Are thought emotes a bad thing?
Do thought emotes have a place in role play?
Should we use them?
Should we not use them?
Thoughts are a tough subject when it comes to RP. Many people do not like them, however just as many use them. The trouble with a thought is that normally it is like Dialog but the only one that would be able to hear it is you. Rule of thumb is that if you do not want the person you are playing with responding to a thought then do not use them. Far too often thoughts are used to insult another player and it has caused a lot of chaos. Now, does this mean to never ever use them? Not really. The only example I can think of for a thought emote is when you are playing with another player and they don’t seem to understand what you are wanting. Thinking about how hungry you are might prompt that player to give you food. So remember use thought emotes at your own risk as the player you are playing with will use it. If you do use a thought most use them as an action as putting them in quotes or any other form other players can mistake it as Dialog.
In the SL Gor world of interactive role play, it is considered bad form to “think” negative thought emotes about another player. Why? Because every word you type has to be read by everyone else involved, and if it does not bring anything of value to the setting/story, then it is a waste. Insults that cannot be acted upon provide only frustration.
Some people will respond to a negative thought emote as if it were spoken out loud. I would argue that negative thought emotes best be avoided altogether. Confrontational roleplay can be interesting, but it should be whispered or said out loud where they can be acted upon. I have experienced first hand how frustrating it is when someone hurls insults at you during a thought emote. After all in real life we can’t hear each other thoughts, this only happens in movies like the one with Mel Gibson.
Anyway, aside from the obvious thought emote insults like this one , there are also negative thoughts.
Some examples of negative thoughts:
Bad: *Panther looks down at the kajira and thinks she needs to learn how to serve*
Better: *Panther looks down at the kajira frowning, clearly indicating she didn’t think well of her serve*
Best: avoid doing either of those, and correct the kajira ICly with clear instructions.
Bad: *Panther thinks that man is a jerk and hopes he’ll leave her alone*
Better: *Panther looks at the man with distaste, indicating she didn’t care for his actions*
Best: avoid doing either of those, and say, “I don’t care for your company sir, please excuse me.”
Bad: *Panther thinks the man smells and decides to drag him through the water*
Better: *wrinkles her nose as if she smells something she doesn’t like about the man*
Best: Don’t EVEN go there, unless he has already RP’d that he smells, himself. If he has not indicated that he stinks, you are godmodding (another very serious infraction in RP). If you wish to follow that RP it would be best offer the man a bath.
When introducing a thought emote, consider whether it will add benefit to role-play, detract from it, or just provide frustration to the other players.
Adding to role-play:
Travelling man” “I have heard that there are Kurii on these lands.”
The panther looked at the man with surprise, an eyebrow raised in suspicion. She was sceptical of the stranger and would reveal no indication that she knew of the large clan that existed across the forest. Instead, she smiled, as if the statement was comical or absurd. “traveller, we live in in the forests, Kurii rarely venture on our hunting grounds. If you are looking for Kur , you need to head West to the mountains.”
Panther passed valuable OOC information – in effect telling the person where to find the Kur if they were truly seeking Kurii RP
Why bother role play? (made up YES, but I have witnessed something like this a thousand times)
She entered the camp, weak from hunger and loss of blood – though she had closed the wound herself and bandaged it tightly – no sign of her injury showed through her clothes. She smiled at her sisters and moved to take a seat at the camp fire. “Tal everyone.” she said as she sat down.
At this point – role-play has been interrupted, and a dozen panthers are STUMPED!! How do you handle this? Do you role-play that she looks pale? (A godmodding no no.) Do you ask leading questions to try and get her to acknowledge something? Point being, At least from this paragraph, there is NOTHING that can be done but to greet her . So?? WHY BOTHER!!!! And I have witnessed times when no other emotes or words supporting the injury were given.
Summary: Thought emotes can have a place in roleplay and provide value and enrichment to a storyline, they can also cause trouble and hard feelings, and if done poorly can bring drama. If you include thought emotes, please consider their effect to role play, and if the answer is “nothing” I recommend not to. If the answer is “harmful drama and insults” DO NOT DO IT!!!