Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

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Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Fri May 16, 2014 2:54 am

The form of roleplaying that this site exists to promote, text-based roleplaying, is basically a writing game. But it begs the question -- do you prefer collaborative roleplay (where the process is more like writing a story or novel with more than one co-author, where the players are more likely to be writing for a common goal or set of goals) or competitive roleplay (which can have elements of collaboration, but is also more game-like in that the players may pursue different objects or agendas that are often in conflict with each other)? Which do you prefer and why? Do you believe that one form is inherently better than the other?
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Maybe there isn't a line that separates the two. Maybe they're one and the same. I think both forms are constantly utilized when roleplaying, and that has to do with the fact that writers are people. We are all seeking that audience, that ecstasy, that applause, that...affirmation that our work has meant something to somebody else.

Roleplaying encompasses both at the same time. It is collaborative, yet competitive even if it does not want to be, even if the GM says "this is all collaborative, not competitive." The story is told through collaboration, but the work is admired through competition. Sometimes we are driven to produce a better reply, a better response, a better post because of what we've just read by a fellow roleplayer/writer.

I would say that I started competitive, but I leaned toward collaborative. The collaborative form has competitive aspects, or maybe that's just us as people in general. Whether the same is true for a roleplay that is grounded in competition, I don't know. The desired result is or should be the same, to tell a story.
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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby TinkMumu on Sun May 18, 2014 2:20 pm

I honestly think that it's collaborative competition. Meaning no matter what, everyone is collaborating but everyone is also competing their own little ideas. I love that about roleplaying. Because in the end, no one really knows exactly how things will end. It could be one sentence that changes the entire course of the story.
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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Absenthia on Tue May 20, 2014 10:30 pm

I didn't know there was more than one type? Honestly I've spent the last 10 years (maybe longer... I can't count some days) in the world of the collaborative type.

I really don't believe that one is better than the other because they each hone a different set of skills when you're writing.

Do I prefer one over the other? Collaborative to be honest. I like seeing what other people have to offer, or bring to the table. I've been working with one person for the past few years on a project RP that I plan to turn into something like a novel or maybe manga if I can bribe the right artist.

Also, competitive makes me think of things like T1/T2 based fighting.. and the words "phail-fight".
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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Asmodai510 on Thu May 22, 2014 8:51 am

In my humble opinion it has to be a mixture of the two, even if you have a fantastic lead story writer, dungeon master, insert term here, you need some sort of conflict to keep the parties involved, it doesn't have to be fighting each other but maybe different ways to solve a problem are used or different motivations surface. That being said I think the moment you say that its "competitive" roleplay you are doing yourself a dis-service because it then seems like there has to be a winner and a loser which in my experience will drastically shorten the life of the story or leave one of the players with a sour taste in their mouth.

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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby BetaAges on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:15 pm

I would be lying if I said I enjoy both equally. It's just not true. But...at a certain level of either, I begin to dislike both. I started of Roleplaying on a competitive, combat based level. It's how I started off and I always enjoy a good spar. But there come's a time where you just want to sit down and write with someone, not see who's better. Just relax and make a story that you both/all can enjoy. So because of that. I'd say that I enjoy collaborative efforts more than competitive.

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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Saarai on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:31 pm

I've never been of the mind that writing should be competitive. It's why I refuse to do anything like our very own battle arena. I don't mind telling a story where one of my characters loses a brawl, but I as a writer won't try to win. The character will. We lose track of the story if we force it to take a backseat to ego-stroking.

That's not competition isn't needed sometimes, just not often in roleplaying like this where the story itself relies on multiple people. to exist.
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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Flexar on Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:47 pm

Personally, I prefer more collaborative stories, but having conflict between characters does add another layer to roleplays; providing it stays between the characters. When the players start competing things tend to get messy. However, in general, I've always preferred collaborative activities to competitive ones, and I'm sure that there have been competitive roleplays where the players have behaved in a civil manner.
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Re: Which is better? Collaborative or competitive roleplay?

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby FWO on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:30 am

Saarai wrote:I've never been of the mind that writing should be competitive.


I feel the same way. Leave the competition to the characters within the story. As writers, we already struggle with fragile egos. There is no need to add competition to the already volatile mix. You want competition? Play a card game or a video game. Better yet, bust out the chess board and we can play.

I will admit, however that I do enjoy the occasional character spar but even in that I am more about collaboration than competition. More often than not, I like to have it determined who is going to win before a conclusion is reached, even if the 'how' is not figured out right away.
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