I'm just reading "Campfire tales from Hell" and it's a great book.
have been more than a few surprises. One of them is an explanation of
Lichtenauer's style of fencing - which I'm practising. (OK, that and
some Bulgarian stuff you wouldn't find on the Net...yet).
The other is a story where the fictional assassin John Rain meets up with the fully real Marc "Animal" Macyoung who wasn't nicknamed "Animal" for being smart, nice and on the right side of the law. And they discuss "tricks of the trade".
So, what do John Rain and Marc Macyoung talk about when meeting up? Roleplaying, obviously!
No, I'm not kidding. I suppose +Marc MacYoung might flip out if he learned that what he is talking about is actually "D&D" but, there it is.
The two of them are talking about "pretending to be someone they're not (in order to avoid notice, no less) to the point of being, feeling and acting like that someone". They mention acting, and admit it's not a good analogy, but they're lacking vocabulary for it.
Thing is...roleplayers have had this vocabulary ever since the hobby existed, or shortly after that. Because guys, the thing you're talking about?
It's called "immersion", and many of us practice it for fun.
Well, to most roleplayers (those not in the army or LEOs - although there is a surprising number of those in such a hobby with zero physical activity) it's the other way around. They tend to pretend being someone that's used to violence. (John Rain and Marc Macyoung were talking about being "a civilian", which is the inverse). But the process?
Yeah, it's the same thing.
Well, except the GM (Game Master, in case this post is read by someone who doesn't know what roleplaying games are) doesn't kill you, assault you or send you in prison if you don't immerse well. The greatest danger you might face is losing experience points...
Still. Makes you wonder whether Marc Macyoung has ever tried roleplaying. And if he did, one wonders, would he favour a deeply immersive style? (I admit it, reading his site, it seems he might have a general knowledge of the idea - his explanations about fighting against a knife made me smile and think "death spiral". For those not into RPG terms, some RPG rules - not D&D, of course - work exactly like that).
I'm pretty sure this guy should never be allowed in a game without social mechanics - or he would be running circles around the GM and solving any problems by social manoeuvring alone.
Questions, questions... OK, I admit it. This post is just my musings, and not really likely to lead to any substantial insights.