hit counter code Letting Go
the World

Letting Go
Author: Keith Haney

The modern world offers many distractions to occupy our every thought and fill our calendars with activities mundane and magnificent. All things considered it seems to be overload of largely, bland, repetitious activities. I don’t want this to sound like a farewell letter from the edge, but an introduction to meaningful escape.

It can be argued that leisure activities should be engaging and recharging to our psyche. I hold to the ideal that if you set your imagination free you will gain a better understanding of yourself.

In our society of peer pressure and conformity it is increasingly difficult to fully express ourselves without fear of criticism or exposing our ego to riggers we are ill-prepared to handle.

Role-playing is and arena where we can more freely express our imagination with a lesser degree of fear that our imagination or self-expression will be quashed. In a group of friends it is easier to take small risks. Small risks could include using and accent or behavioral mannerism when playing "in character". Other small risks might be making a small motivational speech to the party or a group of NPCs to enlist their aid. Small risks, when properly rewarded by fellow players and the GM can make for a rewarding game session and a fulfilling evening of adventure.

To really reward yourself in a role-playing environment you should try taking bigger risks in order to really let go. In order to do this you must first understand your character’s core belief system and motivations. Second, you need to make an effort to stay in character during game time. To really cultivate a mood it is important not to cite real-world or spout meta-gaming comments during the game. I equate this to an older movie starring Christopher Reeve. The movie titled Somewhere in Time is about a man’s desire to travel back in time using only his will to facilitate the journey.

In the movie he is cautioned to eliminate anything in his surroundings that is not part of the time period he is trying to place himself in. Eventually through desire and focus he manages to travel through time to the place he so desired to be. Here is an example that can be referenced in role-playing as being in the zone. You feel that you are thinking, acting and speaking in character and as a result are enjoying fulfilling role-playing interaction. Just like in the movie it only takes a small out of place comment (or a penny with the wrong year on it in the case of the movie) to completely spoil the mood.

I’m not suggesting that the occasional comedic comment isn’t in-line with good role-playing, but it would be a better fit if you could find a way to be funny in the role-playing environment or discuss the comment during a break.