Role-playing

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Role-playing is the changing of one's behaviour to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role. While the Oxford English Dictionary offers a definition of role-playing as "the changing of one's behaviour to fulfill a social role", [1] in the field of psychology, the term is used more loosely in four senses:

A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation. It is an expected or free or continuously changing behaviour and may have a given individual social status or social position. It is vital to both functionalist and interactionist understandings of society. Social role posits the following about social behaviour:

  1. The division of labour in society takes the form of the interaction among heterogeneous specialised positions, we call roles.
  2. Social roles included appropriate and permitted forms of behaviour and actions that recur in a group, guided by social norms, which are commonly known and hence determine the expectations for appropriate behaviour in these roles, which further explains the place of a person in the society.
  3. Roles are occupied by individuals, who are called actors.
  4. When individuals approve of a social role, they will incur costs to conform to role norms, and will also incur costs to punish those who violate role norms.
  5. Changed conditions can render a social role outdated or illegitimate, in which case social pressures are likely to lead to role change.
  6. The anticipation of rewards and punishments, as well as the satisfaction of behaving prosocially, account for why agents conform to role requirements.
Acting impersonation of a fictional character

Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a character—in theatre, television, film, radio, or any other medium that makes use of the mimetic mode.

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> premier British dictionary of the English language

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.

Contents

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Play-by-mail games, or play-by-post games, are games, of any type, played through postal mail or email.

Amusement

Many children participate in a form of role-playing known as make believe, wherein they adopt certain roles such as doctor and act out those roles in character. Sometimes make believe adopts an oppositional nature, resulting in games such as cops and robbers.

Make believe, also known as pretend play, is a loosely structured form of play that generally includes role-play, object substitution and nonliteral behavior. What separates play from other daily activities is its fun and creative aspect rather than being an action performed for the sake of survival or necessity. Children engage in make believe for a number of reasons. It provides the child with a safe setting to express fears and desires. When children participate in pretend play, they are integrating and strengthening previously acquired knowledge. Children who have better pretense and fantasy abilities also show better social competence, cognitive capabilities, and an ability to take the perspective of others. In order for the activity to be referred to as pretend play, the individual must be intentionally diverting from reality. The individual must be aware of the contrast between the real situation and the make believe situation. If the child believes that the make believe situation is reality, then he/she is misinterpreting the situation rather than pretending. Pretend may or may not include action, depending on whether the child chooses to project their imagination onto reality or not.

Physician professional who practices medicine

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Tag (game) game of chasing other people

Tag, also called tiggy or tick, is a playground game that involves two or more players chasing other players in an attempt to "tag" or touch them, usually with their hands. There are many variations; most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment. Usually when a person is tagged, the tagger says, "Tag, you're 'it'!".The last one tagged during tag is "it" for the next round.

Entertainment

Historical re-enactment has been practiced by adults for millennia. The ancient Romans, Han Chinese, and medieval Europeans all enjoyed occasionally organizing events in which everyone pretended to be from an earlier age, and entertainment appears to have been the primary purpose of these activities. Within the 20th century historical re-enactment has often been pursued as a hobby.

Hobby regular activity that is done for enjoyment

A hobby is a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time. Hobbies can include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements. A list of hobbies is lengthy and always changing as interests and fashions change. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skills and knowledge in that area. Engagement in hobbies has increased since the late nineteenth century as workers have more leisure time and advancing production and technology have provided more support for leisure activities. Hobbies tend to follow trends in society, for example stamp collecting was popular during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as postal systems were the main means of communication, while video games are more popular nowadays following technological advances.

Improvisational theatre dates back to the Commedia dell'Arte tradition of the 16th century. Modern improvisational theatre began in the classroom with the "theatre games" of Viola Spolin and Keith Johnstone in the 1950s. Viola Spolin, who was one of the founders the famous comedy troupe Second City, insisted that her exercises were games, and that they involved role-playing as early as 1946. She accurately judged role-playing in the theatre as rehearsal and actor training, or the playing of the role of actor versus theatre roles, but many now use her games for fun in their own right.

