Jump to content
LadyRochester

Meta-gaming, using OOC knowledge IC, how do you deal with it?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,
I have a small problem. Recently, I started to RP with a lot of people, and one of these people is trying to push really hard for romance between our characters.
Even though she is married, all parties know about this OOC and are fine with it, even if the "pursuer" may not get beyond friendship after all. I told him there was no promise that they'd end up together, as my character is very much in love. All fine and dandy, right?

Here's the problem: The pursuer (Let's call him "P") keeps using OOC info that there is little to no way he'd know ICly to further his 'relationship' with my character. Somehow, he knows all her favorite foods, all her favorite desserts, etc. There is info I fed him IC, but that wasn't part of it. And of course his character keeps getting points if he mysteriously knows EVERYTHING my character likes, but to me, it feels extremely unnatural and forced, not how relationships should flow in any form or fashion.

I try to avoid RP with this person because I don't want to call them out OOC, they are someone I consider a friend, after all. It just really bothers me. They are a fantastic writer, too.

All I can do is just stop feeding him info. But what do I do if it happens again? 

Edited by LadyRochester

Share this post


Link to post

The way I see it is the only way to fix issues with people when they do things that make you uncomfortable is to have the uncomfortable conversation about it.  It's always a risky conversation, because sometimes people take it poorly -- but to my mind the kind of person who isn't willing to take a few lumps in order to resolve misunderstandings/miscommunications/whatever aren't the kind of people who I'd be comfortable rping with longterm.  Because RP is, to me, a cooperative thing.  Well, in order to cooperate well with someone you gotta put your cards on the table.

 

You can be tactful about it.  "Wow, your character certainly knows a lot about mine's favorite things!  How's he finding all that out?"

Maybe he's been talking to someone else who knows her really well, so it doesn't need to be an aggressive confrontation.  But if it does turn out there's some ic/ooc boundary issues, let him know that kind of thing ruins your immersion. 

 

edit - also, another thing.  Irl, if someone mysteriously knows all your favorite shit, that tends to come across as creepy.  For me personally, I start wondering exactly how they know (then again, I also tend to be a very private person, so it usually means someone is talking/asking or doing some serious online stalking).  So over time, you can also have your character start to feel a little stalked or however it might make her feel.  Contrarily, if she's very exuberant and open and talks a lot to a lot of people, maybe it isn't so strange that he could find all that stuff out icly.

Edited by Zhavi

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes ago, Zhavi said:

The way I see it is the only way to fix issues with people when they do things that make you uncomfortable is to have the uncomfortable conversation about it.  It's always a risky conversation, because sometimes people take it poorly -- but to my mind the kind of person who isn't willing to take a few lumps in order to resolve misunderstandings/miscommunications/whatever aren't the kind of people who I'd be comfortable rping with longterm.  Because RP is, to me, a cooperative thing.  Well, in order to cooperate well with someone you gotta put your cards on the table.

 

You can be tactful about it.  "Wow, your character certainly knows a lot about mine's favorite things!  How's he finding all that out?"

Maybe he's been talking to someone else who knows her really well, so it doesn't need to be an aggressive confrontation.  But if it does turn out there's some ic/ooc boundary issues, let him know that kind of thing ruins your immersion. 

 

edit - also, another thing.  Irl, if someone mysteriously knows all your favorite shit, that tends to come across as creepy.  For me personally, I start wondering exactly how they know (then again, I also tend to be a very private person, so it usually means someone is talking/asking or doing some serious online stalking).  So over time, you can also have your character start to feel a little stalked or however it might make her feel.  Contrarily, if she's very exuberant and open and talks a lot to a lot of people, maybe it isn't so strange that he could find all that stuff out icly.


I'll consider it. I'm just terrified they'll take it poorly, but if this continues I'm just going to let it boil under the surface and the situation might get more uncomfortable than necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, LadyRochester said:


I'll consider it. I'm just terrified they'll take it poorly, but if this continues I'm just going to let it boil under the surface and the situation might get more uncomfortable than necessary.

 

It's always hard for exactly that reason.  To me though, when it gets to a point where you are so uncomfortable or feeling off that you go to a greater community for advice, you've already reached the point (or are very close to it) where the threat of that discomfort or things falling apart is starting to outweigh letting things continue as they are without the messy potential conflict from confrontation.

 

Start slow and casual, make an offhand comment, see how he reacts.  But there is a point where your discomfort is not worth his comfort, you know?

