Bring Your Own Content – My Limited Experience Role Playing in MMOs
Last night I was on Star Trek Online. I found myself sitting on a bench outside of the library at Starfleet Academy wondering if there was a role playing chat channel in game. I alt-tabbed, pulled up the STO Wiki, and found that there is indeed a channel for the STO RP community. Hopping back in, I tuned in.
I’m normally not one to hop into the middle of a conversation, so I kind of just sat there, reading the text as it flew by. I was amused and interested by the out of character conversations people were having and I quickly picked up that this channel was for arranging and discussing the setting up of potential RPs. I started to chip in and then I started to poke around the galaxy looking for particular duty officer assignments. Apparently this was a global channel, so I was able to stay tuned in while I did my thing. After a fashion, someone mentioned role playing at Deep Space 9, so I figured, why not?
Upon my arrival at DS9, I discovered that the Walk function wasn’t mapped on my keyboard, so I remapped the K key to walking… and also discovered that it wasn’t a toggle and I had to hold it down as long as I wished to walk. Oh well, it felt better than jogging everywhere if I was going to be in-character. I walked my way over to Quark’s bar and settled in at the bar. As far as I could tell, there are no chairs programmed for sitting. You have to awkwardly hop onto a chair and use the “sit (chair)” emote. After a failed attempt there, I returned to the bar, and managed to strike up an in-character conversation with a fellow Starfleet officer that was quite interesting and fun!
This was my first encounter with in-character role playing in Star Trek Online. Typically I don’t actually do such a thing, but for the most part, I’ve beaten the game and I was looking for something else to do. Now, I have, recently, role played in Star Wars: The Old Republic on an RP server, but in all my MMO experience before now I haven’t role played.
I have to admit, it’s refreshing, it’s interesting, and it helps to underscore my attachment to my character. By fleshing out some social interactions, I genuinely feel like I’m not just moving through the game, but I’m a part of it. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Mostly because I’m terrified of making mistakes in the conversation. I think I did okay last night, but it wasn’t until later that I figured out how to emote properly and even then I’m still kind of clumsy with it. At least I spoke well. Further, I know a lot about Star Trek and am perfectly willing to look up more. Last night I was conversing with a Vulcan and, as an Andorian, I remained conscious of that… you know, thanks to the distant racial issues between them. It never came up, but I was prepared nonetheless.
Anyway! I think I’m going to be looking for more role playing content to get involved in. I’m worried about getting too committed to a group, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I think the hardest part was just to do it!
Until next time!
P.S. “Our characters are the result of our conduct.” – Aristotle