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Author Topic: Disinhibition in roleplay  (Read 997 times)

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Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Disinhibition in roleplay
« on: October 22, 2009, 12:07:22 AM »
Heya,

I've recently become curious about peoples experiences with games (virtual or real) that have mechanics geared towards the disinhibition of participants (drinking games don't count :P ). My reason for this is that I'm thinking of starting a plot that would require more than the usual up front latitude in a very short window of time to be successful.

To give an example of a game similar to what I'm looking for -
'spin the bottle': The entire idea of the game is that you want to kiss someone but you would never want to make it known you wanted to kiss them or act on that desire for fear of embarrassment etc. The bottle acts, if I understand the theory correctly, to disassociate you from the decision to act. Or at least the bottle provides an acceptable excuse, something like 'I'm just following orders.' And if the person refuses to kiss you, you don't lose face because it wasnt your call to kiss them anyway. For kissing the entire idea is juvenile but up the stakes and it becomes less so. The disinhibition mechanism doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do, it just eliminates some flimsy social barriers or something.

Getting back to my question, what similar disinhibitive mechanics have you all encountered? And were they found in party games (adult or un), roleplays or what?


Offline Raveled

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2009, 12:37:01 AM »
Traditionally, masquerade balls were held without social hierarchy.  In a more modern setting, a hypnotist's instructions could remove/bypass a person's inhibitions.  Possibly a game like Simon Says or charades, depending on the exact situation.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 10:08:42 AM »
Your last two examples are similar to spin the bottle in that they promote unusual behavior by stipulating it as part of the rules. Generally waving your arms like a mad man would be frowned on but in charades, its how you win.

The masquerade example is interesting but unfortunately we don't have anonymity here.Well we do, but our user accounts are unmistakable. The only way around this that I could see is enabling guest posts or having a proxy to post for everyone

Offline Oniya

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Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 10:37:38 AM »
In a way, every character we play is a mask.  As an example, I'm in several RPs that involve NC.  In real life, of course, I would avoid those kinds of situations like the plague. 

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 11:42:24 AM »
The characters we play aren't too masklike just because we can always see the player behind the scenes. While i think that's a good thing it still means that a certain degree of anonymity is lost.

or am I totally off base and no one has ever had their character not do something because they felt it would reflect on them as a player?

Offline Raveled

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 11:46:48 AM »
I think any good roleplayer knows that there is a distinction between the characters we play and ourselves.  To a certain degree, (IMO) even an evil, nasty character reflects some facet of us, but that doesn't mean that the actions of the character reflects on us, the person.

Now, it is possible for the quality of the posts and the way we play -- the metagame, for lack of a better term -- to reflect on us.  But that's not really the point of the OP.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 01:24:38 PM »
There is a distinction between yourself and a character but it isn't always fixed. Someone who roleplays out wish fulfillment probably has a much closer tie to their character than someone who is exploring a new character. Its kinda ironic that while the former might want to be less inhibited, they probably feel more so. Thats cause its 'their wish,' the players, so it does reflect on them.

Anonymity aside, what are some other disinhibiting mechanics? So far I have 'Just doing what the rules say *tehe*,' and 'Blame the dummy, I'm just the ventriloquist.'

Online Valerian

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 01:30:47 PM »
I don't know if this is exactly the sort of thing you're looking for, but your question puts me in mind of a tabletop game I was in long ago.  It was a Vampire: The Masquerade game, all female (and yes, we did get some odd looks the time we played in the game room of the local comic shop), and the game started with all of us as humans -- the first couple of sessions were playing out our last days as mere mortals.

One of those early sessions was at the ST's house, and the characters stumbled into an old house where a magic ritual of some kind was happening,  a ritual that made us relive the deaths of a group of people who had been killed there.

That group turned out to be a bunch of frat boys -- an interesting challenge for four females who usually only played females -- and one of the things that the ST did to help us be a little braver in our portrayals was running that scene purely by candlelight.  Not being able to see each other very well made a surprising amount of difference, even though we all knew exactly who was saying what.

Another thing that helped was focus.  We were all pretty good at keeping the extra chat to a minimum (which isn't at all possible with some groups, I know), so we rarely broke character once we'd started.  It made the atmosphere a little creepy, in this case, but it also made for a very effective scene.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 02:16:29 PM »
Hehe, I have a similar experience with a cb store. To be fair though, in my case I got weird looks cause I was searching for an aquaman comic...

It sounds like your ST did a really great job at creating an immersive atmosphere for you all. I can see where the dim lighting and minimal OOC would really allow you to play the character and not the 'player playing the character.'

Out of curiosity, have you ever done an online rp where you played the same sort of 'character within a character' and how did that go?  This is kind of reminding me of how sci fi actors have described enjoying the experience of playing their characters as being 'possessed' or from an alt reality because it gives them more ability to explore with fewer ramifications.

(True story, I once ran a similarly premised campaign where the players were living out their last days as primitive mortal man. I forewarned everyone that I was gonna kill all their characters but apparently some of them didn't understand that I actually meant 'I'm going to kill all your characters and have the rest of the campaign be you guys as progressively more ancient undead, cheers.' putzes ;) )

 


Online Valerian

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 02:33:07 PM »
Online, not really, though not from lack of trying.  Heh.  I've tried two or three times to get a story going where the two main characters have ghosts trying to take over their bodies, and some scenes were played out with the characters bascially submerged under ghostly influence; but the tale has never yet managed to get very far, sadly.  The general concept seems like it would be an excellent writing challenge.  :)

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 03:28:08 PM »
Possession would make a very interesting writing challenge.

Now you've got me thinking about whether I'd like to play a character that was possessed and the more I think about it the more I feel like the concept is missing something.  I'd want to have an excuse for my characters behavior, not feel like I didn't have control of my character.

What about a scenario where the reason for doing an action, was not to perform the action, but only to see the result?
So ,taking your ghost example, the premise might be that ghosts are gambling with you for your body. They would pose questions about what would happen if your character took 'X' or 'Z' action. If they predicted the correct result then they would take more control of your body.

Taking that scenario, lets say I'm averse to having my character help an old woman across the street because he thinks that she'd think he was being condescending. The 'ghost' wants to encourage behavior my char would never do on their own so they bet that the old lady would refuse help. Now, thats what my char expects to happen, so in order to win he has to act extra nice and actually try to prove himself wrong. The importance behind the action is forgotten because he's focusing on the result and has that as his excuse.

Does this idea seem like its on a good track?


Offline Talia

Re: Disinhibition in roleplay
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 06:26:07 AM »
Getting back to my question, what similar disinhibitive mechanics have you all encountered? And were they found in party games (adult or un), roleplays or what?

Adult

In real live, perhaps a 'key' party. Where couples or singles put there key in a hat, bowl or whatever. One for ladies, or another time one for males. You end up with whom ever draws your key. You make the rules different at each party by posting them. Example dry erase board. Everyone is aware of the rules going in, taking some of the control out of your hands....making it fun along the journey. You can use your imagination and come up with your own disinhibitive mechanics. After all your just following the rules, and your partner was not by choice.