My Oriental Garden goes life!

We are proud to announce our webstie is up and running. This website will be our online source for real life Japanese garden oriented products like Japanese bridges, Japanese patios, prefabricated Japanese buildings and Japanese decorations for the Japanese Garden.


Friday, 15 April 2011

The Role Play Survey

Thank you to friends of Hosoi Mura who took part in our 1st Hosoi Role Play Survey. We learned a great deal about you and would like to share with you discoveries we've made.

What is Role Play?
First, several residents and even members of role play groups told us that they weren't sure what role play really is. And we think that's a fair point and a perfect place to start. Here are a couple of explanations:

Wikipedia says, "Role-playing refers to the changing of one's behaviour to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role."

But there's more, we are talking about online games, and Wiki goes on to say: "A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterisation, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games."

Those definitions are really are a good place to start. When we RP, whether as individuals, with friends or in groups, we are trying to play a specific character, such as a geisha or samurai. We are also playing within a general story, such as the Edo period of Japan. And we are trying to do the things our character would do, for example, a geisha would typically entertain in an ochaya (tea house) or a samurai would patrol the region.

Are samurai engaged in combat, role playing? Answer: Yes

What is Role Playing at Hosoi?
Let's talk about our Hosoi role players and people who aren't currently role playing but who'd like to. There were some interesting statistics in the Survey.

  • 3/4 of people surveyed have RP experience
  • 90% of people surveyed participate in RP events at Hosoi, regardless of whether they consider themselves to be RP'ers or not.
  • Virtually everyone who responded to Survey is interested in some form of role play.
  • Almost 2/3 of those surveyed are in RP groups
  • About 3/4s are residents at Hosoi.
Then there were the more challenging questions. We wanted to know how well our RP'ers could work with non-RP'ers.

* The questions about Out of Character (OOC) was about an even split with yes and no answers. We take that to mean that it is import to at least half of the people surveyed to have OOC areas.

* Concerning the question, "When you are immersed in your role play, does OOC conversation or attire concern you?" Again it was about an even split. So we deduce that for half of those surveyed it can be a concern to them if they are immersed and someone who is OOC enters their play.

* One really encouraging part of the survey was that many suggested rules to be considered when forming a RP guidelines.

Thank you to everyone who made a contribution to our survey, I can assure you that Amiryu Hosoi read the results and you may have already noticed some of the changes she has instituted.

What Will Role Play Be?
In the process of learning about who the Hosoi role players are, we came to realize there as many points of view about what role play should be as there are players. There are very serious role players, whimsical role players, people who role play but don't realize they are role playing, and many others. So, with this in mind, how can we possibly satisfy everyone?

If SL was a game like World of Warcraft, EverQuest or almost any other, you could expect relatively clear rules and a field of play. However, Second Life doesn't have built-in rules and the sims of Kansai and Chubu are historical settings. All rules for Hosoi role play must be created for our unique theme.

However, rules have already been created for some groups, and others have begun the process. In Kansai, the Nakanoshima Okiya has done a fine job of creating an authentic Edo Japan geisha house and tea house. In Chubu, the Keibatsu samurai have created a force of samurai that patrols the region, has tournaments and other activities. Also, recently, a mysterious clan of yakuza has moved into the Kansai region and one can only wonder what kind of intrigues will come from their RP. Yes, intrigue and mystery are very much part of role play.

However, even with these established group, we've learned that there is still much work to be done on. Ideally, we'll find new ways for each group to interface and participate with other groups. And we hope there will be creative ideas introduced as all of us invent our game.

Naturally, with so many groups and individuals wishing to engage in a wide range of role play activities, there are conflicting goals. Some feel there is only one way for role play to be implemented, and others see rules as problematic. However, based on the survey it's pretty clear that the people who are seriously interested in role play understand the value of rules and guidelines.

For a couple months, a role play committee has been working on themes and guidelines for Hosoi role play. In that process, one issues keeps coming up and seems very clear, the future of role play at Hosoi will require training. We are fortunate that training is already a part of some groups' activities, such as the geisha and samurai. But we see a need to provide introductary training for those not familiar with Hosoi's themes and even for those unfamiliar with role play.

The future of role play at the Hosoi Ichiba sim group is not laid out on a track. There is much work to do, but with a spirit of co-operation will help us create the path. Please help us "Invent the future".

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