Evanitis

What's the story behind the 'roleplay' guideline?

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Did some roleplay related unfun stuff happen around here? I can hardly think of another explanation for the presence of a harmless hobby listed as Forbidden Content in Community Guidelines.

Not that I think such forum is a place for such, or that the KSP universe would be a great setting for roleplay. I'm just curious how can it be listed along with such infernal items as adult content, racist iconography or *spit* politics.

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To expand on the previous, roleplay is a difficult thing to moderate, usually requiring a very thorough set of rules. Of important note, this rules set is very different from typical community guidelines. To my knowledge, the forum staff never put this alternate rules set in place, instead attempting to use the normal forum rules. Because of the nature of the beast, this didnt work out so well and it ultimately created a lot of headaches for both staff and community.

Rocket Builders was recently removed in part because its premise was used to circumvent the rule. While controversial, that basis was not invalid. Rocket Builders was definitely a place you could see good roleplay, bad roleplay, and in places, downright ugly roleplay.

 

On a related sidenote, there's a sufficient amount of nerds, geeks, whatever you choose to label us, here that its worth soliciting for roleplayers over in off-topic. The mods shouldn't have an issue with that as long as its just seeking players and your actual roleplay is located elsewhere.

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And by "difficult to moderate," we mean that fights started in the RP areas and overflowed through other subforums, and into personal messages, and people were picking sides and prolonging feuds, and a number of people had to be infracted or even banned from the forum entirely. Just a great big old mess that we finally had to rule out entirely. 

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Former moderator @vexx32 wrote up a nice summary a while back on the issues with RP on the forum:

Quote

So, the basic concept of most of the roleplaying-style games as it were was that one person or a group of people would be a "country" or a "faction" or what have you, and would compete against other individuals or groups. All well and good, right? Well, not so much. You see, naturally this leads to it getting extremely competitive, and people don't like to lose and so forth. You inevitably end up with situations where just about everyone is breaking the rules of the game in order to win, and/or taking the game from that thread and allowing it to encroach upon other parts of the forum. Things like deliberately spamming others' threads in the Spacecraft Exchange in attempts to discredit them or make them look bad, etc., all for the sake of the game; some people could even go so far as to starting semi-separate wars and fights over PMs, which literally cannot be moderated directly unless one of the participants deliberately brings a moderator in, and even then the moderators could only be getting part of the story.

Now, naturally, moderating such a thing is a hellish nightmare (N.B.: I was not a mod way back then) since each thread tends to have its own rules, which first of all nobody's really following too closely, and second of all are very poorly worded and leave a large amount of loopholes. The forum rules are all well and good, but inevitably at some point the users and players of the game start to get it in their heads that since they made the game, they get to dictate the rules within that thread and that the moderators should stay out of it. I'm not 100% sure if this exactly happened here, but I've seen it happen in other places often enough to say that it's fairly likely it did. So simply keeping everyone to the usual rules of decency and civility is practically impossible unless we want to be handing out infractions and bans every other day.

One of the major reasons this tends to spiral out of control is that people start to identify too closely with their characters within the roleplay and forget to clearly draw a line between the game and the rest of the usual forum interaction. It all becomes part of the game, to them. If it was only one or two people doing it, it'd just be a matter of reminding them every now and again to keep it within the confines of the thread and the game, but... it tends to be the case that when one person does it, everyone just sort of picks it up and runs with it until serious infractions start getting handed out.

People don't draw the boundaries well enough, and it has long since been decided that if roleplay is to happen, it should not happen on these forums at all. At least if the roleplaying is on a totally different website, people will be better able to draw the correct boundaries between roleplaying and correct forum etiquette and interactions with other people. All it takes is one single person to overstep the boundaries of the thread and then suddenly either everyone thinks it's okay, or simply does not want to be left behind in the game by not following suit... and then everyone is doing it. As such, even though being extremely concise and specific about what's going on helps... we'd still err on the side of caution and say it's not allowed at all for the simple fact that one bad apple ruins the bunch... like wildfire.

This is generally my personal view on the subject, but as far as I have been able to tell is also pretty much the official word on roleplaying pretty much as far back as I can remember. I remember taking one glance at the roleplaying that was going on at that time and just vowing to stay the hell out of it.

 

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I know roleplaying isn't allowed in the forum rules, but im not quite sure why. I can't think of a good reason for it.

Genuinely curious. If someone could give me a good reason, that would be great :)

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Short answer: People suck.

Longer answer: People either take RP things too seriously and take offense RL, or harass people RL and then claim that their actions are "In character."

Back to the short answer: People suck.

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A quick glance over at the Mission Reports forum suggests that one of the main joys of RP - the creativity and story telling it provides - are encouraged and flourishing on the forums without the potentially negative side effects that RP communities can create mentioned in above posts.

