Role-play in Virtual reality

When I began Second Life, like most newcomers, I was excited to try everything that SL had to offer. One of those things was role-play. I had no idea what it was, but the idea of joining a creative community and “pretending” to be in a situation like the old west or 1920’s Chicago seemed fascinating. But each time I visited a few of these beautiful RP sims, I often found myself all alone. Someone had gone to the trouble of building the sim, setting up the storyline and paying for it all. And yet, each sim was vacant.

When I asked around if there were any good role-play sims, the answer I received was often “role-play isn’t as good as it used to be.” It was like there was a decade before I arrived in SL where role-play thrived and then people seemed to lose interest.

Well, the truth is that there are people who have been role-playing all along and their numbers are growing. In fact, some people log into SL just to role-play. If you’d like to give it a try, here are some basics to help get you started.

Role-play entails creating a character and immersing yourself in that role. Usually a role-play sim will have a basic storyline to adhere to, like cyber punk or family RP. But the stories you create with others are made up on the spot. You speak with others from your character’s point of view, while others do the same. All stories are made up as they happen.
While there are some RP sims that use voice, most require you to be good at expressing yourself in writing. You may have to explain your character’s motivations, thoughts and actions in text. There are usually two types of RP to do this, Free Roleplay and Paragraph Roleplay (para RP). Free RP is usually more conversational in a shorter, more natural form, allowing much faster back and forth. Para RP requires you to write a descriptive paragraph. There are people who love para RP, but it often involves waiting for someone to finish writing. Don’t let that deter you though. Most veteran RPers are very welcoming to new people and understand there’s a learning curve.

The following pages will give you some ideas of popular RP sims. Go check out ones you find interesting. But keep in mind, some RP sims may require you to wear a visitor’s HUD. Just remain respectful, go with the flow and above all enjoy yourself!

Click on a thumbnail below to see the expanded version.