Do you chatplay?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you chatplay?

    • Yes!
      11
    • No!
      1
  2. 2. If you answered yes, how often do you chatplay?

    • Daily.
      1
    • Several times a week.
      5
    • A few times a month.
      4
    • A few times a year.
      2
  3. 3. Is this your main form of RP, or a supplement to it?

    • I only chatplay.
      0
    • I chatplay in addition to writing posts/doing other forms of RP.
      12
  4. 4. Is your chatplay just for fun, or considered canon in your RP?

    • It's just for fun!
      6
    • It's canon!
      1
    • It's sometimes both!
      5


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Chatplaying is something I've always found fun to do, so I thought I'd make a topic to talk about it!

 

Chatplaying, for those of you that don't know, is typically just dialogue between characters with minimal description of actions done over some form of instant messenger, like a cbox, Skype, Discord, etc. Sometimes there is some setting which the chatplay takes place in, and on forums that have a chatplay cbox they often are considered to take place in an alternateish reality where villains and heroes alike can coexist in relative peace in some neutral location, like a bar. Those types of chatplays tend to be without much in the way of a plot (though not always) and put emphasis on quick, short replies. In general, it may be similar to some IRC roleplays but is not necessarily the same thing, as some IRC roleplays want multiple paragraphs and writing on them can be as time consuming as posting on a forum.

 

In the forum roleplaying community, there are a number of different opinions on chatplaying. Some people think it's a nuisance, others don't mind it, and others love it.

 

So how about you?

 

Personally, I love chatplaying! It's a fun and silly way to unwind, and can be done if I don't necessarily have an interest in posting in a really intense and emotionally taxing thread, for example. It can also be a fun way to have a character interact with someone they otherwise wouldn't be able to, in a setting that doesn't involve getting killed or mutilated or all other fun manner of things. I also chatplay outside of my main RP with buddies every now and then, just for kicks.

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2 hours ago, SithLordOfSnark said:

I don't like chatplay because more often then not I've seen them kill sites.

I've never had this be an issue on any of my sites. The chatplay has always been the thing that was neglected, sometimes going without any posts for days or weeks at a time, while the forum itself got new posts every day. I suppose it depends on the people that are on the site, and what their priorities are, but my members always have more fun with writing characters in a story versus playing them in a plotless setting.

Edited by Josie

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I don't do chatplays in the Cbox unless its "IC-Commentary" on something happening in the thread. So for example if my little Imp Skie had what I felt was a very good post in regards to some character development she might pop into the C-box and go:   Skie: "Oooohhhh, Kent is NOT gonna like what I did this time~"  

 

 

As far as Chatplaying across instant messenger, I found it a very fun and useful way to 1x1 short scenarios (usually taking place in a possible future) or ICly experiment with how a situation might resolve when my thread partner and I have trouble deciding where to go with the thread. Basically brainstorming through the brains of our characters instead of us writers. This has led to some things eventually becoming canon, but mostly was used as a way to overcome writers block. 

Edited by CovertSphinx
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I hate chatplay. Even in the period when my site had ICC at the request of some members, I had used it for less than 5 phrases in 2 years or so. 

 

I am writing in order to tell a story. Therefore:

 

1) what I am writing has to remain written, not to disappear after 1 day or less, like chat does.

 

2) What I am writing has to count for the story. I am not writing just to write, things which don't count, when I could write things to actually matter and push the story forward. For the same idea, I hate AUs (with the exception that the whole story is an AU to something else, but in that case it is the story at hand, not an AU to the story I am writing). I know, this hating AU is an unpopular opinion, but for me writing a story is a question of choice: out of the x possible versions, I/ we writing it together have chosen one specific version. Then stuck to it until it is finished, and then, if instead of a sequel wanting to explore an AU, feel free but that is another totally different story.

 

3) for better immersion, I like writing the story in full, with descriptions, action, thoughts and dialogue, not only the dialogue parts. I like writing it the way I like reading it :)

 

4) the immediacy of chat stresses me a lot. It is too much pressure I don't need. I need time to think, to research, to choose the right words and to write. Forums are the best for me in this purpose, because I am writing in my time and I am giving a story of quality. (I can correct posts even 3-4 months after I wrote them, if I see a mistake).

 

 

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I don't tend to chatplay on sites. Mostly because either I feel left out or it makes other people left out. There is a point that either you don't know enough about the other characters to know what's going on or other people don't know enough to really join in.

 

I prefer 1x1 chatplay. It's more of a form of character/plot development for me than it is something to just tool around with. What happens in chatplay stays in chatplay though. Unless it's bloody brilliant and then it will become canon by being put into posts. Otherwise I don't really partake. It's just not as fun for me.

 

I prefer when characters talk to other players, not other characters in chatplay.

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I enjoy it for the sake of having something to do between posts, especially when I'm writing with players that can't keep up with the kind of pacing I like. It also keeps me from flat out losing interest in the slower paced threads, because lets face it - there are only so many ways any story can pan out, doesn't matter how creative a writer is. Once you've figured out the archetypes and crap there isn't a lot of surprise left - that's why I don't follow many tv shows because more often than not if I can't outright figure out what's going to happen, I can narrow it down to 2-3 possible scenarios. So Chatplay gives me something to do rather than sitting around and considering all the possibilities until, hey, why even bother writing this crap any further? If all I was interested in were telling a story, I'd just write a short story or sit my ass down and finish my book. It's the unpredictability of role play that I find stimulating.

