Friday, May 18, 2007

Lesson: Social Context

In the Forge-ite lexicon, 'social context' is how roleplaying as an activity relates to one's social life in general.

In common usage, the term is quite a bit broader than this. The social context of an action or activity is how it relates to and is perceived by a society, culture, or social group. It follows that the social context of roleplaying depends partly on which cultural perspective you adopt. Both the wider society in which you live and the group of people with which you're gaming at any one moment have their own social contexts.

In the everyday experience of play, the social context of one's fellow players is usually the most significant and meaningful. In a wider context, roleplaying is sufficiently obscure that the action has few implications beyond marking the participants as belonging to a subculture.

Attempts to bring roleplaying into the mainstream awareness and creating a deeper general context have constituted much of the independent game design 'scene'.

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