Role-play refers to acting out in a particular character, most particularly the words and customs of that character. Actions which are out of character or OOC are generally required to be noted in some way, or used in some other mode of communication. Almost of all Second Life can be described as role-play, but within second life it refers to a restricted environment where explicit or implicit rules of conduct are required. It is also used to describe a setting where role-play is expected, such as refer to Gor as "a role-play."
Common role-plays in Second Life are associated with BDSM, with military, dark urban or high fantasy settings. Gor, Star Wars and Star Trek are all common role-plays that focus on specific media themes. Furry is another prevalent role-play.
With in Second Life there are many levels of Role-playing, with many meanings. Though on the most basic level, it has to do with playing a character while engaging in social interaction. Some would say, going to a renaissance sim, dressed to fit the part, and standing around a courtyard or forest, instead of an info hub, casually talking about their day, is role-playing.
On a more involved level, a role-player might have done some research. Filled out a character biography sheet. This is a note card where the role-player describes their characters; wants, likes, dis-likes, background, and any other information that might help form the character. Some sims, like Toxian City, players are given a sample biography sheet to help them form their character. Other sims, W.O.H. (World of Harry Potter) for example has those wanting to join the role-play submit a biography/character sheet.
Life styling is different from role-play, as some might say. Those with in a certain role play will separate themselves from those people called, role players. Usually, players that are in Gor or Furry role-plays will use the phrase life style to show their commitment. These people have been involved in their role-play, for a long period of time and have engrossed themselves into it. In this context the term role-player is used to weed out the boys from the men, so to speak.
See also Combat Roleplay.
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