As a reading I chose An examination of living through enjoyment: Live-action role-play by Amanda Odom. In this article Odom gives a detailed characteristic of live-action role-play, explains its problems and main points. This text allows me to learn about the details of such a special form of human communication and interaction as role-play. The reading is relevant to the class because it is focused on communication and it examines how people react and interpret media content like movies and videogames.
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The article can be divided into five sections. First, the author describes her own experience as a role-play gamer, tells about her feelings when she knew something was dangerous but her character did not, and she had to act as her character. After that, she explains what role-play games are and what types they have. Then, the author compares the fictional roles of role-play gamers with the real social roles that people play every day.
Next, she explains how the players choose their characters and how they must behave depending on their characters personality (gender, education, physical training, temperament, social status). After that, she pays attention to the scenery, how they make it. In the end, she hopes that one day video games will develop and people will be able to be physically present in a game.
The author reflects on the relationship between the character roles people assume, i.e. role-play characters, and the social roles we perform every day, i.e. workers, parents, citizens, soldiers, etc. The central idea of the text is that the socializing of an individual does not happen by getting some knowledge or memorizing some rules, but by acting. The example of role-playing demonstrates that learning a lot of different information about an ancient warrior would not make a person an ancient warrior; instead, having to live and interact with people as an ancient warrior would make them socialize as this warrior. This fact applies to the real roles as well.
The author mentions some necessary definitions that are important for the understanding of the topic, such as the following. Role-play gaming is any form of game where people take roles. Live-action role-play is a type of role-play gaming where people act physically (not through internet and computer). In character (IC) means that a person is currently playing as a character, so all things they say and do are attributed to this character. Out of character (OOC) means that a gamer stops playing for a moment to act like a real person (for example, to say they are tired). Game master is a person who creates the game and is responsible for the rules; game masters control everything on the game.
As for my personal reaction, I was surprised when she started to describe the behavior of her character because this did not look like a scholarly article. But as I read further, it became clear that this part was to make a reader understand the subject better. The other surprise was that role-play gaming, a thing I thought was only for fun, had actually some serious interpretation and explanation from a scholar’s point of view. The prediction of the author about the future of videogames was exciting as well. The article seemed reliable to me because the author had wide knowledge on the subject.