When I first began The 1920s Berlin Project, roleplaying was not the most important thing on my mind.
I wanted to give visitors a nice experience of visiting an city from the past but didn’t want to force people to play a role or make it hard or impossible for them to discuss anything that was not authentic.
This was a good decision, Berlin grew rapidly as a community and the people here are very close, mostly, I think, because they get to hang out together and chat lots about their lives.
When you visit a bar in RL you want to discuss the things that are on your mind, our bar in 1920s Berlin feels a lot like a real bar so people want to freely chat there as well, not just about the 1920s.
BUT things have changed.
The sim is doing very well and has been doing so for over 3 years.
Many come to Berlin to escape real life or to try and immerse themselves in the past.
And when that is the case, discussions about what we do in real life, our computers or what we saw on TV can be the last thing the people around us want to hear.
On the other hand I don’t want to take peoples freedom away to chat about what they want to chat about.
So in this post I will be making a few suggestions and give you some ideas, in stead of creating lots of rules for our sim.
*Try and keep your non-roleplay chat in IM’s when other people are nearby.
Remember, anyone within 20 meters of you can hear what you say.
When you feel the need to discuss something that is not realistic or authentic for the 1920s Berlin scene, try and use IM for this.
It will also give you more privacy.
*If you want to discuss something non-1920s, but you want to discuss it with more then one person, or when it is just a short question or remark, try putting it in brackets.
This way people know it is Out of Character (OOC) and it is still view able in public chat.
And thanks to SL this is very easy to do, simply hold down the ‘Alt’ key when you press ‘Return’ after you have finished a sentence for chat.
Go ahead, try it sometime, it is very easy.
*Think of your bystanders.
It should be common courtesy to ask the people around you if they mind if you go OOC for a moment.
Try to stay in character for as much as possible but sometimes this may drive you mad and you just want to chat with friends in a group.
Just ask in public chat, if anyone minds if you go OOC for a bit, if they do, just don’t. But if they don’t mind, go ahead.
In short I would like people to try a little harder to avoid chatting about all sorts of modern things.
I know this can be hard, I am very guilty of doing this myself as well.
But I think that if we all play our roles and stop being our modern selves a bit more often, this would enrich your visits to the past.
You may find it difficult or a bit daunting to join our roleplaying, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help you fit in;
Berlin was a very international city, people from all over the world came here to work or to experience the freedom, culture and excitement.
So there is no need to be intimidated, simply pretend you are one of many tourists walking around.
Don’t worry about a background story, just say you’re from this or that country and that you know next to nothing about our city.
Berliners are a friendly bunch who enjoy welcoming strangers and telling them about our community, you’ll feel at home soon enough.
Although Berlin is of course a German city, the main language used is English, because after all that is the language 95% of our visitors speak.
There is no need to write or make up an entire background story for your character, but it is handy and fun to have one anyway.
Start with a so called passport biography; name, age, date of birth, etc.
And you can add more to that later.
The best way to get involved in Berlin is to just be yourself, observe life and come visit the daily happy hour at Der Keller Tanzlokal.
Here we chat about all sorts of things and we are also very curious to talk with new people.
And if you are still not sure about what to do, feel free to start a group chat about it.
Our community is generally very willing to help new people out.