No Shit, There I Was
Another player decides that he wants to roleplay beating you up. And you have to cooperate, don't you? I mean, his character *is* powerful enough to do so. It would be bad roleplaying for you to disregard his RP. Conversely, it is good roleplaying (or so decades of assumptions bear out) to play along. And what else can you do, anyway?
Log off - they don't need you, except to put up the token struggle which they feed off of. They may decide to do their worst and ask the staff to enforce the consequences - but that's just a petty act of revenge. They were going to do their worst anyway - they could have, and there was certainly nothing to stop them but your own act of placation by giving them exactly what they really wanted. A victim to say 'I am willing to be helpless, I am willing to be your pawn, and I am willing to give you the illusion that you have done this to a live person who, with the 'power' to say no, chooses to let you do it.' - they seek your sanction.
They can no longer get away with this in the real world. They want there to be a higher power, to tell the "person" they're interacting with that she must face them on the battleground of their choice - they don't want you to run away or call for anyone's help, they want to get you into the one-on-one struggle where they can revel in their superior strength as they slowly overpower you - the victim.
They know that they have the Power - but this society (with Laws
to protect and punish those within) no longer allows them to freely
use it. Even if they just seek to exercise it (practice without
the leisure to fully indulge themselves), their motivation and their
intention (however far it was carried) have one name - rape.
Fortunately, the higher power that forces you to cooperate with them is YOU. With the knowledge presented in this article, you can reclaim the definitions of roleplaying and articulate why you are not a bad roleplayer for no longer playing along with them.
Why is 'roleplaying' seen as the '<specific interaction>s'? If your character screams bloody murder and runs away, are you any less the roleplayer for having avoided the scene they wanted to run?
When "roleplaying AT ALL" is twisted into being seen as "roleplay what I want you to do", you are tricked into betraying the true meaning of roleplaying - to do what YOUR character WOULD do.
You can say to them: "You don't control us. We aren't your pawns.
We won't be used by you to satisfy the twisted definition of roleplaying
you employ to pretend you've achieved the most impressive RP'ing
feat ever seen." For they are no better than the rapist who implies,
silently, that if you cooperate with him it will be less painful
Your survival instinct activates. The adrenaline rushes in and you suddenly know that You Will Die. So, putting all your heart and spirit and lungs, every portion of your body working together in sudden frantic harmony, into running, you try to escape - it's the primal fight-or-flight instinct, and for most intelligent life-forms, the reflexive response is flight first (when cornered, then you turn and fight back).
Now, you may be protesting that this is unfair; that I am comparing the *character* or *game* (both being imaginary) to real-life situations. And, after all, the former aren't *real*.
But they are both (supposed to be) realistic. So let's make this personal.
Imagine that someone comes up to you at work, pins you to the wall, and begins reaching beneath your clothing, hissing "Don't scream, just imagine how cool a story it would be to tell your friends." - what would your reaction be?
Now take it a step further. Let's say that you want to beat your friend's stories, but the only way you can think of involves deliberately going into the most dangerous area of the city and picking a fight with a large gang? Just to say "No Shit, There I Was, the entire Yellow arrayed on one side of the street, and just li'l old me on the other."?
How far would you go for such a story? Trusting that you would be taken to the hospital? Trusting that you might not die? How far would your character go? This is what needs to be taken into account during roleplay.
If you try to attack my character, yes, my character
is going to scream bloody murder and run away! This doesn't mean
I'm not willing to start a roleplay scene with you. It means my
character isn't willing to be attacked by you - isn't willing
to put up with it, even to fight back, unless he absolutely has
to. If you don't let me run away - that's the kind of RP
scene I won't be forced into (if you emote catching up with me regardless,
I will then say 'Since your character's ability to outmatch me is
evidently in excess of even the best mine can put forth, I'll just
log off now and you can RP it away to your heart's content.'). There's
no point to me RP'ing it - so why should I? I'm not here to feed
your sick fantasies about beating people up - you can emote to an
empty screen, which is probably what you did at home before realizing
how unfulfilling it was.
Some of you will now be trying to make me feel bad or change my mind, through the typically effective technique of mocking me; a single act normally accomplishes one or both. This act of mockery may be based on the basic template of "Coward!" (which is a common cry when Mocking), and/or "Incompetent!"; the accusation of cowardice serves to instigate guilt over being a coward, and the cry of incompetence serves to instigate shame for not being any good. Both encourage the victim to change their ways, in order to escape the negative feelings brought upon them by such labels.
But, for the accusation of cowardice, I have but one question: in focusing on the OOC attachment to a single character, are we overlooking the survival instinct of the character ICly? And, for the accusation of incompetence, I feel no shame - for mine is deliberate, or, if incidental - accepted.
Yes, I acknowledge that I am not the best at roleplaying fights. And for that reason, I am like the pregnant or underage NERO players who wear a white headband. You do not fight me, period. You either leave me alone, or you automatically kill me. But automatic does not mean I will help you do it. The code alone will facilitate your efforts to kill me - I am not about to roleplay sitting there like a duck as you kill me.
Instead, I will log off and, if you protest or question me in any way, I will reply "I do not know about you, but /I/ have a life. So I am going to log off and do something else with it, while you sit here and wave your dick at the screen."
Good luck showing off to people watching, by the way. While you may have been confident they were all impressed with your display of power over other players (like us), once the illusion dissipates (vanished along with our RL presence and participation) your 'audience', revealed as completely imaginary, will *feel* as empty as your own delusions of power always *were*.