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Uaithne

 Membership Are There Fewer RP Sites These Days?

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I'm not sure about a lack of sites but...there definitely seems to be a lack of variety. A lot of roleplay sites nowadays are all similar to each other in one way or the other. Lots of city life, high school based ones, and supernaturals. It's kind of depressing.

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Funny you mention that, @Hysteria . . . I was thinking about how there are so few high school sites.  Back in the day (back when we ourselves were around HS age), there were dozens and dozens of such sites.  Oh, man, they were bad.  Like all these high school kids who got to run around big cities with infinite moneys and no repercussions.  Directories used to have to have separate areas for high schools and boarding schools since there were so many.

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Morrigan really hit the nail on the head here! If you track the tags "rp" or "roleplay" on tumblr or twitter, they're constantly being updated. When I tracked these things, I was constantly getting notifications for them. I had to turn my notifications off just to get some peace of mind. I had to scroll through pages and pages of content to get anything that was forum related. Forum rping is simply outdated with today's technology. The rp youth are interested in instant rp's, and are largely independent rpers. Even discord rp's are poppin right now. The only long form rp that I've found is popular is on tumblr. 

 

Part of the reason why forum rp's aren't as popular anymore is because it's the adult crowd that runs them now. We have lives and jobs and families and many of us can only casually rp when we have the time for it. That's not a bad thing and it's not to say they won't make a comeback. But it's not the medium most new rpers gravitate toward. 

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I've noticed less sites to advertise on compared to say, five years ago. Morrigan brought up some strong points, though. Younger RPers are using different platforms, probably because it's what they already know. When I was younger, I tried ALL the things for RP (chats, myspace, live journal, etc) but I found forums and settled there because I like the set up the best. Younger people grew up on Tumblr and such so that's what they like to use. And I guess if they become well versed with the style, they want to stay there and not stray. I know I'm an old fart now because like Morrigan said, I'm set in my ways. I haven't even attempted to RP on Tumblr because it's not an environment I find inviting and I'd basically have to start from the bottom of the rope and look like an idiot because I don't know how they do things. 

 

So the same can likely be said for them in regards to what we're doing. Or they might run into people or places that discourage them. My brother wanted to RP but he ran into grammar nazis and he's never tried again. I got my sister into RP and she was almost ripped apart by grammar nazis too but she loves it so much that she got past it. If young RPers are just getting into code and somebody belittles them, I can see them deciding not to pursue it or graphics or anything else to do with RP. :/ 

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There's a life cycle to these things, as far as I've observed it.

 

There are pretty regularly timed slow periods in the community, just based on the fact that a large proportion of roleplayers these days fall into the 18-25 demographic. For instance, this particular time of year, along with the beginning of December, is when semesters tend to end for a lot of college students in the Northern hemisphere (I couldn't speak to when university schedules fall anywhere else). Therefore, there's a corresponding lull in not only site activity at those times of year, but a lull in the creation of sites. Once you start getting into summer in the Northern hemisphere, you tend to see a sudden uptick in the number of sites being created, because people who might otherwise not do so suddenly have the free time to devote to it. Ditto winter break between mid-December and mid-January in the Northern hemisphere, for the same reason.

 

As for variety of sites, that also waxes and wanes, but it does so along much more arbitrary lines. The number of non-fandom roleplays holds pretty steady no matter what's going on, though if there's a popular fandom movie in a certain genre out, sometimes non-fandom roleplays taking inspiration will suddenly pop up. As a rule, fandom roleplays tend to be created more often when something big happens in the fandom, e.g. a new Marvel film comes out, a television series starts or ends a new season, a new book or additional content is published, etc. The illusion of lack of variety tends to happen between bursts of newly created sites, whereas in reality, all you have to do is wait, because summer in the Northern Hemisphere is upon us, so TV shows are ending and big summer movies are coming out. A lull may happen in (the Northern hemisphere's) early spring, late summer, and mid-winter, but things will inevitably pick back up again in early summer and early fall for fandoms.

 

TL;DR - It can definitely look like the RP community is shrinking and homogenizing itself sometimes, but it's totally a trick of the time of year and factors in the larger culture.

 

/sociologist out

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