Prepared To Die
All roleplayers, please read this and make an effort at commenting.
It doesn't take much to notice the current state of roleplaying on KHI: Slow and declining. Whenever a roleplay isn't fading into inactivity, it's barely being pulled along, usually with a lot of prodding on behalf of the participants. Don't get me started on battles.
Celtis and other members of staff have recently made a big point of encouraging increased community involvement and connection in the various sections of the forum. Over past months in roleplaying, members such as myself, OmniChaos, Professor Ven, Ordeith, Evangeline and more have all taken a shot at fostering more networking between members.
In spite of our efforts, these attempts can only go so far when roleplaying as a whole is in the doldrums. Anyone can reasonably guess that current roleplayers are going about their business in the section to the best of their ability, given the state of that environment. I believe I speak for more than a few when I say I'd love for roleplaying to return to the level of activity it once had.
This is no criticism of any member as an individual, or the roleplaying community as a whole, but I don't think the section will be 'fixed' by even the best efforts of all those within it. We're simply too small and disparate right now. Therefore, I think a better solution lies outside of the section, in new blood.
We don't believe in reaching out so obtrusively as to advertise KHI roleplaying on other sites, but before we might even consider that, I think it's useful to look inward for a little while - to what brought us to roleplaying in the first place.
What specifically appealed to you the most? Not just 'roleplaying' in general, but something unique or exclusive within KHI roleplaying at the time.
How did the section feel when you first entered it?
What did the membership at the time feel like? Did they just seem to accept new members or did they have certain standards or expectations they wanted met in new people?
Were you somewhat new to creative writing? What made you pick it up or stick with it?
Where do you see the section in a year? Where do you want to see it in that time?
We want to know what it was like for you when you first engaged with the roleplaying section, what you liked about it, and so on. With this, we can get a better idea of how to appeal to new members of KHI more than just being a place at the bottom of the main page where people write stuff in this sort of abstract-seeming way.
The above list of questions is not necessary a list of things to be answered in a Q&A manner. They're guidelines, things to get you thinking and responding however you see fit.
Spoiler ShowI know of plenty of active roleplayers--people who I see in the section nearly every time I come in--who haven't even as much feigned interests in community events, some of which, given their longtivity in this section, I would have thought would have held at least some obligation toward improving the community.
Not to be pessimistic, but I fear we'll have a difficult time of drawing in new roleplayers when our core community, quite frankly, consists of about a dozen (if even that many) community-driven members with a bunch of other members who keep to themselves and their little groups and sparsely venture outside the Kingdom Hearts roleplays they participate in.
Older timers and newbies could be seen RPing with each other more frequently. Case in point, when I was new here, my first RP was a battle in which my opponent was Endless Devoid (who at the time had long since built up a name for himself). He didn't simply despair at my lack of experience, but kindly pointed out how my approach to RPing was faulty. There was certainly a standard that many of the older members were striving for, but they were more than willing to bring new faces in, interact with them, and lead them along on a more personally involved level.
I often find that a lot of people are put off (from me at least) by this cooked up image of this uber professional "Whatever Super Serious Platinum Username Guy." Some people might not understand half of the analogies, metaphors, and alternate word choices I use. I just find it quite funny how there's all these little separate factions and giggling groups - not that they're bad - but it would be nice to sit down and discuss what we would want for the RP Section within the next year.
It felt massive. It felt intimidating. I felt strict, but most importantly it felt like it was ALIVE. The more I remember the more I see how that feeling of self-consciousness was a necessary tool when you dealt with people you didn't know. You couldn't put a cap on their capabilities because you were afraid to. It actually felt like the section was being actively modded back then. No offense to the mods now, but I was actually told by moderation before (Version X and prodigy_keyblade) to increase my post and add to the content, which helped me improve. It felt like the community had its big brothers and big sisters, and they weren't explicitly limited to just "the roleplayers". I loved our mods between 06-08, some of the best damn one's we've ever had.
This has been a growing problem I've noticed not just in Roleplaying, but in the Creative Corner as a whole. The quality of posts have gone on unchallenged, and thus the newer members have not been pushed into improving their skills like many of us older members were. We need, quite frankly, to become more aggressive concerning Roleplayers' posts, and not just in ours, but all the roleplays.
The mods need to police the section's posts once again as mentioned above--and when I say "mods", I mean more than just Jezza. Sure, he's the section's only real, working mod, but he's also only one person. Two of the listed section mods don't even roleplay and the third is hardly on or does anything. Roleplaying needs a Roleplaying mod.