The Escapist Magazine
Issue 114
Who Are You?
The role playing issue.
Editor's Note Letters to the Editor

"Then, a funny thing began to happen: As their personifications of beloved characters became more absolute, they rarely spoke out-of-character at all. Those one- or two-word action descriptors became increasingly elaborate. ... In real life, they were mostly teenagers and young adults, up all night on their PCs. But online, in a chat room called Seventh Heaven Bar, they were Tifa, Cloud and Barrett, together again."

What happens when the game ends, but the fantasy lives on? Leigh Alexander looks at the Final Fantasy Role Play movement.

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"I had a male friend and World of Warcraft player tell me many men would hit on female Tauren avatars but not female Night Elves, because the female Tauren were sure to be women. Only women, he said, would be interested in playing a character that was literally a bipedal cow, where the butt they were watching for most of their gameplay had a tufted tail."

Erin Hoffman talks to women (and men) in games about the women (and men) in games.

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"I was alone, so I decided to experiment. I tried to figure out what to do with the work tables to no avail. Then I engaged the sex altar. As far as I could tell it was purely decorative. I attempted to sit or lie on it, but nothing happened. I always ended up sitting or lying near it, but never on it. I fumbled with the controls for several minutes, cycling through various positions so quickly I looked like a grotesque marionette attached to a ceiling fan. Then I discovered the 'penetrate' command."

Russ Pitts explores Sociolotron.

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"In the search for true evil, I discovered a man known as Mordred. Taking his name from the traditional Arthurian villain, Mordred told me he only played villainous characters. To him, it wasn't a challenge or a task, he merely chose the dialogue or actions he felt he would say or do. 'The first time [playing through] is always how I, personally, would react in that situation, and I always end up evil at the end. No surprise to me, though,' he said."

From the Stanford Prison Experiment to Grand Theft Auto, Greg Tito examines what it means to be evil.

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"My friends and I ended that reminiscing conversation on a bittersweet note: 'I miss roleplaying.' But no one felt compelled to bring some back into our online lives. We moved on to talk of instances, the latest gear we'd gotten, character progression and real life.

"I'm just me when I do these things, and so are my friends. We're not roleplaying, we're just roll playing."

Nova Barlow recalls how World of Warcraft Killed my Inner Actor.

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