Share this post


Link to post

Don't let it boil and don't be afraid of confronting something that makes you feel uncomfortable. If need be, you have full control of your character and can do an ooc intervention stating she will never leave her lover no matter what. No ifs, ands, or buts. Don't even give the idea there is a chance.

Share this post


Link to post

However you approach it, it's important that you have this conversation. The longer that it goes on without being confronted, the more that "P" will get the impression that it's acceptable and nothing is wrong. Also, meta-gaming is frowned upon in general (though there's no real universal rules on RP), so letting him know that he's meta-gaming will improve his own RP abilities in the long run.

 

I've had to clarify things OOCly to friends in the past, and they have to me. No one likes to do it, because they're afraid that someone is going to get upset, and they also feel like it prevents the RP from flowing naturally. But it's something that needs to be done in order for everyone to feel more comfortable in the end. If he's your friend, he should be able to understand. If he gets upset, that says more about him. But the meta-gaming needs to be addressed in some manner.

 

If you're looking for a way to bring it up, I would just ask him that you're curious how his character knew this kind of information. Put him in a situation where he either can't find an answer, or at least a satisfactory one. I would then bring up your concerns. Start it off with something like "I'm concerned that" or "I'm worried that" so that he doesn't think you're chastising him, but rather that you're bringing a concern of yours.

 

OOC communication and clarity is an unfun, but often necessary asset for long lasting and comfortable RP

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, Kang said:

OOC communication and clarity is an unfun, but often necessary asset for long lasting and comfortable RP

This. 1000xs..THIS

 

I also tell people to remember . . .You are paying to play a game to have fun. Don't let someone else ruin it for you.

Share this post


Link to post

If it is making you feel uncomfortable, then you need to address it sooner rather than later. If left unchecked it could easily mutate into a situation that makes you feel burned out on role-play altogether. That you recognise the red flags is a good thing, though - you simply need to confront the individual in question and let them know you feel discomfort in regards to how the interaction between your characters is playing out.  

 

The two of you should also - ideally - be able to maintain a friendship even if it doesn't involve any further role-play. There's people I absolutely adore as friends but don't necessarily interact with in a role-play environment simply because it doesn't make sense for our characters to interact or our styles are vastly different. Think of it in the same way as how you might not necessarily go out and watch movies with a particular friend but will happily dine with them instead.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, LadyRochester said:


I'll consider it. I'm just terrified they'll take it poorly, but if this continues I'm just going to let it boil under the surface and the situation might get more uncomfortable than necessary.

 

Just something on here.  If this is something repeated or continual and it keeps boiling under the surface, at some point the pot will boil over.  It might be worth the risk of them taking it poorly then letting it stew and go from 'uncomfortable' to resentment or worse.  It also might be worth to approach it (maybe even ICly) as a way to source where he found out these things.   There's an off chance there was some IC homework done.  (chatting to other characters that know her, etc?  I don't know how much of a social footprint your character has.)

 

Everyone's speaking wisdom up above.   If the RP feels unnatural and forced, maybe that's worth bringing up too?

 

If you're looking to avoid the OOC discussion bring it down in RP you've got a few good avenues that you've stated above.  The advances may make the character uncomfortable because she is married and deeply in love?  You've got a great built in IC out for anything romantic right there if you want to use it. 

 

I've seen people quit roleplaying all together because they let something boil too long.  This is the sort of thing that, if left unchecked, can damage not only RP but out of character friendships as well.  If it bothers you, it's important.  If it's important it's worth getting sorted instead of leaving boil.

 

Share this post


Link to post

From what you described it's possible you've got a bio somewhere of your character that details things like favorite foods etc and he's using it ICly and thinking it's generally pretty harmless. I generally don't disclose anything on a bio that I wouldn't feel comfortable addressing ICly/OOCly if it came up. I would just send a message saying "Hey, it's a little weird he knows all these stuff and she hasn't told him. Let's just go ahead and keep it organic going forward."

It doesn't necessarily sound like he's a weirdo or being possessive OOCly so I'd chalk it up to misunderstanding until proven otherwise - especially if you guys are already friends. Just set a boundary, be firm and if he crosses it again remind him. If it just goes on and on then yeah you might want to consider ceasing RP. Sometimes you can be great friends with people but the RP cohesion just isn't there and that's okay too.

