The act of roleplaying lies somewhere between transition and drag, between taking identity seriously and making fun of it.Nearly every character you meet in the RP realm is pansexual.Perhaps the negligence of chat room roleplay is due to its fetishistic, erotic nature, which one encounters instantly, with chat programs highlighting rooms like “the futunari hotsprings” (the room I was instantly zapped into at https://roleplay.chat/).The bond between character and mun is inescapably erotic: losing yourself in your character does not mean knowing him from head-to-toe, but submitting yourself to his will, letting yourself slip into him (or “bleed” as roleplaying scholars put it).“I have no qualms with very slowly disrobing,” turning back to @Kawika G, “I didn’t catch your name, miss.But I’ll dare, since you seem so tired, to imagine something to wake you. Specifically, a lap dance, from you, to the lucky volunteer, me.” Voice was sweet, dripping playful charisma, “But don’t you think about touching me.Likewise, public chat rooms are often chaotic meeting grounds, with names like “all creatures tavern,” “outcast orphanage,” “insane mental hospital” or “monsters academy,” all of which splice genres and storylines, creating aberrant worlds of experimentation that test characters against the truly out-of-their-world.In 2005, with the release of Now, after nearly a decade of wandering in the wilderness of online fragmentation, Chat RP is re-emerging on smartphones, with apps like Geeking and Amino combining chats with hashtag (#) and mention (@) mechanics.
The writer was known as a mun, meaning “mundane,” and was only referred to via the character (“Kawika’s mun”), while written gestures like “need not mention the subject at all.
The golden age of chat room roleplaying was mechanic in nature.
In December of 1996, the internet service provider, America Online, rid users of arbitrary hourly limits, and introduced unlimited usage, allowing eleven-year-old me to cruise on the internet without accumulating steep charges for my parents.
In my roleplays, I transform these “traps” into androgynous beings whose biology I never feel necessary to reveal as male, female or queer, since RPers need not use pronouns (him, her, they).
Chat RP’s unique combination of eroticism, fan fiction and transience, makes it easy to disregard as smut, or, even worse, as mere “workshop” writing.