Role-playing. Way back in the day when I first got acquainted with the internets and was an illiterate n00b, I was (and still am) a member of Gaia Online. I don’t know exactly how to describe the site, but a great deal of my pre-college days were spent on it. It’s been years since I’ve done anything more than lurked about and reminisced about the past; I don’t remember exactly why I stopped frequenting the site, but I think it was mainly due to many of my online friends getting lives leaving, as well as a feeling of strong dislike and derision towards the younger members of Gaia (an elitist reason, to be sure). This demeanor developed after I had begun to role-play seriously, which involved me abandoning my chat-speak-emoticon-laden-grammarless style in favor of the grammatically-correct and content-relevant style of posting.
Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that Gaia was where I first had my experiences with role-playing. Some of them (all of the literate roleplays) were short-lived. The other, more casual, role-plays were also fun but too superficial for my tastes. I viewed role-playing as writing stories in collaboration with others.
I always did like to write. Hurr durr, that’s why I have a blog. A blog (almost) no one knows about. YAY ME.
Every so often, I’ll log onto Gaia and visit old threads that I used to post in, old role-plays I had a part in, and the few posts I had in my journal. My journal on Gaia was used to archive bios for characters I had made for various role-playing threads. I just went through them earlier tonight, and I’m kinda surprised at how much I wrote for some of the bios and role-playing blurbs (which were sometimes a part of applications to participate in a role-play). They aren’t actually all that bad, either. The main thing that bugged me about all my old stuff is that nothing really seemed original. Many of my characters were half-animal. I guess it was sort of a “thing” back then to have characters who were Therianthropes (I had to google for that term). I’m pretty sure that every single character I made had some sort of distinguishing quality that I possess(ed) myself. Which, of course, made it all the easier for me to role-play, since half the time I was just typing stuff I would do in whatever situation the character happened to be in.
Of course it’s easy to come up with story stuffs when it’s something you would do.
I don’t think I ever tried making a character whose personality was, for the most part, something that I could not identify with. I probably didn’t want to go through that much effort. It already took me long enough to think of a cliche and unoriginal bio. I remember spending a great deal of time in writing posts for the literate threads. Hours, even.
That site ate away all of my time. The days before Facebook. And MySpace. It was the closest thing I could get to MMOs/MMORPGs, since my shoddy internet connection was too slow to allow me to actually play any.
Rambling.Like a boss. (SORRY I COULDN’T HELP MYSELF)
I just found this image on Google, and it actually *is* a baby MMO!
Gaia Online is actually a pretty diverse site. Maybe it just seems that way to me because I haven’t been exposed to many sites of similar intent. In any case, I think it’s kind of interesting to have a site that has forums for art, writing, tv/anime/manga, etc. It also has this baby-MMO kind of thing, where users can explore the land of Gaia through their user avatars. I only tried it a few times (meaning, my internet only worked that hard a few times), so I can’t really say much about what there was to do on that part. There is a game section where users can entertain themselves through puzzles, word games, arcade games, and thereby earn gold (with which they by accessories for their avatar). Nowadays it seems that you get an aquarium, build a house and furnish it for the MMO-ish aspect, and maybe even have a car?
Now that I think about it, the last few points I mentioned make me think of Facebook for kids.
Man, I used to be really obsessed with that site. (I even installed a toolbar so I could post in threads more quickly and efficiently!) My hardcore weaboo days, I suppose? Every time I visit it, there’s a part of me that considers trying to integrate myself back into the community. I mean, some of the people on my friendslist are still somewhat frequent visitors, from what I saw on their profiles about last login and most recent posts and other stuff that I was being a creepy stalker about. So couldn’t I do the same thing? I guess what keeps me from doing that is the feeling that I’ll just compare everything to the way things were when I first joined that site (only a few years after the site was first conceived). In addition, most of the people I knew back then are no longer there; the ones who still are, are now strangers. I’d have to start all over again and build new relationships from scratch, and honestly? I have no motivation to do that.
So I guess I’ll be stuck forever reminiscing. And half-heartedly searching for another site with which I can experience the joy of role-playing once more.
Geebus, that ended on a rather depressing note.