Pretending to be someone else…

Human beings like to copy each other. It’s a herd mentality sort of thing, we crave to be like others and to be accepted by them. So many people turn to adopting fashions and trends, in order to be more like everyone else. Then you have roleplaying, where you assume the role of someone or something else. Occasionally, this is taken to extreme levels. Other times it’s just a bit of fun. But it’s a thing.

As I’ve mentioned before, the reason I’m called the Medic is because I was in a phase at the time, having just picked up the class and realised how awesome healing was. There’s also the surprise that, in 2010, one of the many heights of TF2, the name “The Medic” wasn’t taken. I did consider using my original internet name, “Phovos the Raptor”, or simply “Phovos”, but as I said, it was a phase. Looking back, I really do wonder if I would have been as popular if I’d stuck to calling myself Phovos? Possibly. I’d probably have ended up as a more obscure poster, a five-starrer nonetheless.

My very early posts are long gone, a victim of the auto-pruning system on the Steam User Forums, which deletes threads which haven’t had a reply in over two years and deletes users after a year of not signing in. But I originally registered because I needed help – the roleplaying was a side effect. Then I realised it was fun.

Thing is, you can often go too far with roleplaying, to the point that you annoy other people. I’ve done it before. It’s quite easy to go over the top. Then on the flip side, you have people who question you when you speak in the third person. It seems weird though if I’m always pretending to be the real, bonafide Medic, even more so if I leave the confines of the TF2 forum. The Off Topic area is a very different place and surprisingly less active apart from This Instant and Moment.

Outside of SPUF, my Medic roleplaying doesn’t seem to go down as well. No one seems to like roleplaying as TF2 mercs, or worse, they insist on being Mary Sue female mercs. The worst case was, having finally managed to start a TF2 roleplay, the other person gave up because it was “too much work”. They were roleplaying as BLU Scout’s mother. I was roleplaying the entirety of the BLU team and the RED Spy. Too much work my ass.

As for the actual roleplaying itself, well, I chose well. The Medic has this strange sort of mist around him. We know that there’s no medical license, that organs and bones end up in funny places, that he’s from Rottenburg. But there’s also a lot of room to fill in the blanks. Medic may have his hometown in Rotternburg, but he’s traveled alongside the other mercs. There’s no name, no age, nothing past a birthplace, so anyone is free to fill in the blanks. Amusingly, all the mercenaries have this easily fill-able mist – anyone can roleplay as any class and fill in blanks as needed. In-game respawn means you can have copies of classes too.

When I pretend to be Medic (or, as I sometimes put it, I pretend to be myself), it’s not really that hard. The majority of this is filling in gaps and knowing how a character acts. Or, in a mostly text medium, just knowing how someone speaks.

There is more to roleplay than just messing around and making fan fiction though. Weirdly enough, you need to be able to, at the very least, roleplay and improvise if you plan on playing Spy. The best Spies are always the ones who can make the enemy believe they’re one of them. Then somehow persuading them that you just want some quick heals or some ammo before you stab them in the back. It’s either that or play Gun Spy, but that’s not really what Spy is supposed to be. Alright, there’s also learning how to evade and how to stab and escape and all that, but still, there’s no point in disguising if it’s obvious you’re not on their side.

It's all about pretending.
It’s all about pretending.

Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast way at getting good at roleplaying. Being in everyone’s faces isn’t the way to do it, but if you just open up your imagination, you’ll have fun.

For those of you thinking that roleplaying is just plain old stupid, there are real-world scenarios in which roleplaying is useful. Roleplaying is vital when it comes to observing and testing services, not to mention designing them. And what about training fire fighters and other protection services?

On a completely unrelated note, things might be slow here for a while. Personal things. Not really at liberty to talk about them.

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