 

That said, for the most part I just mess with non-canonical crap that will never have any bearing on the plot - though I've had many, many plots bloom out of these dumb little character interactions. I keep a chatplay channel on my site's discord so players can jump in and play around without isolating members that aren't interested - that's really the only problem I've ever had with it, and discord got rid of that. 

 

I can see where some people aren't fans, though. When I was first exposed to it I thought it was weird as hell, and my first impression was that it was... border line unhealthy, especially when people would have their characters responding to me. I remember looking at my screen like 'do they really expect me to sit here and converse with a figment of their imagination?'. But it turned out to be a mixture of 'don't knock it till you try it' and 'if you can't beat them join them' deals because I've never been in a community that didn't/doesn't do it to some extent or another. So I guess I got forced to learn to enjoy it, now that this topic has me thinking about it. 

Edited by Dragon

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Our site's discord has a non-canon chatplay channel for ridiculous and silly stuff, just so we have a place to unwind or test out how characters would get along.

 

I do chatplay privately, most of the time. My wife and I actually developed our characters' relationships over the course of a decade of chatplay, since school kept us busy and distance was a thing? So chatplay has a special place in my heart because of that. It's a pretty decent alternative to roleplays when time is a factor, since you can get through story lines without a lot of extra words (if that makes sense?). I kinda treat it like the condensed milk of roleplays.

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There have been a lot of interesting responses to this topic! I hear that some of you feel like chatplay on forums is exclusionary. I've thought about this for a few days and am curious what's meant? In what ways has chatplay made you (or someone you know) feel excluded?

 

I think in a forum setting, nearly anything can make someone feel excluded for one reason or another. What is everyone is in 2 threads right now, but you struggled to pick up just 1? What if the character group you wanted got banned just as you were going to make a character for it? What about OTMs? Heck, what if your timezone doesn't align well with the majority of the member base's? The list of every day things that go on on an RP forum which can make someone feel excluded is endless. How is chatplay the same or different from the rest of these things?

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As I stated in my original post it's a matter of knowing what's going on between characters. If I'm not intimately knowledgeable on everyone's character I feel left out of a group chatplay because I can only talk to the characters I feel my characters have actually interacted with and have some sort of relationship with (the good, the bad the dramatic). So if it's a site with a few dozen characters and I only really have played with like 5 of them then I really can only speak to those 5 without feeling like I'm drowning in a pool of non-understanding.

 

In fact I actually fully ignore the sites I'm on chatplay section on the discord for this exact reason. I actually loathe when it bleeds over into normal chat rooms.

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If I participate, I'm very picky about it. Ultimately it needs to help me develop my characters and further their plots. It needs to be a part of the site's reality (no AU) and it needs to be something I can easily reaccess and reread in the future should I need or want to remember stuff that happened. For these reasons, chatplay in cboxes, messengers, and Discord don't interest me. It needs to be a part of the forum - literally and canonically.

 

I actually really like having a fast-paced area for quick roleplaying. On my old high school site, we had something called "In Character Introductions" for new characters to find their place in the community. It went fantastically and was insanely popular. Everything that happened there actually happened in character, and it was a great way to meet people.

 

Personally, I find it exclusionary (right word?) when people chatplay in the cbox or other shared spaces. It ends up dominating the chat, and in my experience, new or less popular people end up getting their characters ignored because the established, popular folks are too busy doing their own thing.

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I don't think exclusionary is the right term when chatplay bleeds into shared spaces, like the cbox or other non-chatplay channels. It's flat out rude, and at that point it's up to the staff to direct the chatplay back where it belongs.

 

But I can completely see how it can feel exclusionary when there's a large group of people chatplaying at once. Especially if someone's on mobile and can't type very fast it can get pretty easy to be left behind and feel left out, and it's something I've experienced myself. I'm not entirely sure of a solution, though? Maybe establish a posting order?

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In my experience @FriedKilamari it's an in or out thing. Either your in the chatplay group or your not. This group is often formed early on and only really strong personalities that push their way in can get in through the nuance of it. I doubt a posting order would help because that sorta kills the "vibe" of what I believe chatplay really provides.

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You could consider chat roleplay to go on on twitter, which is something I used to do a lot at one stage. It really evolved out of trying to get as many people involved as possible because you couldn't really @ or mention a lot of people without it ruining the more serious rps they had going on (by burying people's responses under a lot of notifications.) It was fun quite a lot of the time. But the down side of it? It could quickly escalate into an argument if someone posted something another person didn't like and keeping up was sometimes an issue too. (Though after seeing it playout a few times, I think the people who argued did it on purpose because they kept on doing it.)

 

As for people feeling that they were left out? That is a big problem, too. I found that you would always get certain people who tried to make everything revolve around their character(s), push other people out and not allow them to join in even if they asked. When you get a bunch of friendly people, it goes better. It might appear to be a good way to unwind, but unless you have people you get along with involved in it, it's just one big frustration of trying to defend yourself if you say the 'wrong thing' or feeling left out, being unsure how to take part, etc. It's not something I do now unless I'm comfortable in the group.

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