I've been telling stories since I was young. All the maps, the family trees, and notebooks filled with story scraps attest to it. Still, even when I was young, I was more likely to fill those notebooks with cultures, customs, and regional histories than gripping stories of individual human relations. In retrospect, I was always interested in history in some form or other.
In subsequent years, many of my storytelling urges have been channeled into roleplaying, a method of building a collective story, complete with a method of deciding whose version of which piece of the plot progresses. However characters interact, that's how the story develops. Sometimes the general plot is briefly scripted, but the direction is a collaboration between players and, where relevant, the gamemaster whose environment the characters operate within, or the writers or publishers who have developed or designed the relevant world. Most of my online roleplaying
experience has been in mu*s based upon Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels. Most of my tabletop and live action
experience has been in the White Wolf universe.
Not all worlds allow for the same degree of interaction, however. Moria, Zangband, Rogue, and Umoria are all basic dungeon crawl games, originally based on Tolkein's Middle Earth. Although one's character has a name, age, gender, rank, and species, there is no more to the character than those statistics. The same is fundamentally true of games such as Neopets
, where keeping a temperamental and loving pet is the crux of the game; the pet is designed to continually encourage the player to acquire more game objects, and thus to play the games to earn the money to buy those objects. Nevertheless, the variety of games which the site provides makes it interesting enough to play, at least for now. The characters are largely irrelevant to the site's appeal.