Share this post


Link to post

Not knowing how much you did give him OOCly, it does sound like you have a bio somewhere.. but whether or not you do, the  conversation definitely does need to happen.

I used to have an active profile open when I first moved my main play from Gilgamesh to Balmung and at times still run into people who spot it and will try using odd info off of it to establish things like a pre-existing relationship, or extra knowledge of my character/s that wouldn't or shouldn't be there. Seen other things as well, but that in particular is probably the most common: and it can be tough when you especially enjoy the RP with that person.

 

If you plan or hope to RP with them again, or still are; I would absolutely stop feeding them info until you do have that convo: and trim down the amount of info available to others. Save any bios you might have in word and take down any unnecessary info, like favorite foods, colors, and drinks. Anything that isn't obvious should never be on your first page unless you put a base history first. Even then, don't be afraid to summarize; and if bios being used is a manditory thing in your FC (I don't know many who do this but I've seen a few) give an officer a heads up about the situation and your comfort/discomfort with the misuse of that info before editing there or asking them to: or make that section of the site/forum more private?

 

Another thing to do with bios/profiles is to mega-display your preferences about OOC knowledge, and what you're okay with in RP right alongside it never hurts. I try to put mine front and center; super bold and preferably in another, stand out color if possible at the top as the very first thing they would read.

 

In the end though, P is already in your life and hopefully; his intention isn't to creep you out/make you avoid him. (though I've seen stuff like that happen to friends too. idek sometimes people are really weird like that.) So that conversation's going to have to happen, if you want anything to change: and.. from the sounds of it .. something should. Like I said in previous posts.. RP has at the end of the day the same purpose as the game itself: to have fun.

 

If you're not having fun with him because of this and know it, say so to him. It could start off as simple as ' So hey.. I have a lot of fun RPing with you normally but, lately I noticed something's been coming up in ours and  bothering me..' and taking it from there.

 

Either he'll get that and you guys can work it out and continue moving forward with better understanding of eachother from there; or not: but there are always options. Maybe he -is- creepy stalker man. Maybe he's been talking to someone he knows is close enough to know, or notice some of those things based on her habits in his presence. Either way, communication between the two of you (and roleplayers you interact with in general) is really important.

Share this post


Link to post

Harsh, but treat them like a stalker IC. 

 

They know everything about you but some how it creeps you out. After all, just because OOC you know that they know is no reason for you to know and accept they know IC. 

 

Then again if OOC they thought you were feeding them info because you wanted the attention... time for an OOC chat and next time think twice.

Share this post


Link to post

As far as I understand it, love doesn't work with a "insert certain amount of points here to get a relationship" system IRL so I don't see why it would work that way in the game either. If your character isn't attracted to theirs then no amount of catering to her will change that.

 

As for the OOC part: it seems to me that they don't respect a boundary you have set and the only way to 'fix' that is to have a talk with them. I know it can be daunting, especially if you like someone's RP style otherwise, but I'd they're truly your friend than they should be able to have this chat with you without it getting ugly.

 

In the end, you'd be better off with one RP friend less than have someone around who's trying to push you to rewrite your character in a way that fits them and not you. You might also want to consider why they are be so pushy about it, is there some OOC bleed perhaps?

 

In any case, I hope it works out. Maybe they don't even realise they're doing it and you can both move on from there.

Share this post


Link to post

I've learned through years of having to deal with drama caused by other drama-mongerers, that keeping OOC interaction to a minimum is THEEEE best way to avoid the OOC nonsense. I've only got a select few people on my chat programs, otherwise I communicate with RPers in game, in channels that are OOC, to ask or arrange RP times.

 

As far as love is concerned... Eh, I mean, I try to NOT let my character bond to others in that sort of way mainly because of nonsense that has happened in the past, but I prefer to let him 'write himself'. He interacts as he would, sometimes doing things that I'm like "aw man >.> don't do it", but it's more natural that way, and that includes him bonding with other characters. Sometimes an attraction is there - sometimes it isn't. It's hard to avoid, just like in real life. You're drawn to certain people for whatever reason. 

 

In the case of romantic RPs, it's hard to NOT have some kind of OOC communication with the other party involved because you need to be able to coordinate certain interaction-types (like what are they doing when you're not actually RPing them--are they hanging out, working, together or separately, etc).

 

I lost the rest of my train of thought because /tired. e.e

 

But yes! The ooc-to-ic stuff can spoil it - hence, I keep OOC communication to a minimum, and very rarely, if at all, add new players to my contact lists. The bigger the contact list, the more people. The more people, the higher the probability of backstabbing and gossip. Ech, no thanks.

