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"Dark" vs. "Mature"

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How do you all look at those two prefixes? When you see someone open to "Mature RP" or "Dark RP" what do you interpret that as?


For me there isn't any difference. But this is talking entirely in an 8x8 cell. And when I go out of that bubble, I start to differentiate.


For me, Dark RP is anything grim or R-Rated. Violence, torture, war, etc. But I don't exactly exclude "NC-17" from the list either. It's just a part of the list. I usually these days consider "Mature RP" to not have much difference from "ERP" except "ERP" may just be "ERP for ERP's sake" while Mature may still have a reason for the ERP.

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These days I kinda... completely ignore almost every RP Descriptor Tag. Most of em are so subjective that I can't really have any idea what intent is there.


The two tags that I don't just gloss over are:


Casual - This tells me they are much more receptive to scenes like "Trying Marmot Meat Because Of Peer Pressure" and just not that interested in scenes like "Theorizing The Effects of Void Influence On The Vylbrand Watershed" or "All Of My Friends Are Dead"

I wish the word "Casual" wasn't a curse word in videogameworld.


Erotic - A very clear descriptor. They want the

. I appreciate this. It really sucks to strike up some RP and realize each party wants something way way different out of it.


Dark and Mature and Heavy all don't really mean much to me.

Dark could mean detailed descriptions of gore, or it could mean someone who attempts suicide any time the word 'wife' is mentioned. Or it could mean comedic antihero brood-offs!

Mature, I can never tell if it means they want cerebral stuff or traumatic stuff or are just using it to mean ERP but without the stigma, or if they're just really interested in RP about doing the dishes or dealing with budgets.

Heavy could mean several of the above, or could mean they want to commit to a year-long story, or it could mean that they spend 8 hours a day in-character. Those are all very different things!


I am easily befuddled.

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I think the distinction primarily lies within whether it will have explicit details of +18 content, violence or sexual. Maybe that's just the impression I got? I think it's pretty vague and ultimately is myriad variations on "Not for young impressionable players."


Dark just has plot elements that come from horror, drama, war, etc. Other themes that some might consider depressing.

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Emphasis and portrayal play a big part for me. All of my characters have backstories and roleplay centering around adult themes and concepts, surely enough to be classified as mature, but Edgar and Aradial definitely have darker elements to them. There's emphasis on how those aspects are awful to deal with, and there's a general sense of lack of control and hopelessness permeating their backstories. It's never something where there's an obvious light at the end of the tunnel, it's just mountains of heavy shit and suck everywhere.


At best, they're trying to make the best of a bad situation.


 At worst...



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Back on WoW EU, ''Mature'' was literally just another way to say ERP. So when I first came to Balmung and inspected a lot of people I was like; ''Woah, so many ERP'ers here!''


Generally none of these terms mean anything to me. They were used back on WoW in the old days, but after like.. 2010? Nobody used them anymore. They become a laughing joke really, especially the term ''Heavy Roleplayer''. It basically just meant a roleplayer that does not break character at any give moment. No OOC chat in public channels, no times-skipping with OOC teleports and all that. Responding to every approach IC and adhere to the lore of whatever universe you were playing in.


It's not something many people can or want to do, hence why the ''HevRP'' joke become so popular. In my opinion nobody is a real Heavy Roleplayer in any MMO I've ever played.


Not doing weird OOC things during RP and following the lore of a game/keep common sense where lore is unavailable, is pretty much self-explanatory really. To me you're either a roleplayer, or you're not. There's nothing in between in my books!

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Obviously can't speak for everyone, but I tend to use Mature RP as anything that'd be rated 18+ if it was a movie. So anything from graphic injuries and violence to steamy hot romancey action. If people do ERP for OOC sakes then I'd call that cybering, not ERP. I don't tend to use the dark label, but my understanding of it is that it includes some specifically harsh things like torture - a way to ask for more than your "standard" mature stuff.

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I tend to think any such label means that the RP pushes the theme over the role-play. That is probably not the intent but that is my experience. Then again, I have found mature-RPers to be quite childish.


Relating to age I think that most things are still relevant to someone under 20 as to someone over twenty. What changes is the degree, depth and graphic nature, and probably the emotional resilience to appreciate it.. though to be honest I don't see older people being more mature.


There is the legal issue and wtf you are actually doing!!


The other aspect is one of attitude, and while the stereotype of the young being frivolous and un-serious while the older are serious and restrained it does not play out in reality. I know many younger players that are more "mature" in their attitude than older ones.


In short, if someone labels their RP type expect them to want specific things and focus on those over others. But then I'm a cynic.

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Generally, I assume "mature" to be some sort of buffer as opposed to out-and-out saying "ERP". "Dark" usually has Gaia Online connotations, so I tend to ask before I jump in, see exactly what I'm getting myself into, hope it's war/violence/etc. as opposed to miqo'te flipping their hair back because no one "gets" being a Nunh.


Taking the piss here, #notallmiqo

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What I hear when people mention those words:


Dark RP: Fuck the world and the government, man...


Mature RP: oh you mean normal conversation between adults like topics about their sex life with others, opening controversy and racisism, also throwing in some jokes, making fun and so on?


I consider the term mature RP not for ERP but a more natural character from age 21+ like any real human. Dark RP makes me groan hard with a passion. I get some appeal but it sometimes makes others look less mature than legit RPers.

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Usually, it'll be :

Dark - Expect stacks on stacks of clichéd backstory - Voidsent? Check. Rape? Check. Voidsent rape? Check.