Improvisational theatre theatrical genre

Improvisational theatre, often called improvisation or improv, is the form of theatre, often comedy, in which most or all of what is performed is unplanned or unscripted: created spontaneously by the performers. In its purest form, the dialogue, action, story, and characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script.

The theatre games tradition is a method of training actors that was developed in the 20th century by practitioners such as Joan Littlewood, Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, Clive Barker, Keith Johnstone, Jerzy Grotowski and Augusto Boal. Theatre games are also commonly used as warm-up exercises for actors before a rehearsal or performance, in the development of improvisational theatre, and as a lateral means to rehearse dramatic material. They are also used in drama therapy to overcome anxiety by simulating scenarios that would be fear-inducing in real life.

Viola Spolin American academic and acting theorist

Viola Spolin was a theatre academic, educator and acting coach. She is considered an important innovator in 20th century American theater for creating directorial techniques to help actors to be focused in the present moment and to find choices improvisationally, as if in real life. These acting exercises she later called Theater Games and formed the first body of work that enabled other directors and actors to create improvisational theater. Her book Improvisation for the Theater, which published these techniques, includes her philosophy and her teaching and coaching methods, and is considered the "bible of improvisational theater". Spolin's contributions were seminal to the improvisational theater movement in the U.S. She is considered to be the mother of Improvisational theater. Her work has influenced American theater, television and film by providing new tools and techniques that are now used by actors, directors and writers.

Role-playing games

A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterisation, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.

Game entertainment, activity; structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment

A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to be work or art.

A character is a person or other being in a narrative. The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a "fictional" versus "real" character may be made. Derived from the ancient Greek word χαρακτήρ, the English word dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of "a part played by an actor" developed. Character, particularly when enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves "the illusion of being a human person". In literature, characters guide readers through their stories, helping them to understand plots and ponder themes. Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase "in character" has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor. Since the 19th century, the art of creating characters, as practiced by actors or writers, has been called characterisation.

A narrative is a report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images, or both. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to tell", which is derived from the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled".

Role-playing can also be done online in the form of group story creation, involving anywhere from two to several hundred people, utilizing public forums, private message boards, mailing lists, chatrooms, and instant-messaging chat clients (e.g.,  MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ) to build worlds and characters that may last a few hours, or several years. Often on forum-based roleplays, rules, and standards are set up, such as a minimum word count, character applications, and "plotting" boards to increase complexity and depth of story.

There are different genres of which one can choose while role-playing, including, but not limited to, fantasy, modern, medieval, steam punk, and historical. Books, movies, or games can be, and often are, used as a basis for role-plays (which in such cases may be deemed "collaborative fan-fiction"), with players either assuming the roles of established canon characters or using those the players themselves create ("Original Characters") to replace—or exist alongside—characters from the book, movie, or game, playing through well-trodden plots as alternative characters, or expanding upon the setting and story outside of its established canon.

Training

Interior cockpit of a twinjet flight simulator AC97-0295-13 a.jpeg
Interior cockpit of a twinjet flight simulator

Role-playing may also refer to role training where people rehearse situations in preparation for a future performance and to improve their abilities within a role. The most common examples are occupational training role-plays, educational role-play exercises, and certain military wargames.

Simulation

One of the first uses of computers was to simulate real-world conditions for participants role-playing the flying of aircraft. Flight simulators used computers to solve the equations of flight and train future pilots. The army began full-time role-playing simulations with soldiers using computers both within full scale training exercises and for training in numerous specific tasks under wartime conditions. Examples include weapon firing, vehicle simulators, and control station mock-ups.

Research method

Role playing may also refer to the technique commonly used by researchers studying interpersonal behavior by assigning research participants to particular roles and instructing the participants to act as if a specific set of conditions were true. [3] This technique of assigning and taking roles in psychological research has a long history. It has been used in the early classic social psychological experiments by Kurt Lewin (1939/1997), Stanley Milgram (1963), and Phillip Zimbardo (1971). Herbert Kelman suggested that role-playing might be "the most promising source" of research methods alternative to methods using deception (Kelman 1965). [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

Live action role-playing game form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters actions

A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

Role-playing game game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making of character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

A storytelling game is a game where two or more persons collaborate on telling a spontaneous story. Usually, each player takes care of one or more characters in the developing story. Some games in the tradition of role-playing games require one participant to take the roles of the various supporting characters, as well as introducing non-character forces, but other systems dispense with this figure and distribute this function among all players.

