Role-play is a technique widely used to improve skills and competencies. In education, role-play can be used to enhance students’ learning. There are different types of roleplay, such as tabletop roleplay, live roleplay or online roleplay. In addition, role-play groups can be found on different platforms such as Google+, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. In business, role play is used as a technique to develop professional competencies, improve customer service and team efficiency. Role play is a very versatile technique that can be used in different settings to improve skills and competencies!

what is role-play?

Definition of roleplay

Role-play is a technique that is used in different areas to develop skills such as creativity, teamwork and communication. In general terms, roleplay involves participants assuming the role of a character and acting according to their personality, goals and motivations.

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History of roleplay

The history of roleplay is long and varied. Some argue that role-playing originated in the oral traditions of different cultures, and that the idea of representing other characters has been part of human activity since ancient times.

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However, modern roleplay can be traced back to the war and strategy games that became popular in the 20th century. The first modern tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, was published in 1974 and since then there has been a wide variety of tabletop and online roleplaying games available worldwide.

Roleplay features

The characteristics of roleplay vary depending on the context and type of roleplaying game being used. Some common features include character creation, role-playing, creating a shared narrative, decision making, and problem solving. Roleplay can be both competitive and collaborative, and can be used for educational, therapeutic or entertainment purposes.

Types of role-playing games

Some types are as follows:

  • Tabletop RPG
  • LARP
  • Escape and simulation games

Tabletop role-playing games

Tabletop role-playing games, also known as tabletop RPGs, are those played with friends sitting around a table.

In this type of game, players create imaginary characters and develop a story together through the narration of a game director, also called a Master or Dungeon Master.

Players use character sheets to track their characters’ statistics, such as their health, skills, strength, and dexterity. Examples of tabletop role-playing games are Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Vampire Dark Ages, and World of Darkness.

Optionally, you can play with a board and figurines. And they also sell tabletop role-playing games. But the board and figurines are not necessary.

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Tipos de roleplay: una introducción a las diferentes formas de jugar
Tabletop role-playing game with board

Live role-playing games

Live role-playing games, also known as LARP (Live Action Role-Playing), are live role-playing games, where players take on the role of their characters and develop the story through improvisation and physical contact. In this type of games, participants can use elements of costume and decoration to bring their character to life. Examples of LARP are Vampire: The Masquerade and Mind’s Eye Theatre.

Online role-playing games

Online role-playing games, also known as MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), are those that are played online with other players from around the world.

In this type of game, players can choose avatars that represent their characters and develop their character in a virtual world through quests and confrontations with other players or non-playable characters.

Within these games there are those who decide only to interact normally with other players as users and those who decide to always or occasionally “role-play” their character. That is to say, to interpret it and give it a story and a background.

Examples of MMORPGs are World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2.

Escape and simulation games

Escape room games are those in which a situation is simulated in which players have to solve riddles and puzzles to escape from a room or situation, or to carry out a fictitious mission. In these types of games, players can experience specific roles and use objects and tools to solve problems. Examples of escape and simulation games are Escape Room, The Rift and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.

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Platforms for online role-playing

There are several platform and website options for those interested in online role-playing games. Some of the most prominent ones are:

  • Roll20: Online role-playing platform that includes different board game options.
  • Tabletop Simulator: Online board game platform, including turn-based role-playing and mapping options.
  • Discord:Communication platform for video games that is also used to play online role-playing games. Many roleplay groups have private channels on Discord where games are organized.
  • Narrative Roleplay Platforms: Platform that offers different options to create and participate in narrative role-playing games. For example Amino or the same social networks like Facebook,Twitter, Instagram or even Tik tok are used for this type of roleplay.

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