Author Topic: Online NAOTMAA role-playing  (Read 7569 times)

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Offline ptitchka

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Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« on: May 05, 2004, 07:54:54 PM »
Please forgive me if this is not the right place to put this particular post.  In the past I have indulged in a guilty pleasure - online story-play centered around the Imperial Family.  While this has been a very interesting creative outlet - particularly for someone who can only dream of writing a novel, much less a truly good non-fiction book - I wonder sometimes just how other Romanov buffs feel about such a hobby as this.  Is it right to have gone into the heads of the Emperor, the Empress and their children?  I would never dream of writing something out of character about them, as I revere them highly.  But does anyone else have an opinion about or would anyone like to share their experiences with these 'Romanov RPG's'?



« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Pravoslavnaya »

Thomas_A.

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2004, 08:32:28 AM »
I think this is indeed a very interesting question!

I would never dare to do it because it seems kind of disrespectful - and even senseless - to me.
What result can it have to play such games with the names of historical persons?

I even cannot appreciate webpages which have texts and so on which appear to be written by one of the family members "personally".
That's really disrespectful and not a proper tribute to their memory!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Thomas_A. »

Offline Adele

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2004, 11:14:34 AM »
Quote
I think this is indeed a very interesting question!

I would never dare to do it because it seems kind of respectless - and even senseless - to me.
What result can it have to play such games with the names of historical persons?

I even cannot appreciate webpages which have texts and so on which appear to be written by one of the family members "personally".
That's really respectless and not a proper tribute to their memory!



I can certainly see why you think this way.  However, isn't 'role-playing' really what theatre is all about?  

Also, it has another function:  I think it helps aquire empathy for the historical person (by 'becoming' the person, the way an actor does if s/he doesn't go by a script).  

If I find the personality of a duchess a bit irritating, for example, it would help if I tried to see them through their own eyes---by role playing.

I don't find that disrespectful at all.  In fact, it might just help keep their memory alive!

--Adele

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2004, 03:03:56 PM »
I find some truth in what both of you say re: Pravoslavnaya's posting.

I have noticed other websites dealing with the Imperial Family which feature role-playing. Forgive me, but I'm not exactly sure how this works--is it a combination of method acting and instant messaging?   :o

I will agree that it is an interesting and creative exercise to "assume" someone's personality for dramatic purposes, or write in first person using someone else's voice.  However, if it's going before an audience--and I'm about to sound stuffy, but here goes--I think it should be done responsibly.

I'm aware that historical "reenactors" are very popular, and that many are involved in elaborate projects and events, such as recreating battles of the American Civil War, staffing Renaissance Fairs, etc.

Also, some of us are participating in an on-going "role-playing" exercise elsewhere on this forum, "inspired" by earlier folks who claimed all sorts of malarky about being descendants of OTMAA. But for anyone who visits that thread, it's obvious that it is a blend of satire and silliness (you be the judge of the satire vs. silliness ratio!) and isn't at all meant to be disrespectful of those who died tragic deaths . . . tho' it definitely tweaks those who made or continue to make outrageous claims!

Anyway, we're here for a variety of reasons, but all of us are subject to the basic tenants of this website, which include respecting the Imperial Family as well as respecting each other.

Offline anna

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2004, 06:49:11 PM »
Quote
Also, some of us are participating in an on-going "role-playing" exercise elsewhere on this forum, "inspired" by earlier folks who claimed all sorts of malarky about being descendants of OTMAA. But for anyone who visits that thread, it's obvious that it is a blend of satire and silliness (you be the judge of the satire vs. silliness ratio!) and isn't at all meant to be disrespectful of those who died tragic deaths . . . tho' it definitely tweaks those who made or continue to make outrageous claims!

Anyway, we're here for a variety of reasons, but all of us are subject to the basic tenants of this website, which include respecting the Imperial Family as well as respecting each other.


I agree with you Janet, what happens there on that topic is quite harmless and we're having fun.But we stay ourselves.

This "serious"role-playing does not make any sense to me. Real actors work by script ,they study the character they are playing and have really something to say before an audience. But here on this forum I do not see the use of people pretending to be a member of the Imperial Family.

Anna
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline ptitchka

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2004, 07:24:14 PM »
I would like to thank you all very much for clarifying the issue for me.  Incidentally - what we had actually been doing was a lot more like writing chapters for a fiction book.  But your reactions so far - which I read as a sort of being repulsed by the very idea - have helped me to confirm the nagging feeling that - at least for me - there is  something not quite right about this hobby and that I should NOT continue.  There is a world of difference between a collaborative effort and a book such as 'The Snow Mountain' - and even in this case there are those that do not like fiction about the Imperial Family no matter how good a 'read' it is.  Then there is the whole fiction about Romanov pretenders....

