Role Play Daze

Written by PushingUpRoses on March 9th, 2012

When I was a teenager, I had this fantastic idea.  I should drop out of high school.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but my mom was a little less favorable of me throwing my education into the metaphorical toilet, and didn’t allow me to go through with it.  Unfortunately for her, she didn’t foresee the very near future where I threatened my high school counselor with a paperweight and managed to get kicked out anyway.  I can still see that paperweight.  It was some sort of tribal/African artifact type of thingumabob.  It was designed to look like wood, but it was in fact, stone.  Which probably made me seem all the more threatening.  You don’t mess with a fishnet clad, dark red-lip-stick’d gothball (Robert Smith, much?) holding a slab of stone in the shape of a Tiki head.  I will fuck you up(noIwon’t).

I spent some time in an alternative school, which I eventually dropped out of.  I poke fun, but those days were full of hardship.  I chose to deal with them by dying the shit out of my hair and researching body modification in world culture.  And when that bored me, I turned to role playing on the internet.  Because on the internet, I could be a goddamn cat person.  Yeah, that’s right, I role played a cat person.  I’m not ashamed of this(yesIam).

Role playing served as a means of escape.  A way I could express my creativity (or something), and at least pass the time.  I role played in AOL chatrooms mostly.  I can’t even remember what compelled me to try it.  I think I simply stumbled into the Red Dragon Inn one day and thought, “OH COOL ELVES AND SHIT.  I CAN ROLE PLAY TOO.”

::She entered the room, her cool, amber eyes scanning the bar occupants.  She wore all black, which matched her raven hued locks, which cascaded down to the small of her back.  Two perky cat ears peek out from her bouncy tresses, picking up the conversation of drunks and hooligans around the vicinity.::

Aww yeah.  This is good.  

The way I decided to enter the world of role play is to simply be dramatic as possible.

 First off, I need an awesome celebrity picture to depict my character.  Let’s see now….


Now I just need to photoshop on some cat eyes, and I will have my character.  I will name her Sierra, because it’s close to my real name and sounds exotic and cool.  Man, I am totally not uncool.

I couldn’t actually find the exact picture I used for my character.  I remember it was another photo of Katie Holmes, in a similar, dramatic pose, Dawson’s Creek era.  At the time, everyone in the chatroom I played with had celebrity photos to portray their characters.  Because of this, everyone was obscenely good looking and completely unrealistic.  Why?  Because how can your character hook up with another character if he or she isn’t obscenely good looking?

Alright, now I need to edit the shit out of my AOL profile and make it all dramatic and MEANINGFUL.  I’ll just use some HTML and write a POEM in there or something.  …No wait, not a poem.  SONG LYRICS.  SONG LYRICS ARE COOL.

Looking back on my methods of character development and my writing style, I have to admit to myself.  I was pretty absurd.  But I was completely engaged in this virtual world.

Early on, it was hard to determine genuine role players from absolute creepers.  Within the first few days of role play, I experienced someone who just wanted to “cyber.”  It started out all innocent, sure.  And then you get posts like this:

::Raoul grasps the back of Sierra’s hair and tugs lightly.  Then he starts unsnapping her bra…::–


*X’s out of the chat*

However, the more I role played, the more I loved it, and the more I could seriously give a shit about anything else.  I have incredibly fond memories of story-lines my group and I created.   It even got to the point where more characters were more popular than each-other, and thus spawned mun** drama.  Now that I am reflecting on this, I remember more mun drama than legitimate story lines.  Who was dating who?  Who cybered with who?  Did so and so kill blah de blah’s character again?  Why is the story line halted?  Why is Joe-schmoe mad at Jane Doe?  WHY CAN I NOT FIND A BETTER CHARACTER PORTRAIT?  TAKE BETTER PICTURES, KATIE HOLMES.

In my early twenties, I felt my role play life slowly coming to an end.  I had acquired something called a boyfriend, and my naive virgin mind wanted to experience.. eh.. other things.  Not cyber things.  Admittedly, I can say that my online days were more enjoyable than that particular relationship, but let’s not lose focus here.

Every now and then I create a minor character and role play with him or her.  There is just something so nostalgic, so whimsical, so fantastical, about role playing.  When things weren’t going to so hot in IRL, I knew I could rely on my virtual playground to distract me, and engage me until things got better.  I often wish I could go back to AOL chatroom role play, but AOL days are pretty much dead.  People are using AOL disks/discs as cup holders these days anyway.  But for a time in my life, I truly adored it.  I await the day that Sierra, the quirky cat girl with beige fur on her ears will make a triumphant return.

*((Talking with parenthesis around the sentence, like this, meant we were talking out of character.  In character statements usually had :: :: around them, to specify action.))

**Mun is the term we used to call the person playing the character.  Sometimes meaning, “Man Under Name”, it was common to call person by their character name followed by “mun.”  I would be “Sierra-mun.”



  • demoversi

    ::Reading the blog post, a wave of nostalgia and camaraderie washes over the gallant man, identifiable by his trademark bandana. With a wave of gratitude towards the woman with the dyed hair, he raises a ghost of a mug of ale to the memory of the Red Dragon Inn.::

  • Gary Burke

    While I have never done this, I can certainly identify with the feelings and what happened in high school. may be years ago, but I still remember the absurdities of both others and myself

  • Overactor

    I used to roleplay with just some friends over IM. Those were good times. We mostly did skits and stories, and I hope someday those make a return as well.

