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RPG Definition

Role Play, simply defined, is acting. Acting, as a character that you either create or pick from a spectrum of pre-created characters. In some settings you determine vital characteristics of your character, in others, it is predetermined. You set your mind into this character, and play it out by improvising the characters' moves.

Roleplaying is not limited to games

The action of roleplaying goes well beyond gaming and plays a role in many everyday situations. Of course the most obvious example of roleplaying is seen on Television or in the movies, where the actor takes on the role of a character. Yes, acting is indeed also roleplaying!

Another area where roleplaying is often used is in training and/or teaching situations. Students are required to assume the role of the appropriate individual where they are tested upon their ability to react appropriately to a hypothetical situation. In these circumstances it is extremely important that the student is able to play the role of the designated individual appropriately.

For instance, a nursing student, lifeguard candidate, or MD candidate, who is required to play out a staged trauma situation. Different from a paper test, the student is required to react and be tested in a situation that much more closely resembles what they are likely to encounter in their future career. Of added benefit, the trauma victims are usually other students who are scored on their ability to appropriate act out the symptoms of their ailment. To act the symptoms properly certainly requires an indepth understanding.

Roleplaying Dictionary Definitions

Cambridge Advanced Dictionary

role play (noun)
pretending to be someone else, especially as part of learning a new skill:
Role play is used in training courses, language-learning and psychotherapy.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

  • transitive senses : ACT OUT - students were asked to role-play the thoughts and feelings of each character (R. G. Lambert)
  • intransitive senses : to play a role



  1. To assume or represent in a drama; act out: "Participants are encouraged to pass on leads about jobs... and to role-play interview situations with each other" (Hatfield MA Valley Advocate).
  2. To assume or act out a particular role: "When I hire people I role-play with them... to see how they take pressure" (Peter Schrag).

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