IC and OOC
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This page references Aetolian materials that may have no mechanical consequence whatsoever. These ideas may vary in implementation from player to player, and are not vital to your game experience.
Aetolia is a roleplaying game, which means one steps into a different role when entering the game. For this ti be possible there are two expressions commonly used to separate the real world from the game world:
OOC (Out Of Character) is, in a way, the realm of the Player, the person sitting behind the computer, someone who can be completely different from the character he/she is playing. It is the term used for things un-related to the character, such as computers, the real world, your own headache and lagging servers. These things can be spoken about in special forums, like OOC clans, webs, or when asking questions on the newbie channel. They can also be mentioned in Tells, if they are in some way marked off as being OOC (either by using some form of brackets, or writing it out in plain).
You tell Lin, "((What are your plans for the evening?))"
Lin tells you, "[OOC] I'm going to pretty up the wiki some more."
IC (In Character) on the other hand, is wholly connected to the character and its place in the game world. To be IC means to act the role of the character at all times, without adding any information about real world issues or matters that are unknown to the character. When performing any kind of action in the game, speaking on public channels or emoting, it is the work of the character, not the player.
Always consider what is natural for your character when doing something. If it is completely out of scope of what is normal, try to find a way to make sense of it, roleplay it and make it happen, rather than making a swift turn throwing off everyone around you.
To bring OOC knowledge into the game is referred to as Metagaming. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep things separate, but it is important to make every effort not to mix these things. Anything a Player has gained knowledge of (from forums, chats, OOC clans, IRC channels, or other) is unknown to the character. Making the character act on this knowledge is very poor roleplaying.
- Character A's shop has been robbed of everything, causing him to suffer a major financial blow, but he has no idea who might have done this.
- The Player of Character A finds a log on the forums, describing the successful robbery and how Character B pulled it off.
Seeing as this knowledge is OOC, only known to the Player, his character can't run to the authorities and accuse Character B of the robbery. There is no IC evidenc. However, if a thorough investigation is done, ICly, and evidence is found that incriminates Character B, actions can be taken.
Naturally, this also counts if you share information between several characters.
15.13 OUT OF CHARACTER BEHAVIOR
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It may contain plaintext tables or lists and needs to be reformatted to be wiki appropriate. Feel free to flesh out any information here, as well!
The term OOC stands for "out of character" and is used to refer to any action that your character, someone who has lived in Aetolia his or her entire life, would not logically take. You, the player, know things about the real world, about the computers on which the game is played, and about the Aetolian world itself that your character has no idea about. As a player, it is your duty to make sure that your character's comments and actions never reflect these external matters. When you and others hold yourselves to this high standard, you help maintain and enhance both your and other players' immersion in the fictional world that is Aetolia.
By way of analogy, think about going to see a movie. When you have paid your money for a ticket and you are sitting in the theater, do you want someone sitting near you yelling out, "Cool, that one stunt man stabbed the other stunt man with one of those retractable prop knives, wow look at all the blood makeup they've used?" Though you know it's just a movie, behavior like would destroy your temporary sense of immersion in the fictional story being told on the screen, and that is the exact opposite of what you want - you paid good money for the chance to let yourself believe in whatever world the moviemakers have created. Similarly, OOC behavior in Aetolia jars the other players out of their sense of immersion in the game world.
But it's not just about respect for other players. By immersing yourself in the game fiction and keeping your behavior in-character, you will be creating a much more fun and rewarding play experience for yourself.
Questions & Answers
Q: What exactly is considered OOC?
A: Broadly, anything your character wouldn't do or know about is OOC. A few specific examples: - Talking about real-world people, places, events, or things - Citing or quoting real-world pop culture, literature, entertainmen media, etc. - Using modern slang or 'netspeak' abbreviations - Discussing lag, servers, mud clients, etc. - Mentioning alternate characters - Discussing issues (except with Administrators, obviously) - Acting without regard for the context or history of your character ("You can kill me for 50 credits", "I think I'll landmark for evil today, more PK")
Q: Isn't it a little too picky to consider some common things OOC?
A: Depends on whom you ask, but... yes, probably. For example:
- Emoticons. Some people love them, some hate them, but they are effective and not (in the opinion of the author) particularly intrusive. - Emoted text (*grin*). Again, while a pet peeve of some, they can be very helpful in communicating effectively and there isn't always a reasonable substitute.
Q: Where is it acceptable to say OOC things?
A: Virtually nowhere in Aetolia. Certainly you are expected to avoid OOC behavior in all public channels and places where someone you do not specifically know wants to hear your OOC comments could overhear you. This includes SAY, YELL, SHOUT, GNT, MARKET, and so on. If you and a buddy play together and want to talk about your jobs or weekend plans, feel free - just please keep it to tells. Owners of private clans are also permitted to set their own rules with regard to acceptable OOC speech on their private clan channel. However, if you are the owner of such an OOC clan, don't expect any immortal to support it in any way.
It's worth noting that the NEWBIE channel can be a special case. Sometimes newbies need a helping hand figuring out how to configure their mud client and whatnot, so a certain degree of OOC speech is tolerated there. Discussing the 49ers game there will generally result in someone asking you to stop, though.
Q: It's a free country, isn't it? Why can't I "roleplay" a gangsta pimp?
A: Yes, it (the United States, where Aetolia is hosted) is a free country. Aetolia is not owned or operated by any government body though, so this is an entirely moot point. The immortals and players of Aetolia alike collectively define what are acceptable standards of roleplay within the game world and use various methods and tools to maintain those standards. Another is simply social/political pressure. If an immortal doesn't like your OOC behavior, don't expect any favorable treatment by them. If your guildmaster keeps having to ask you not to speak OOC on the guild channel, don't expect to be promoted very quickly within your guild. Players who make an effort to consistently act in-character generally do get more out of their play experience in Aetolia.
Q: Are there other types of OOC behavior I should know about?
A: Allowing information that your character would not reasonably know to affect their actions; referred to as 'metagaming', is another type of OOC behavior to avoid. In example, if another player told you in a chat window about something a mutual friend did, and in turn, your character approached the friend and asked about it, this is an instance of metagaming. While this example is benign, the affects of metagaming can and often do escalate to staggering lengths. While metagaming is hard to police and not as obvious as other OOC actions, we depend upon players themselves to be careful about separating OOC knowledge from character's knowledge. That said, help scrolls and honors are considered general knowledge.
See also: ROLEPLAYING