  • Aikou

    I started RP in general on the net some years ago. I remember the first one I ever did with somewhere where I felt like “hey, I actually do enjoy roleplaying, this is fun!”

  • Aikou


  • Devin Crawford

    I also haven’t done any role play but I understand about being lost within the imagination or even getting lost with browsing online for a lot of random finds being better than dealing with what the people identify as life. Life can be very different like what you’ve talked about here.

  • Deibee

    I used to role play in the A Sailor Moon Romance forums back when it was really jumping. I remember being in a Harry Potter ripoff, and going around calling myself Chibi-Jupiter. then there was the time I was the daughter of Sailor Neptune, with powers derived from the astrological sign Pisces…

    but the best thing was the families. one forum goer would marry another, and they’d adopt other people as their “kids.” the signatures would be filled with ASMR family trees. I never took a husband, but I was like a fifth cousin twice removed to…somebody. XD

  • Anonymous

    Man, I remember doing all sorts of forum RPs. Those were some good times.

    I never played a catgirl, though I did play a sentient animate shield once. He was basically Iago with extra face-bashing.

  • Jadedbunny84

    OMG the Aol rpg chat rooms. I miss them so much. I use to spend so much time in them. I made so many good friends roleplaying.

  • Anonymous

    “I will have my character.  I will name her Sierra, because it’s close to my real name and sounds exotic and cool.”I’m pretty sure that there was a second reason you chose that name, too. :-DAlso, I remember AOL chatrooms.  I didn’t use them much, but their novelty sure was interesting.This was an interesting blog, Roses.  I wasn’t much on an RPer, unless you count VERY casual D&D, but I can certainly see the appeal. :)

  • LabbyDragon

    I roleplayed some, mostly in forums, as I was too slow a reader to keep up with the AOL chatrooms.  However, it actually just lead to me writing fanfiction, because I’m a bit of a control freak, lol. So fanfiction and “original” fiction (which usually just looked like fanfiction with the names switched out) it was for me.

  • LabbyDragon

    I roleplayed some, mostly in forums, as I was too slow a reader to keep up with the AOL chatrooms.  However, it actually just lead to me writing fanfiction, because I’m a bit of a control freak, lol. So fanfiction and “original” fiction (which usually just looked like fanfiction with the names switched out) it was for me.

  • Kim Butler

    I’m actually a playby-post roleplayer. I have been since I was twelve. I remember starting out on an RP for girls which was shoujo-ai based; my character was a girl who could control fire and whose eyes glowed red when she was pissed off. It was a lot of fun, but I grew bored of it quickly and moved on to other sites. Nowadays, I stick to playing on the “advanced lit” roleplays with pretty layouts and an active community. There’s ridiculous drama, friendships that end in cyber tears, and lots of sex – but mostly it’s all in good fun. It has to be one of my favorite hobbies. 

    Thanks for sharing this! 

  • Mr. Gordo

    I used to play in a play-by-post RPG. (a Resident Evil one no less; +1 dork points! :D) To this day I have no recollection of how I stumbled across it.

    Had a helluva time keeping track of all the groups in different locations, but brilliant fun when you’ve got the right set of people to interact with and build your own collective story. Gave me a great sense of satisfaction and made me feel like you’re part of something important at a time when I felt quite alone.Thanks for writing this, Roses, I’m really glad to see I’m not the only one who enjoys a particularly verbose method of role-playing. I remember spending hours poring over a single post.

  • Lawrence A

    You really got kicked of school for threatening a counselor? I did way worse and everyone sorta laughed it off. Hell, one time I loudly threatened to kill a fellow student who was picking on me during a peace/tolerance conference that was hosted by Kofi Annan, and all my teachers just sorta giggled and later one of them gave me a high five… Can’t help but feel you would’ve thrived a bit more at my high school 😉

  • Imposter

    I can relate and appreciate this story. The only difference is that it was right after my dad past away at 15, and I was pretty depressed for quite a long time till my older sister and brother was like hey check this out (on Yahoo! RPG rooms).  Well, I did get into fights, and have rough spots in school, but I never threatened any of the staff. =/ I really don’t know if I had a specific aim in role playing, except escape from my depression, but I met my the love of my life and we’ve been married happily for 10 years this coming June.

    I’ve read your site and watched your videos for quite a long time now, and this is the first time that I wanted to post something because it really brought back some great memories. Thanks.

  • Dusk

    I miss the roleplays I was a part of.  It was all good until the chatrooms I used were shut down. 

    I’m totally a little gothball too, but did not threaten the counsellor, you are intense.  I admit to being entertained when I read that. =P

  • Shadowflame

    I actually started role-playing several years back in World of Warcraft. Having always wanted to be a writer (and now being one), I’ve always found it one of the most enjoyable things to do. There’s just something about forgetting this world for a time and losing yourself in another, even when real life is good. I think everyone should have some sort of escape like that, a way to exercise their imagination and play with different personalities they may not try in real life.