw?" Just kind of go from there.
El: Um, I remember, I had this one player who literally just left in flaming ball of wank. It was so bad. Me and Wook were just trying to figure out- because the way our game is set up at vu, we have to have the journals of the main characters. Like, the characters who are involved in it, they need to write in their journals so it kind of brings communication into it, and also to post on the main community. The post in the main community that goes to, as if it's almost going to the entire school, and then the post inside the character's journal, which is more personal, almost.
Char: ... all my really wanktastic experiences happened at the Leaky, unfortunately. I was like- you know, I look back on it and I'm like, "Oh my god, why did I put up with that?" But I just love- I loved the game and I loved the dynamics, and I loved so many of the people there that, like, you know, when you get into a role play, you really make some place your home, it is amazing all of the crap that you'll put up with, even if you're fussing about it at the time, even if you're just, like, in tears sometimes. When the role play's really going and everything's going great, there's just really nothing like it, and it makes all of the rest of it bearable. But we, you know, the initial Harry that I started with there quit in a fiery ball of wank as well. Actually, she quit three times.
El: Yea, but I think also, all those little clicks in the bigger RPGs is what's really helping, like, slash pairings in fandom. 'Cause what I've noticed with role playing games, is they've really started a fan base of really odd slash pairings, and I think that's where it started. Because I know, Wook really has helped with the Deamus side of the fandom, 'cause she plays an excellent Deamus and she pimps the crap out of Dean and Seamus on one RPG on Greatest Journal. What I've noticed on bigger role playing games is that, um, you can tell who's friends with who because they'll pretty much only role play with each other, and so you end up with the oddest pairings, so... But it- people catch on, and I think it catches on to the fandom, and it's really helped pairings really make a break through, because of it. Like, that's what I think. That's the fun of role playing. You can just take the extremes, and that's, like, the best part of it.
Wook: Yea, I think RPing, you know, and the games that everybody's in now, once Deathly Hallows comes out, basically every game that's out there is all of a sudden gonna become an AU game, and so it makes it kind of weird. I know at nothing gold, we're all freakin' out with, you know, what are we gonna do since we have Voldemort winning and it's pretty obvious that he's not gonna- you know, JKR's not gonna have Voldemort winning. I'm very much a canon nazi, so it's gonna break my heart to be playing in an AU game like that, so...