 

I also do not post anything in bios about my characters that the general public wouldn't know. That way, people can't use OOC information to benefit their characters/RPs. That stuff should be discovered through learning the character with interactions. I haaaate it when people use OOC info and mix it into IC. It's just poor RPing.

 

To the point of the matter (since I remembered, woo)! Stop sharing info with that person, for sure. If it happens again, maybe ask that person nicely to stop doing it. Sometimes you HAVE to call people out on their behaviour, mild or severe. If that person really is a friend, then said person will REMAIN a friend afterward. If that person is just a 'friend' because he/she likes the RP relationship or your character for whatever the reason, then it's not a friend to have, anyway.

 

Good luck with it. <3

Share this post


Link to post

I can only echo what people have been saying. The situation you're in sucks, there's no denying that. It's clear that you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. But what matters here is YOUR feelings. You're being made uncomfortable, you don't like what is going on. And it will only continue as long as you don't say anything.

 

Yes, there is a risk that P could become upset if you bring it up. But it's a risk you have to take. Remember, YOU ARE NOT IN THE WRONG here.

 

P probably doesn't realize what he's doing. If P really is a nice guy he should be upset at himself once he realizes what has been going on. There is a chance that P will be apologetic and learn from this, which in the end would make P a better person. If P instead gets upset and tries to shift the blame to you, then P never was a good friend to being with and you are better off without him in your life.

 

I'm talking from experience here, as the person who made someone else uncomfortable. I was thankful that it was brought up. I was embarrassed and I learned from it. Were things awkward between us after? Of course. Were things ever the same again? No, they were not. But in time we became friends again, better friends. I hope you have a similar experience.

Edited by Tregarde

Share this post


Link to post

I think it's worth bringing it up to him OOC, as uncomfortable as it may be. Otherwise, you'll probably continue to feel unhappy about the RP and awkward about avoiding the person, and if he notices you trying to keep your distance, it may lead to the hurt feelings and potential drama you're trying to avoid, anyway. It doesn't have to be anything harsh, just, "Hey, I've noticed you keep bringing things you've learned about my character OOC into the RP, I don't think there's any way your character could know all those things about mine and it's to the point it couldn't just be coincidence, so it's making it difficult for me to know how to respond to the RP." If you don't want to bring it up OOC, as others have mentioned, I think it would be good to lampshade the bizarreness of it IC. I know if someone knew all of Faye's favorite things with no good reason, it would not be out of character for her to make some smarmy remarks about them stalking her, being a mind reader, etc. Maybe they'd get the hint OOC, or at least maybe it would give their character some reason to back off IC.

Share this post


Link to post

How to deal with metagaming in general: 
Have very sparse public information (Forum posts, RPC wiki, etc) out there. Yes, yes, we all love talking about our characters, but people can and will metagame if it helps them meet their desires whether it is to push themselves into a plot as the hero or romantic interests. I started a wiki years ago. I think it has bare bones on it if that. I do not wish various aspects of my character(s) to be metagamed as the mystery is most of the fun for portraying the beautiful boy my avatar reflects. 

Your particular instance: Lay out a cease and desist. You do yourself a disservice if you do not lay boundaries and express your dissatisfaction. If that fails, break the IC=/=OOC boundary and cut all ties because sacrificing your happiness isn't worth keeping the IC=/=OOC boundary up. 

Share this post


Link to post

"Hey, I've noticed you're using information your character has no way of knowing, in order to gain brownie points with her. Please stop doing this, or I will OOCly shut any plot/hook/story down with you."

Edited by Renata Turner

Share this post


Link to post

If you have people that say 

 

« this is RP and we can SAY or DO what we want ».   (True story by the way)

 

there is very little you can really act upon, even warnings will do nothing, they are convinced that RP is a world where people do not matter and one can go back and forth at will and just mess other people RP stories under the premise is just a game and one does as one pleases.

 

meta gaming is wrong, cross characters knowledge is wrong, being ooc and using what heard ooc to use it ic is wrong...basically it boils down to respect of the other player but in most cases of meta gaming, and I do not speak of occasional mistakes, there is no respect for other people.

 

just move on, tell him straight, ignore and if it continues, report. No reasons to feel uncomfortable.

 

Just my two cents.

Edited by Eliana M'Terra

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...