(Rumors of my death have been premature. Rumors of my return may or may not be premature. But I’m ready to give this a whirl again. Dunno if I’ll ever get back to daily posting, but things have calmed down enough that I think I can manage something once or twice a week. We’ll see how it goes!)
A question from a reader:
Lately, there seems to be a trend of sites popping up that make fun of bad RSP flags. What are your opinions on sites like these that ridicule the rsp for either graphic content or minor nitpicking.
- A Nonny Mouse
To be quite honest, Nonny (I hope it’s alright that I call you Nonny), I’m not fond of sites devoted to making fun of RSP flags. For one thing, I don’t think they do anything productive, or offer any kind of help to any of the people that are “offending”. I also don’t think they’re all that useful, given that you can get everything from the nitpicky “OMG Stormwind was destroyed and rebuilt, how could they not know that!!?!!eleventy1″ to the more egregious examples of erotic content in RSP flags, posted for either shock value or validation.
Are there some really bad RSP flags? Absolutely. They’re often full of purple prose, gravity defying sexual organs, robotic body parts, and “I’m not really a …” types of silliness. But you really can’t tell much about a character – or how well that character is played – from an RSP tag.
Aely, my main, whom you’ve all read about and who I’m quite confident is not a “mary sue”, is a 6 foot tall, red-headed warrior goddess built like a professional beach volleyball player. If you read her RSP, you could come away with that, and I could show up on a website getting made fun of for playing such a stereotypical “mary sue” character. Except that Aely is more than just her appearance, and I’ve never had anyone tell me that she’s a hollow shell of a character created for my own self aggrandizement.
Bricu, who writes for WTT:RP (and who has given me permission to do this), plays a stereotypical “not your typical paladin” character. He’s gruff and unusual, and could easily show up on a website getting made fun of for not playing paladins “properly”. Except that if you’ve ever interacted with Bricu, you know that he’s a bastard AND a paladin, and he manages to wear both hats very well. The character fits and works and isn’t a shallow RSP tag.
Seylon, one of Yva‘s characters (who also knows about this post), is a tall, totally hawt night elf warrior with a gorgeous body, who wears really skimpy armor, flirts with anything that moves (of either gender) and drinks hard. If all you ever saw of Seylon was a brief encounter in the bar, you’d probably think she was worth writing up for one of those websites. Except Seylon is also a hard working single mom, an incredibly well developed character, and not at all a shallow RSP tag.
Yes, sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating to try to RP with people and get yet another “I’m not really a death knight and my boobs are so huge they’re like watermelons but gravity doesn’t apply to me and I sparkle and smell like jasmine” encounter. I’ve laughed those situations off with friends, in private, because there’s not really any other way to deal with the frustration. But, as I’ve mentioned before, not everyone starts out good at RP, and public humiliation doesn’t help anyone.
The best reaction, when confronted with something that makes you want to roll your eyes, is to either gently approach the person about it, or – if you don’t think it’s worth trying or don’t have the patience to try – to ignore it and move on. If the person is actively griefing YOU (and I have seen situations of extremely off-kilter RP turn into table dancing), then it’s time to get a GM involved.
If reading RSP tags makes you think that every roleplayer you encounter is going to be a terrible one?
Stop reading RSP tags.
You can turn the addon off, or just turn off “mouseover pop ups”, and then all the people passing by that you don’t actually interact with will never intrude on your screen.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you really can’t judge every roleplayer by his or her RSP tag.
For full disclosure, I’m not even running an RSP addon right now. I love them for their naming abilities, but I find that the description boxes aren’t that helpful. And besides, I’d much rather interact with people than have to read their RSP first!
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