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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Common Room --> Assistance with my essay for Performance Arts
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Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts

Assistance with my essay for Performance Arts

As luck has it, I have to turn in an essay for a class I'm in at the University called Performance Arts (the class, not the Uni). The turn in date is on 12th of December, it's supposed to be around 2000 words and I got permission to write about the performance aspect of roleplaying games.

So I seek the guidence of the Inn. I could probably write something in a last moment dash the day before I hand it in, much like I often do, but seeing as it is the only real essay I have to write this semester I want to do it more properly.

What I'm asking for is any ideas regarding material I should look into, what I should avoid (such as detailed description of system mechanics) and how I should focus on. Any help will be appreciated

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 15:02:11.

Karma: 13/10
230 Posts

a few ideas

Yeah stay away from system mechanics and I say try to stick to the performance arts aspect of it. I know nothing about performance arts but I am thinking it is like acting so I would say stick the performance aspects of role play think about it 2 people playing the same character wouldn’t play it the same. Also you might hit on the idea that if role playing games were turned into movies they would make far better movies I think then some of the ones that come out nowadays I mean I like action as much as the next person but it seems like the movies are losing story and substance as time goes by. You might also hit on the fact that the dm or gm is the greatest actor of them all since he can play all the characters in a town and not ever have them run together and get boring. Just a few ideas hope they are helpful and if they aren’t then srry and if I misunderstood performance arts then srry but if that isn’t what the class is about it should be renamed.

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 15:33:51.

The Tired
RDI Staff
Karma: 291/33
6340 Posts

interesting topic

You might want to look up a book called - The Fantasy Role-playing Game: A New Performing Art by Mackay et al. You also might want to look at Bruno Bettleheim (sp?) and Joseph Campbell books for reference.

What is your approach on this essay? What is your general thesis or premise that you are looking to explore?

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 16:07:44.

Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/19
3012 Posts


Performance Arts can mean a lot of things. If I think of the movie Se7en, then Performance Arts involved something that I shouldn't type on this website.

But it can mean a lot more innocent entertainment. So please specify.

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 16:09:14.

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


Haha, I only got the idea about an hour before opening this thread so I still don't have an actual thesis. One of those kinks I have to work out before starting I guess.
On the other hand, another one of my classes suggested I could start with an essay and then come up with a thesis. Or was that just for the summary? Can't remember. Anyway, I don't have a thesis statement worked out yet.

The class covers Performance Arts in general. Not just acting but also dancing, singing, preaching in church or something more private like roleplaying. Even clapping got a small discussion in class as a ritualistic performance to show appreciation (or something like that, been a while since we talked about it). Games where children play their favorite heroes with their friends is, by the definition of this class, a form of performance. I could just as well write an essay about that, but I chose something that's closer to me at the moment. I really can't be specific about this.

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 16:32:26.

Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Skan-dori Why don't you list all the reasons you like playing RPG, such as social, interactions creative, imagination, exploring alternative persosnalities, getting "into" your character, and other aspects of good games whether, on forums, or around-the-table. Get input fro others too.

Then explore how those compare with other performing arts.What do they possess that other performance arts allow a performers to express through their art. Certainly acting as your character, developing speech patterns, character responses in a variety of situation, the whole getting into the character sort fo thing. Actors and singer learn languages for their craft and so do role players, some learning fantasy languages such as Drow, Klingon, Romulans, elvish to make their character seem more real.

Role playing has aspects like acting with a bit of chess, or strategy games thrown in.

Just some ideas. Good Role playing gives a person an chance to experiment with different personalities traits and life issues and deal with them and have how "other" react to them.

I have meet many new friends on line with the same passions as I. people I would ntever have met since they live around ths world. I have played with players in Greenland on a yatch in the Indian Ocean, by the way which was almost capsized in the big Tsunami from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Spain, and many other parts of the globe. some won't say where they live.

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 17:23:28.

Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts

Roleplaying Essay

Nice one, I can imagine that you’ll have a lot of fun researching that.

One general suggestion: always have a thesis in mind before you start writing. Otherwise you’ll end up wasting a lot of time redrafting later on… I’ve made this mistake a couple of time myself.

Also, anything too far off the beaten track can be a complete nightmare to find academic references for. Does your university subscribe to Athens? If so, then you might have more luck finding articles online than in your college library.

Posted on 2008-11-28 at 18:45:51.

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


Thanks for all the ideas and replies, they're really helpful

Any other ideas that could come in handy before I start?
(still don't have a thesis statement worked out)

Posted on 2008-12-02 at 12:54:54.

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