 

I imagine collaborative Mission Reports will be a thing when multiplayer arrives in the somewhat distant future, or possible even now through things like S.A.V.E. sharing (There were cross-overs not long ago in PlanKappa, Kerbfleet, and Duna Space Program).  So far KSP is a tool for sharing our single player moments and achievements - there isn't any real RP to be done yet.  

I would guess that this is the main reason for the rule against having threads expressly for the purpose of role-playing.  We've already got the wonderful creative community.

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If you want to find RPs outside of here, contact me. I can help.

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2 hours ago, loch.ness said:

A quick glance over at the Mission Reports forum suggests that one of the main joys of RP - the creativity and story telling it provides - are encouraged and flourishing on the forums without the potentially negative side effects that RP communities can create mentioned in above posts.

Without going into details (There is over 10 years of social science research floating around with data going back to the 70's).

There is no generic definition or purpose behind role-playing. It is what the group decides in a social contract. Unfortunately the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. Often that contract is never clarified leading to bad consequences. 

Here is a pain in the bum to moderate and does not serve needs of the community at large. Unless it is limited to a format agreed by the forum administrators. So they will let in KSP related Mission Reports but it is too much to ask them to moderate back and forth RP discussion.  

Edited by nobodyhasthis2

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Agreed. It would be cool to make a roleplay, but from the sounds of it, it seems like a minority ruined it for the rest of us.

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1 minute ago, Clockwork13 said:

Agreed. It would be cool to make a roleplay, but from the sounds of it, it seems like a minority ruined it for the rest of us.

I can make a RP forum if you want it.

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5 minutes ago, Commander Jebidiah said:

Or me. 

I'm about to host another.

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On 2/21/2016 at 8:13 PM, loch.ness said:

I imagine collaborative Mission Reports will be a thing when multiplayer arrives in the somewhat distant future, or possible even now through things like S.A.V.E. sharing (There were cross-overs not long ago in PlanKappa, Kerbfleet, and Duna Space Program).  So far KSP is a tool for sharing our single player moments and achievements - there isn't any real RP to be done yet.  

I agree completely with the notion that Mission Reports is a great and creative place to be that gives 90% of the benefits of an RP forum with 99.9% less trouble :) 

Regarding that crossover you mentioned, it worked precisely because it was not roleplay, it was shared authorship. The difference being that rather than me playing the character of Bill Kerman of Kerbfleet in @Parkaboy's comic, I gave him some guidelines for how to write that Bill and he took it from there (brilliantly, I might add :) ) We shot each other previews of comic pages during development, discussed how to tell the mutual story and how best to present each others' characters. But--we did all this in private messages rather than in the forum, such that any arguments (there weren't any) would have just between the two of us. Also, we were not personally invested in the characters as players, but as playwrights. If i did something crazy to his Jeb, I wasn't doing it to him, and he and I and I think everyone else realized that.

Also note that the scope of the crossover was very limited. While characters from other works did appear, and the crossover spun off some great stuff using shared characters (MartyStu!) in @Angel-125's Duna story, none of these were coordinated like the main story was between Parkaboy and me, and we certainly didn't open it up to the whole forum for input and collaboration. 98% percent of the community would have been great I'm sure, but it only would have taken one bad 'actor' to mulch the pooch. 

Now many, including myself, would argue that good roleplay actually is shared authorship. You're writing the story that your character is in, and the other players and the GM are helping you do it. You didn't fall into a trap and die--the character did, and whatever happens to him just makes the story more interesting. But if we were talking exclusively about good roleplaying, then this issue probably never would have come up in the first place. :) 

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Interesting explanation.

Edited by Drakomis

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OH MY GOD. EULA, YOU ARE EVIL.

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Read rule j of forbidden content in the community guidelines. It’s insane!

really, I don’t want to protest, but online forums shouldn’t repeat what happened at my elementary school, where everyone got punished because of one persons mistake. 

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On 2/18/2016 at 5:24 PM, Evanitis said:

Not that I think such forum is a place for such, or that the KSP universe would be a great setting for roleplay.

IT IS!

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Presumably with 23 posts you don't know the history of that section of the forum.  It is there for a reason.

If you want to role play kerbals, I'm fairly sure rredit allows such.

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The problems with your analogy are:

6 minutes ago, Fraston said:

punished

since a rule is not punishment, and:

6 minutes ago, Fraston said:

one person

since that rule was the result of a consistent pattern of problems arising from the behavior of many individuals rather than one person making mistakes.

Should the many suffer for the mistakes of the few? Clearly not.

Should the many obey rules based on experience of what increases and decreases general levels of conflict? You may not think so, but you at least have to admit it's a very different question.

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Seriously, a great forum was pulverized by “destroyer of fun forums, Snark”  

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/137023-kerbal-support-group/

read this.

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/132441-whats-the-story-behind-the-roleplay-guideline/

Some turds ruined an entire forum from having a kind of fun? I want to kick their teeth in. All 4 of their rotten, forum-killer teeth.

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