To act and speak as if you are the character you’re portraying. To roleplay is as much about what not to say as what TO say. It means to keep your speech in the context of the setting in which your character (or avatar) exists. Context can be defined as both time and place.
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Role-playing refers to the changing of one's behaviour to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role. While the Oxford English Dictionary offers a definition of role-playing as "the changing of one's behaviour to fulfill a social role", in the field of psychology, the term is used more loosely in four senses:
- To refer to the playing of roles generally such as in a theatre, or educational setting;
- To refer to taking a role of an existing character or person and acting it out with a partner taking someone else's role, often involving different genres of practice;
- To refer to a wide range of games including role-playing video game (RPG), play-by-mail games and more;
- To refer specifically to role-playing games.