Roleplaying Emotes

Posted: April 28, 2009 by Salvatore Otoro in Roleplay 101
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tempura looking towards Rampart

Tempura looking towards Rampart

Emoting is one of the most important tools in roleplaying and there are a few reasons for its use.

  • The fact that everything is typed out and there is no actual speaking makes it hard to determine who you are speaking to and in what tone or inflection.
  • Because your avi does not demonstrate facial expressions when speaking, it is hard to determine how you are speaking.
  • Because in an rp sim, you are not necessarily looking at the persons you are talking to, even if you could have your avi show facial expressions, it would probably not be seen.
  • It makes it easier for all of the people you are conversing with to determine your mood and your reaction to what has been said or done.
  • Some things can only be emoted because you don’t have the poseball or gesture to show it happening to your avi.

In Second Life you emote by using the /me action for example to show Salvatore Otoro laughs, I would type /me laughs.  Everything basically needs to be emoted in one way or another.

  • laughs, giggles, chuckles, snickers, crying, weeping, etc.  Any type of emotion.
  • pointing, jumping, falling, crawling, lurking, spying, etc.  Any type of action.
  • arching an eyebrow, narrowing the eyes at someone, rolling your eyes, scratching your head, etc.  Any sort of reaction.

As you get more comfortable doing RP, you’ll see that the use of emoting is especially useful in getting your point across and letting others know what is going on.

I’ll show an example so you get the idea of what it’s like:

The scene – MR has been caught wandering in a restricted area and is being questioned, threatened, and taunted by a group.

SO folds his arms and awaits an explanation

//The character is emotes impatience and stance

MR looks around as he is cornered “I didn’t know this area was off limits.”

//The character speaks but emotes action

SM arches an eyebrow “the area is clearly marked.  Are you claiming ignorance?”

//The character reacts and responds

MV keeps her hands by her swords ready for anything that may happen

//The character emotes readiness and an action

OA scans the perimeter as she listens on to the conversation

//The character emotes caution and movement

SO looks to SM “I think he is spying on us and his friends must be near by” looking around cautiously

//The character speaks and emotes caution

MV stands behind SO at the ready

//The character emotes position and readiness

SM laughs as he looks MR in the eyes “the next time you come here, you will not walk away”

//The character emotes anger

MR tries to keep from making hasty movements “understood” and turns to walk away

//The character emotes fear

SO shoves MR forward as he walks away

//The character emotes an action

MR falls but gets back up and dusts himself off, doing everything possible to keep from looking back

//The character emotes the action and reaction

Hopefully this will clear up what this should look like.  In the end, it is all about emotions.  Express your emotions as you would in RL and you’ll find it much easier.

For more on this subject, read this blog posting 10 Emoting Tips.

  1. Jaden says:

    This is one of the biggest things that I wish would have been around when I started writing so long ago. Helping one to learn to express emotions on paper so that other can see it is the biggest problem for new writers as well as old.

  2. “SO shoves MR forward as he walks away”

    While this does demonstrate emoting it also is bad RP in that is powergaming and forcing an action on MR that does not allow MR to choose his response. The SO should have typed, “/me moves behind MR as he walks away and leans forward with the and attempts to shove MR shoulder”. This not only allows MR to decide whether he is shoved or not but also lets him know where exactly. So he can now respond appropriately and either be shoved or attempt to dodge or a myriad of other options. Powergaming is of the triad of RP banes with Metagaming and Godmodding. Never do them.

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