Why Roleplayers Never Forget

Roleplayers have a very long memory for drama.

We aren’t the only ones; I’m fairly certain everyone remembers events that stand out in their minds, good and bad, and that more people have a memory for drama than would care to admit.  My dramatic memory extends to the beginning of my time on Thorium Brotherhood – I may not be able to remember how our characters met, but I can remember all the ridiculous crap that has happened to me before and since.

Why is this the case?  Why do we so vividly remember this crap that made our blood boil back in the day?  Why is it that we can recall some of the most heinous crimes other roleplayers perpetuated against us, but other events are so damned hard to recall?

It’s because we’re storytellers.

Just like reporters on the local news, we’ve discovered that stories that showcase the worst of roleplay are far more interesting than those that make things out to be completely reasonable and wonderful.  We are, at our core, lovers of the train wreck and for each and every one we stand there in awe of the carnage that’s going on before us.

I know it’s hard to admit.  It’s hard to admit that you feel a slight thrill whenever you see something going on (in someone else’s roleplay or out of character life, that is) that’s so utterly ridiculous that it is almost a dark comedy.  It’s hard to admit that you secretly enjoy the call-outs of the people that think you’re the worst person to ever walk the server because you know they’re wrong and that the problem is them, not you.  It’s hard to admit that you love seeing those posts on dear_gnome that call out bad roleplay, or that talk about the silly things other people have done (raiding drama stories, anyone?) in-game.

We don’t forget these things because they remind us of why we’re careful, or why we don’t do certain plots anymore, or why we don’t roleplay with certain people.  They remind us why certain behaviours are troublesome, and they provide us with tales to regale the younger roleplayers with, or they serve as explainations for those roleplayers who just cannot understand why you’re cringing at the way that other person is behaving toward them.  You can say, come here, dear, and let me tell you of that one time when someone acted the exact same way and what it lead to.

Maybe, just maybe, your drama can save someone else from drama.

The above is why I collect, share, and remember tales of my own drama.  I figure that if I can help prevent just one person from going through the same sorts of drama that I’ve dealt with, then maybe the crap I’ve gone through wasn’t so bad after all.  This isn’t to say that my personal issues are because of internet drama – some of them are, but I know that my stories are far, far more tame than what some have gone through, and other peoples’ stories started like some of mine.  The difference between my tame stories and those of people who wound up with a hell of a lot more baggage?  There isn’t much.  Given an extra few days, I may have wound up in the same boat (or ship).

It isn’t that we’re jerks or that we like to look for reasons to suffer, it’s that we’re storytellers and we collect these tales as little reminders, or as entertainment.  In most cases, those events that were so horribly annoying at the time they played out aren’t quite so bad when we look back.

Events as the Night Elf getting angry at Matojo for declaring his love to her Troll lover over Booty Bay, all in jest, because it took attention away from her for fifteen minutes (that same Troll whose player has caused me many, many late nights because I just don’t want to sign off Skype, not yet, okay), or the stories I’ve already told here. Those stories, which were so bloody irritating when they took place, now sit in my personal history as “oh man do you remember when” moments that I can share with the friends who aren’t completely sick of hearing about them.  Of course, that example was most likely more troublesome for the Troll’s player – I honestly don’t know.  If he told me, I forgot, but asking him again just gives me an excuse to make him talk about something.  >_>

What about you?  Do you have stories, roleplay-related or otherwise, that you fall back on and frequently share because of reasons like the above?  Why are they so memorable for you?