I am role-play

If you know me at all, you probably don’t even remotely think of me as a role-player. I never sat around a table playing D&D, and in MMOs I’m pretty quiet as a general rule. I tend to keep to my own company, in games and in ‘real life’ as well.

But the truth is, I’m a pretty hardcore role-player. I just never externalize it.

What spurred (ha! watch this) this self-revelation was playing Red Dead Redemption last night. I’d been riding a horse that was divinely gifted to me (aka I saved my game while horseless and suddenly an equine companion appeared). These magic horses are better than walking it, but they’re not too fast. So I decided to get myself a better horse.

I rode up north of Armadillo where I knew there was a herd of wild horses. I choose one that seemed pretty fast. Really I can’t tell how fast they are, but in my mind’s eye, this beautiful mare seemed faster than the rest. I went after her. I was still fumbling with the lasso controls so it took me a long time to rope her. [The (now obvious to me) trick is to keep the left trigger held down… as soon as you let it up you ‘release’ the lasso and your quarry gets free.] I chased her all over the area. She almost got away a few times but eventually I got a rope around her neck and managed to break her. She settled down nicely, I gave her a reassuring pat on the neck.

At that point, I spotted some herbs, so I climbed down and picked them. When I looked up, it dawned on me that I now had two horses. My old faithful companion who wasn’t too fast, and this new speedy wild mare. I whistled and old faithful came running up. This horse had been with me a long time. He was loyal enough that he followed me around like a puppy. What was I to do with him?

I needed the faster horse, though. I climbed up on the mare and looked at my old companion, standing at the ready. Loyal as always, waiting to serve his master. Maybe get an apple as a reward.

I thought maybe I could lead him back to town. I took out my lasso and tossed it at him and missed. The lasso spooked him and he tore off across the prairie. I watched him go, a little bit relieved that he was no longer a problem, but a little bit worried about what would happen to him.

Then I chuckled at myself for being so silly… what would happened to him is that he’d de-spawn as soon as I left the area, of course. I headed back to town on my new horse..but still couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d betrayed a loyal companion. I found myself wishing Rockstar had given us a way to stable horses, or even to give them to a good home. I’m sure Miss MacFarlane would have room in her stables for a loyal, trustworthy steed!

So that’s my style of role-playing. Sometimes I wish I could turn it off, but I just can’t, even when I want to. It’s why I can’t often bring myself to play ‘evil’ in games; that feeling of malice clings to me long after I stop playing if I’m at all immersed in a game. If the game has anything to hang a role-play hook on, I stick to following my moral compass as much as possible.

4 thoughts on “I am role-play

  1. Am with you mostly, Pete but I do have my moments where I let off steam. My honor(sic) has now reached 100% so an occasional -50 doesn’t fret my bones too much.

    I agree that Rockstar should have given a more robust system for horses so that we could name, stable and even brand them with a motif etc.

  2. That kind of stuff is exactly what role-play is about to me, it’s really just another term for immersion. You do it for yourself first and foremost, and it can all just take place in your head.

  3. This is why my Fallout 3 has a list of mods taller than my screen. For some unknown reason to me, fallout 3 really caught that inner RPer, and I started wanting to have the rest of game go along with that rather than fight it.

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