You have helped me make a decision to channel my creative efforts (unfocused as they have been) into building a website or two based on the truth and NOTHING BUT!  I have got to learn HTML.... but more importantly, it must be done all above board, in a downright honorable manner.   If things look promising on the technical side - or even beforehand - I would appreciate the good advice, caution and even the prayers of those who truly revere the Imperial Family so that I come up with something truly good, wholesome and downright nice.  Please forgive me if I have offended anyone here by even bringing this up.

Offline anna

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2004, 04:02:56 PM »
Dear Pravoslavnaya,

You didn't offend me, this forum would be a dull place if we all share the same opinion ;)

Anna
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2004, 09:47:54 PM »
Hi Pravoslavnaya!

You didn't offend me either--I'm late in getting back to you, in fact, because I forgot where this "thread" was listed!

There's nothing wrong in having an imagination and ideas. And I don't have a problem with historical fiction in general, as long as it is well-researched and well-written and encourages us to think about our past and how we might improve our future. Even Shakespeare wrote historical fiction, and sometimes his wasn't always that well-researched!  But he was trying to communicate basic human truths, and he did so magnificently.

The Imperial Family lived not really that long ago, and much has been documented about their lives, so I think we have a special obligation to represent them carefully and with as much fidelity as possible. Think about the dramatizations of Anne Frank's short life: the authors of such works always have approached her story with great deal of respect and thoughtfulness, knowing that it was not only the story of a young girl whom many still remembered from personal acquaintance, but also that her story involves the understanding of a great evil committed against many, many others just like Anne.

I think when we represent the royal family we have to remember that they--and thousands of others, from all political, social, religious and economic stratas--paid the ultimate price during the Russian Revolution. That isn't to say that being interested in the lives of Nicholas, Alexandra and their children, and taking pleasure in that interest, is "verbotten"! But I do think that rather than improvisational playacting, the concept of building a website and looking into not just the lives of the Grand Duchesses, but also why their lives and the lives of others were upended,  and how such disasters might be avoided in the future, is a great and noble project!

Offline ptitchka

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2004, 08:29:12 PM »
Thank you, Janet and Anna, for your kind words.

It would be quite a project to write a plausible historical novel about the IF that would not throw any particularly distressing curves.  I think of the shocking hyper-romantic ending to Roberto Pazzi's 'Searching for the Emperor', which struck me as profoundly out of character for an Orthodox Russian princess.  Even 'The Kitchen Boy', though possessed of a Russian spirit, disturbed me when I realized its skillful ending was only partially right.  To me the particular hagiography of NII and his family is still obscured by controversy, speculation and history recent enough to affect current events.   And we all know about various fictional accounts  about the fate of OTMA and Alexei being passed off as fact, don't we?   Collectively this generation hasn't gotten over the shock of their murder.  

You know, there are lots of marvelous-looking sites that concern themselves with OTMA (while not really A) already, and I would only be repeating myself if I made one about them.  It's the Heir's turn and I hope I can get something worthwhile off the ground.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2004, 09:38:05 PM »
Good idea! It's Alexei's turn . . . go for it!

Offline rjt

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2004, 07:15:40 AM »
This is not directed specifically towards this particular role-playing scenario as I have not seen it; however, I have seen on other sites a role-playing "game" of sorts.

I find this repulsive. When did we forget that the Imperial Family were real people? Who gave these people license to make such a mockery of a horribly and tragically martyred family? I don't understand.
Is it an alarm clock or a calling that gets you out of bed each day? --Christopher Maluck, The Matthew Shepard Foundation

Offline Michelle

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2004, 03:25:22 PM »
I participate in role play about the family at Panhistoria.com and I can assure you that we are not meaning any disrespect or "mockery" to the family at all!!!  We have imaginations and highly revere NAOTMAA.  Making up stories that go along with their lives as well as "what if?" storylines (which I enjoy the most) give us a chance to turn away from the ugly reality that they died and play out our wishes that their lives shouldn't have been so tragic.  It helps us to remember the Imperial family so much better, and it is great fun!    But in no means is is derogatory to them.   :)

Offline Abby

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2004, 07:57:24 PM »
I agree with Michelle. I can see how some can find this offensive, but I think that it is a good way to honor the memory of the Imperial Family. After all, movies have been made about the family in which actors portray them, and movies are meant to bring in a profit. I don't see anything wrong with people pretending to be the Imperial Family the way they should have lived. I was once in a role-playing list and we didn't take it too seriously, it was something fun and it didn't cause anyone to forget the truth of what really happened.

Offline Michelle

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Re: Online NAOTMAA role-playing
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2004, 10:33:25 PM »
Well said, Abby!  :) ;) ;D