On my ten year anniversary at Gateway

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On my ten year anniversary at Gateway

Tips: 1.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:12 pm

Ten years ago today, I joined RolePlayGateway. It was among my earliest explorations in the world of text-based forum and chat roleplay, though not my earliest experience with any form of roleplay.

In the past decade, I've served many roles here.

For three and a half years, I served as one of the first-ever Mentor Team Leads on staff, and later as a Global Moderator and Scholar. For the past few years, I've served as a co-GM of the Multiverse, our largest sandbox-style, sitewide open world roleplay. But I've also been an informal mentor for many new players, and an eager and enthusiastic early sign-up for many forum roleplays. (That's not say I think I've shown no growth or development as a writer or roleplayer in this time. I look at work I did in 2008, 2009, 2010, or even more recently than that, and might still find myself cringing at what I thought at the time were innovative and nuanced storylines or character development arcs, but now find sorely lacking.)

Off the site, I've had my first two published short stories out in the last year, and taught workshops or read on panels at two major literary conferences (including AWP). So some of you may eventually run into me in the literary world, which I hope to help make less snobby and derisive toward roleplay/collaborative writing if only by being part of both spaces.

Here, I'm probably most proud of a reputation I had for many years (and maybe still have) as the roleplayer most likely to enthusiastically sign up to create a compelling, well-developed character for the sole (or at least main) purpose of being killed off, or kidnapped (in a not-so-glorified way), where many other roleplayers might have hesitated to put a character on the chopping block. I mean, I really abide by the writer's adage that murders make it all more interesting.

I've made many friends during my time here, and have been honored with the opportunity to collaborate with some incredible writers/imagineers on storylines spanning the gamut from modern/realistic to urban fantasy to high fantasy to sci-fi to bizarre melds of all of the above.

My first long-running forum roleplay here was Disappearing Children. I remember most of the roleplayers created characters who were young people kidnapped and held for forced experimentation. I decided to create two characters for roles not really yet covered — Tamara Azrael, one of the unscrupulous scientists having second thoughts, and Elias Y'muh, an FBI agent tasked with investigating the disappearances.

I remember I used to specifically seek out one-on-one roleplaying opportunities. Some were initiated by the other player, and others were more my invention. The best ones involved mutual collaboration and worldbuilding.

My own longest-running roleplay that I designed and GM'd here was When the Lion Wakes, which lasted maybe about two years (if I remember right), which took an alternative idea to the one I'd written my second attempted novel manuscript on, and ran with it as the premise. Many of you contributed characters and beautifully written prose to that.

I've created a lot of guides and resources, mostly in the RolePlayAcademy part of Gateway. This summer, I also updated my NRP nation/faction profile template. (Maybe you'll find it useful; maybe it has nothing to do with your roleplay style at all.)

In the last seven years, I've developed a lot of work in the Multiverse. I collaborated on plots involving the dissolution and merging of the United States of America into the Aschen Confederation, and many plots stemming from the unification of Terra as a sovereign nation under the Terran National Government, with dozens and dozens of members — both those still here and many who have since departed.

Among the sadder stories I've co-written were Conumbra's character Blackjack murdering my character Natalie Schultz, my characters from terrorist organization Hataf murdering Alasund's entire cast of characters from the Democratic Coalition in a naquadah attack against their massive battleship The Godflower, and the beginning of what would have been an incredibly tragic saga with my character Ayasha Ziedins, as part of the Orsa of Terminus plot from way back in 2011 or so. There were long-running one-on-one storylines with misteria spellman (among my first) and ViceVersus (formerly Sato). There were adventures through NRP with Barney, Absenthia, DemiKara, Nemo, and Azrican. Then there were the funnier and weirder plots, like the one with Patch that resulted in my roleplay email username — ohnoitsdark. (And I still owe Law — formerly qbsuperstar03 — a long-ago promised drawing of Cryoface.)

There are too many of you to name. I know I've missed scores of folks I've written with. I've come to be friends with several people from Gateway offline, though most of us have not (and probably will not) share that kind of personal information, and of course, I've had situations where other members and I simply did not get along. We all have. That's part of what's always made Gateway a community. An imperfect, often flawed, and frequently inconsistently available one (I remember when the site went down reliably every night at 1am Eastern Time).

It's gone through many changes. Some I've loved, many I've disliked, and others I'm quite ambivalent about. But it's always been like another home. That's really what I can hope for — that the things many of us have loved about Gateway will remain, and the things we've all disliked or outright hated, we can work to change and fix.

I'm not Jewish, but I know it's the Jewish new year right now (Rosh Hashanah), so it feels fitting that I'm thinking of what will come in the year ahead — my eleventh (and hopefully not at all last) year here. I hope we will be out there creating it together.

— Ylanne

​“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy

Stunning letter from autistic survivor of electric shock torture in USA

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Re: On my ten year anniversary at Gateway

Tips: 1.00 INK Postby Jag on Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:49 pm


Congratulations on ten years! While we certainly haven't always agreed on every subject or seen eye-to-eye on a number of issues during our time as site team members, there has never been a day when I did not respect both your passion and your immense talent. I can say, without any hesitation or regret, that Gateway was during my active time, and hopefully continues to be, far better as a result of your presence than it would be without that presence.

Best wishes.

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