I’m not sure if there is a Roleplayers Anonymous (there probably is, in the Bible Belt of America somewhere (I’ll explain later)), but even if there was, I wouldn’t attend. I’m a roleplayer, and proud!

I kind of forgot to add it to the categories on the right, and totally skipped over it in my earlier posts, but I should probably make up for the rather lame ‘more about me’ posts (that really didn’t say all that much about me…)

So, this is me coming out of the proverbial, non-gay closet. I’ve been an elf, a Jedi, a cowboy; an ancient Egyptian God (Osiris of course) and the king of England! I even spent a few hours a week tearing the heads off people, roleplaying a werewolf called Bacon. Yeah, Bacon.

These were just the formalised characters — around a table, with some dice, and other players. Or perhaps on stage, in some kind of play, or dialogue. Each and every one of them had a voice, an ideology, a back story, a way of carrying themselves, mannerisms: for all intents and purposes, I became those characters, if only for a few hours at a time.

Why do I do it? It’s fun. Acting was always a big thing at my school, and we’d all be encouraged to get up on stage and act from a young age, through until we graduated at 18. Combine the love of acting with oratory (speaking!) and someone that’s intensely interested in WHY and HOW things (people!) work, and you get a guy that is nearly always wearing the skin of another character.

That’s not say I’m never myself, but considering I only keep very few close friends, I imagine most people only know me as a certain character. Perhaps a few facets of Sebastian shine through the roleplayed persona. So I guess that makes about… 6 people that know the real me. Scary.

Having been online for so many years probably doesn’t help matters. I’ve created and cultivated different personalities for various online games, or communities. I have a ‘head-strong tyrannical self-righteous’ leadership persona which I use for World of Warcraft, but then I am much more self-effacing when it comes to other games. I’m almost… humble. I guess I develop a character that suits my needs.

Now, I’m writing about this because a) I haven’t roleplayed in a long time (my games master has been slacking…!), and b) my little Zombies rant got me thinking about a time at university, when a bunch of us stumbled around campus moaning and groaning ‘braaaains’. But that’s not the story I wanted to tell — I wanted to tell the story about our little ‘run in’ with the Christian Society.

Through some immensely clueless clerical error in the student union, some administrator had given the Christian Society some rooms very close to the Roleplaying Society, on the same days, and the same times. Now, I didn’t think this would be a problem at the time, but for some reason, because we were always down in ‘the dungeon’ (our affectionate name for the badly-maintained rooms right at the bottom of the campus, where no one else dared venture… except for us intrepid roleplayers), and the fact we were playing with dragons, and demons, and mighty magicians… they thought we were devil worshipers. I kind you not, they thought we were satanists. We got more heat from them than the Goth Society got, for Christ’s sake!

Anyway, that was the story I wanted to tell!

Now, on the topic of roleplaying, a (very tenous) link to some Middle-East propaganda that’s popped up recently. I give to you: the brown jacket guy. This guy on his own wouldn’t be all that chilling, but here’s a video from the second Lebanon War: green helmet guy. Staged propaganda, using a dead child as a prop. Chilling.

My circular polariser arrived today, so off to take some photos!

A wild trek through the undergrowth...
It's still damn cold

Sebastian

I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.

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