Mature - Expect stacks on stacks of sexually charged roleplay that has expectations to lead to described lewd things (no fade to black). Heavy possibility of futa.


* * *


To be fair, that doesn't mean the person is bad at RP or whatever. Just that the person feels that these tags are so pervasive in their RPs that they need to warn you beforehand.


Which would mean I need to preface my tag with "weird" or "stupid".

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Sliding away from the more snide definitions...


Dark RP - I think people usually mean for this to describe plots and elements that one would find in the Dark Fantasy genre. Elric, The Black Company, Dragon Age, Berserk, stuff like that. Expect a bit of forefront of violence. Expect moral shades of grey. Expect protagonists rather than heroes. This can get tied up in cliche as much as anything, most typically it gets wrapped in a "gothy" package, but it is a bit of a misrepresentation of the style. While gothy elements can exist, there are plenty of places to go without everyone being dressed in black. A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones is a prime example of Dark Fantasy. Oh yeah, last defining feature, expect bad guys to possibly win.


Mature RP - I tend to think of this tag dealing with more mature subject matter. Sex and sexuality are certainly there, but the net also catches things like racism, class issues, and religion. The general intent is to approach and explore said issues and not shy away from the more controversial bits. Each subject handled with maturity and open minds. This gets a bit strange because this is really more of a subject matter tag than a genre tag. So there is a lot of bleed over between the two.


So, to me, one is a genre tag the other is a subject tag. Wheee! :D


Hope this has been helpful, yar.

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Yssen described it perfectly, honestly. *claps* And I love me some Berserk. Such a delightful screwed up world. <3



But, yea, dark and mature role-play, oddly enough tend to go hand in hand. As far as forms of RP, I think over the years like anything, the generalization has come to be a moniker for terribleness, but Yssen spoke the normal roots for these sort of things. 


FF14 is close to dark fantasy; not fully overlapped yet in many areas, but enough to at least draw that sort of attention. I would definitely call it a mature alternate fantasy setting though, as it does have racism, class discrimination, implied rape, murder out the wazoo (genocide much?) and other things.



As for me, I'm fine with any sort of role-play that fits within the subject material. ^_^

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FF14 is close to dark fantasy


No it's not. It's full of noble bright elements with sure, cynical implications that are yet still filled with the neverending vibe of an inevitable "happy ending", which is what makes it very far from being dark fantasy.


Dark fantasy genres mainly incorporate dark and frightening themes. Dark Souls, Diablo or The Witcher series are example of actual dark fantasy genres.

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I actually use the mature tag on Glioca and tend to classify it the same way someone would classify the M rating on a game or movie.  Alcohol, blood, drugs, death, gore, violence, mature themes (racism, division between classes, alternative sexuality and gender identities, political byplay, etc), mature humor, gambling, strong or coarse language, suggestive or sexual themes that may or may not include discussion about sex acts or even actual sex (ERP), nudity, implied sex, use of alcohol or drugs, crude or lewd humor. 


That doesn't mean I particularly need the mature tag all time as these things don't come up in every RP I do, but it means that these are possibilities and I'm open to said possibilities.  A lot of these things above cross the line into darker RP's as some would classify them, but I prefer the mature tag.  Like I said, I kind of use it like a gaming or movie rating tag.


Any of the above could be involved in an RP I'm in, but it would have to make sense. I also tend to use it to let others know, 'Hey, I play these kinds of things and they might come up from time to time.' A good example of a mature theme would be a cannibal character, or a character who tends to corner and beat people for the fun of it. That's still mature, just on a different end of the 'spectrum'. I wish people would stop immediately making the jump from 'mature' to 'mature means ERP', because that isn't the only thing it encompasses. I'm pleased for those who use it for that, but it gets irritating to field a dozen tells per day asking if 'mature' means ERP. I actually keep a copy and paste list somewhere of the things I use mature to represent, and paste that to anyone who asks.

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. . . If you would actually read my entire statement instead of just focusing on the start of it, you'd find that I said it is more along the lines of a mature alternate fantasy.


It does have portions of dark fantasy, as well as mature fantasy in it. As an overall theme it isn't dark fantasy; but that is a tangent for another day, this is about the whole "Dark" vs "Mature" tags people have put into their party search bar.

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Dark RP = The stuff I want to stay away from when it's compared to rape, torture, broody, edgy, oooh so dark I love dark I'm friggin Batman.


Mature RP = At first I never compared it to ERP, I just thought it meant RP for mature people, who aren't childish.


Then again, you RP or you don't, quite simple.


Wait, Heavy-RP is still a thing? O.o

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Everyone has their own definition. Just look at this thread!


I do a lot of crime/evil/dark RP, so I tend to encounter a lot of people with dark/mature in their search text. The only real thing in common between them is that they want at least some of their RP to not be rated G.


How do I deal with all this fuzzy semanticism? Simple. I send people /tells asking them what sort of RP they're looking for. I have conversations with them about their characters, so that we can arrive at an understanding.

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Whenever I see "Dark" or "Mature" in somebody's tags:


"I would like other roleplayers to quibble about exaggerated versions of what this means instead of asking me directly."

When I see it:


"I want to ERP, but I don't want to put ERP in mah tag"

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Whenever I see "Dark" or "Mature" in somebody's tags:


"I would like other roleplayers to quibble about exaggerated versions of what this means instead of asking me directly."

When I see it:


"I want to ERP, but I don't want to put ERP in mah tag"


That is how I view it. However I might be very based as the WoW EU community used Mature or Dark for ERP or BDSM ERP respectively basically.


I know it's different here, but stilll... :P

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