[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Role playing

Michael Hartman mlist at thresholdrpg.com
Thu Oct 13 10:53:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

Arnau Josep Rosselló Castelló wrote:

> Well, voice worked for me when playing pen and paper RPGs, and in
> general I think that roleplaying benefits from abstracted
> representations, as it let's you "play out what is happening" in
> your head, which I think it's the most enjoyable thing on an RPG.

Pen and Paper (PnP) RP works becuase it has an enormous amount of
other things in its favor. The fact that the individual people may
be unable to do appropriate voices (or wear costumes) does not make
them virtues. It just means PnP RP is possible without those
things. In fact, some very good role players do indeed make use of
accents and other voice alterations in PnP role play. It would be
foolish to argue that having your friends use the same voices you
hear all the time is an asset to PnP RP. Unless you are going to
argue that, then you are still not countering the fact that voice
chat in an online RP game is a distracting negative, not a positive.

It also does not counter the other knocks against voice chat that
were listed previously.

> My point is that for roleplaying i think it's better to have a
> voice that has nothing to do with the "real" sound of who is
> saying it, that a canned voice that is sold to you as how that
> avatar sounds, but can be-- must be, not all WOW dwarves should be
> thick accented ale-drinkers-- just as much character-breaking.

You are arguing a straw man now. The question is not the person's
inappropriate voice vs. a "canned voice." The question is voice chat
vs. no voice at all and instead communication via text.

Michael Hartman, J.D. (http://www.thresholdrpg.com)
President & CEO, Threshold Virtual Environments, Inc.
University of Georgia School of Law, 1995-1998
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1990-1994
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