Tumblr Role-Play: What is it?
By Caroline Cawthon
What comes to mind when someone says the word roleplay? Often times, people assume that roleplay is directly connected to something sexual. This assumption is, of course, not entirely correct. Role-play could be anything that involves someone assuming a role; acting or speaking as a certain character. This could be physically through cosplays, video games, or popularly, online roleplays.
Online roleplays could either be done through websites designated for this purpose or free-form blog websites. Sites popular for this usage includes Tumblr or WordPress. In other words, role playing, especially in tumblr, is the act of writing back and forth between and a partner and yourself to create a specific narrative. So how is this done?
Usually people start with an idea of what kind of character they would like to write as and whether or not they would like be a part of a roleplay group or to be an independent roleplayer who writes with other roleplayers on their own terms. There is also the decision as to whether to write as a canon character which is any established character or to write as an original character. Either way, the roleplayer must know their character well before creating a blog and beginning to find other people to write with.
Canon character comes with the convenience of not choosing a faceclaim, since they are usually from TV shows, Games or Films. OC characters means that the roleplayer would have to ‘cast’ their own celebrity that they think perfectly portrays their character. Later, comes the decision as to whether or not the writer would like to use Gifs or Icons. Gifs or Icons are used to convey mood or actions that the character is doing in the thread. Each roleplayers usually has a personal preference from one or the other. Other writers choose not to use any visual at all to focus on their writing.
The blog is very important in gaining and maintaining writing partners in the roleplaying world. A good blog needs to be clear and consist of a navigation page where all the information a partner needs to write with you is easily accessible. The very least, these pages must exist: Rules, Character Bio, and Starters. Some writers go in further detail including pages that has drabbles, thoughts in regards of the character and plots they wish to write. Tagging is also important to indicate what certain posts are, who they are directed to, and to reach out to new followers to write with.
Tumblr roleplay or roleplay in general may have had a negative connotation amongst those who do not know of it well. However, the benefits of tumblr roleplaying includes improving your writing skills, branching out in your online community and it is fun way to relieve stress and be creative.