A simulation is an approximate imitation of the operation of a process or system; the act of simulating first requires a model is developed. This model is a well-defined description of the simulated subject, and represents its key characteristics, such as its behaviour, functions and abstract or physical properties. The model represents the system itself, whereas the simulation represents its operation over time.

Educational games are games explicitly designed with educational purposes, or which have incidental or secondary educational value. All types of games may be used in an educational environment. Educational games are games that are designed to help people to learn about certain subjects, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand a historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play. Game types include board, card, and video games. An educational game is a game designed to teach humans about a specific subject and to teach them a skill. As educators, governments, and parents realize the psychological need and benefits of gaming have on learning, this educational tool has become mainstream. Games are interactive play that teach us goals, rules, adaptation, problem solving, interaction, all represented as a story. They satisfy our fundamental need to learn by providing enjoyment, passionate involvement, structure, motivation, ego gratification, adrenaline, creativity, social interaction and emotion in the game itself while the learning takes place.

Drama therapy

Drama therapy is the use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote mental health. Drama therapy is used in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, mental health centers, prisons, and businesses. Drama therapy, as a modality of the creative arts therapies, exists in many forms and can be applicable to individuals, couples, families, and various groups.


An online text-based role playing game is a role-playing game played online using a solely text-based interface. Online text-based role playing games date to 1978, with the creation of MUD1, which began the MUD heritage that culminates in today's MMORPGs. Some online-text based role playing games are video games, but some are organized and played entirely by humans through text-based communication. Over the years, games have used TELNET, internet forums, IRC, email and social networking websites as their media.

History of role-playing games

The history of role-playing games begins with an earlier tradition of role-playing, which combined with the rulesets of fantasy wargames in the 1970s to give rise to the modern role-playing game. A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.

Neva Boyd American sociologist

Neva Leona Boyd was an American sociologist. She founded the Recreational Training School at the Hull House in Chicago. The school taught a one-year educational program in group games, gymnastics, dancing, dramatic arts, play theory, and social problems. She was on the faculty of Northwestern University from 1927 to 1941.

Life simulation is a subgenre of simulation video games in which the player lives or controls one or more virtual lifeforms. A life simulation game can revolve around "individuals and relationships, or it could be a simulation of an ecosystem".

History of live action role-playing games

Live action role-playing games, known as LARPs, are a form of role-playing game in which live players/actors assume roles as specific characters and play out a scenario in-character. Technically, many childhood games may be thought of as simple LARPs, as they often involve the assumption of character roles. However, the scope of this article concerns itself mainly with LARPing in a technical sense: the organized live-action role-playing games whose origins are closely related to the invention of tabletop role-playing games in America in the 1970s.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to games and gaming:

Paul Silverberg, better known as Paul Sills, was an American director and improvisation teacher, and the original director of Chicago's The Second City.

Social gaming most commonly refers to playing online games that allow or require social interaction between players, as opposed to playing games in solitude. It may refer to:

Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Increasingly, elements and principles of game design are also applied to other interactions, particularly virtual ones.

Applied improvisation is the application of improvisational methods in various fields like consulting, facilitating, teaching, coaching, researching, generating or evolving ideas and designs, theatrical training and playing, medical and therapeutic settings or in social work.

References

  1. "Definition of Role Playing from the Oxford English Dictionary". Askoxford.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  2. Rilstone, Andrew. "Role-Playing Games: An Overview" 1994, Inter*Action #1".
  3. see: Dawn T. Robinson: Role playing, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods.
  4. cf. H. Schuler, Ethical Problems in Psychological Research, Academic Press, 1982, 2013; pp. 137ff.