What Is Role Playing?
Finding and Joining a Game
Obtaining a Character
What is Role Playing?
Role Playing in general could easily be considered a form of acting. The basic idea of Role Play is to pretend to be someone that you are not.
The specific kind of Role Play that will be discussed here is concerned with Role Play by email through Yahoo! Groups.
These games are played through mailing lists. You send, or post, a message to the list and then it will be sent to all the people who are subscribed to that list.
Many of the games out there are based on popular books, movies, or television shows and you can play a character from it or sometimes create your own. There are some other games out there that are completely original.
Finding and Joining a game
Yahoo! Groups makes it easy to find a game. There is a box on their home page which can be reached by simply typing 'groups.yahoo.com' or 'yahoogroups.com' (Either will get you there) into the address line on the browser. Then once on the home page, the search box will be in the center of the page just under the light blue header 'Join A Group.' That is where you will type what you are looking for.
If you were looking for a Gargoyles game, you would type 'Gargoyles RPG', 'Gargoyles RP', 'Gargoyles Role Play', 'Gargoyles Role Playing Game', or simply 'Gargoyles.' (The last option there will retrieve all the groups that have the word gargoyles in it. You may have to sort through things that have little to nothing to do with what you are looking for but that way you can be sure that you have looked at all of your options.) You may want to try using specific character names.
When you hit search most likely you are going to have many games to sift through. Read through the descriptions of the different groups. Check and see if you can read through some of the old messages (Some groups allow their archives to be public). If there is a link to a website at the bottom of the page you should be sure to check that out as well. It can contain plot information, a summary of what has happened, cast list, and even rules for the game.
Also there is sometimes a calendar at the bottom of the page which lists how many posts go through every month. If there have not been any, or very few, in the past couple months and the game has been around for a long time, it is more than likely that the game has died and no one plays there anymore. (Sometimes you have to join to see that. If you are a pending member for more than a few days, the owner of the game may not be very vigilant and whether or not the game is active, it might not be for long.)
When you find one you like you should click the "Join This Game" button on the page and follow the instructions. (Once you join, you may become a pending member which means that a moderator has to approve your membership to the game. This can be slightly annoying but it helps prevent unwanted emails and bots, id's that join a game spam the list and then leave, from getting through to the group.)
Obtaining a Character
Once you have joined and are approved, everything in the game will now be accessible to you. The Database, Files, Archives - all features of Yahoogroups! - are an excellent place to start looking to try and find out more about the game and you should spend at least a few minutes looking around. Check and see if there is a character list somewhere, read the old messages. They will let you know how the game is played there and what has happened.
Depending on the number of people in the game, one of the first things you should do is to write the list owner and introduce yourself. While there are occasional bullies, most moderators are very helpful and will answer any and all questions you might have. If you haven't been able to find it anywhere else, they will be able to tell you which characters are available or if it is possible to bring in a made-up of your own and what would be required to do that. (See the Chapter on Made-Ups for more details)
Most of the time, when you join a game characters are given out on a first come first serve basis which means that if you request a character before someone else does, then that character is yours. However there are other games where an audition post is required. This will generally be the first post for your character. An audition requirement is so the owner of the list can see what kind of a writer you are and how well you portray and know your character. It is important to show your creativity and be original and different yet at the same time be able to keep with the character's basic personality. (See Posting section in this chapter for more information)
NOTE: If you don't want to play but instead would just like to read, you should still email the owner/moderator of the list/game or they may remove you from the list without notice.