"When will young people learn that Dungeons And Dragons won't make you cool?!"In mainstream media, roleplaying as a whole tends to have a very bad reputation. It's been accused of everything from making teenagers antisocial to turning them into mass-murdering Satan-worshipping neo-Nazis that eat kittens for breakfast and trip old ladies in their spare time. Naturally, none of this is true, at least not about roleplayers as a whole. Roleplaying is difficult to define exactly, except for the obvious "Roleplaying is when you're playing a role." More specifically, it's where you take up a character and play out the situation how you think that character would act. Think "improvised acting" and you'll have a pretty good idea of what roleplaying actually is. It's also been compared to playing "pretend" with your best friend when you were little, except for, well, grown-ups. With such a broad definition as simply "playing a role," there are a myriad of forms in which to RP. However, most of them fall under the following three:
— Fry in Futurama, "Bender's Game"
- Computer-based RP, such as a chatroom or an MMORPG,
- Pen-and-paper RP, such as Dungeons & Dragons,
- LARP, or Live Action Role Play, which best fits the "improvised acting" definition.