I’m going to make this a short post, but it will touch on a few important things that have become prevalent recently. Up until two years ago, I’d never heard of a writer calling themselves a role-player. When the first one waltzed across the wall of my Facebook profile, I admit I was intrigued by the way in which these people brought book characters to life with such ease, and how entertaining they were while they did it. It took less than four months for me to become disenchanted. Guilt by association seems to be a genuine threat to “real” people who end up friends with many role-play people.
Many of you know I have dabbled a little with the concept of role-play, have even written in groups with a friend. It was fun, and I do understand the allure and appeal. If this is how you want to write, then by all means enjoy it and have fun. What’s happened in recent months is a progression of really ugly personal shit being propagated by several players who seem to think the fake profiles allow them to strike out, lie and shit-disturb with impunity. Again, I really don’t care who you are or what you think you are achieving when you choose to strike out and manipulate or use the people who really do believe you are their friend. Hell, I’ve been on the receiving end of the biggest joke of them all–I fell in love with someone who might very well be a woman using a male identity to hide behind in real-life as well as on the pages of Facebook. Do I care? Not anymore. Like everything else associated with all of this, it’s a closed chapter, and life moves on.
However, it might be prudent for the role-players to bear in mind that if you engage in posting blatant lies about publishing companies and contract violations, etc., you are opening yourselves and your friends to legal action of a serious nature. Watching what goes on in other people’s groups, screen-capping discussions, copying and pasting conversations…at the end of the day, none of it proves a thing. Screen captures are images, and the court recognizes that all images can be manipulated by a talented graphic artist. Copy and paste is the same, it can be manipulated. In most cases, nothing contained in such “evidence” is worth the time it takes to collect it anyway. The writing you all do, and some of you are very talented and creative, it’s your work–but you have to accept that at any time the author who owns the copyrights can demand that you cease and desist. Some do, and some don’t, others just accept the impossibility of policing social networks and forums to stop infringements, so they turn blind eyes to it all.
I’ve seen and read some wild accusations recently–and I have no clue where the source of these fictions find the information they’re reporting. I do know that if you want to have any peace and credibility as writers and as decent human beings, you really need to stop preying on the real people who extend their trust to you. I’ve even been told recently that lesser known authors go to role-players and BEG to write with them, then go insane with threats when they can’t get their own way. Hell, I have no clue if it’s true or not–and again, I don’t much care. Do you see the theme here? I’ve been attacked, lied to, lied about, threatened, stalked, etc., and guess what? I continue to write and build my career, and at the end of each day, I know who I am and what my goals are, as well as who is real in my life now.
Role-players–if you truly DO respect the creators of the worlds in which you play, honour them with good writing and pleasant fan interaction so they in turn will not shudder or get angry when they hear the words “role-player” ascribed to their characters. I can’t speak for any other author, and don’t presume to, but I will say this–I am done with all of it. I want no players on my pages, and no further contact with those I once thought were real friends through our writing together in this kind of format. When a situation escalates to the extent that you must contact police, sit down and consult with lawyers, and hire publicists, move websites, etc., things have gotten to the extremely out of control stage. I’ve had to do all of these things within the past two months. Why? If this goes on, what does anyone get out of it? Nothing at all. Only more aggravation and inflammatory hate being spread into cyberspace.
It’s well past time for calm, sane thought, and honest reality. This is me walking away from this crazy for the final time. In the middle of a stress-induced black-out at the end of May I almost committed suicide over the insanity that had erupted from role-play and the lies I’d been told, as well as the manipulation and humiliation being directed at me. It took me days to find some clarity. It’s taken me two months to find the strength and control to start looking ahead, not back. I wish no one ill-will, and I have no capacity for hate so none is levelled at those who were involved in what’s gone on over the past couple of months. Again, I simply want to be left out of this world of make-believe in future, and respectfully ask that you cease and desist in your efforts to involve me in whatever wrongs you feel have been or are being perpetrated against you.