Being part of an online community and role-playing are not new things for me. I have been online for several years and am involved in many different forms of global communities including java-based chats, html chats, MUDDs, and email discussion groups. I have been involved in role-playing games for over 15 years so I am very familiar with the statistics and attributes that are commonly used to describe a character's level and experience. While I do tend to enjoy a game with a DM or storyteller more, the way that the MUDD is set up can be a nice change as well. It can be nice to not have to think as much about the creation of your character and focus solely on where the next enemy is.
I enjoyed having the opportunity to join the Grojo community. I have met several new friends and got to know some people that were in the class that I otherwise might not have. As I tend to be somewhat intense in real life, there are times when meeting people online can provide a chance to interact with those that would normally be scared of approaching me. I'm not by nature a mean person but my tendency to speak what is on my mind and my love of a good clash of opinions tends to intimidates a lot of people, or so I've been told.
I went into this assignment fully aware of how the people in the MUDD would see their place of sanctuary as a haven for the community they had created. This is because I own many rooms of my own and am a moderator in a few of my other chat sites. As such, I tried to be respectful of their community and the standards of conduct that were agreed upon. This isn't to say that I was demure and just hung out in the shadows. I can't honestly say that that is something I've ever been accused of.
One thing that I did decide to do a little differently in the MUDD was bring in a character that was a truer picture of what I am like in real life. All of the characters I play have a degree of my own personality in them, otherwise I wouldn't be capable of playing the character with any semblance of believeability. Kyrshaelinn is the closest to me in demeanors, speech and modes of operation than most of my other characters. Interestingly, I found that those who normally would never have approached me in real life initially, were much more open. I think that this speaks for how much people we meet in the real world depend on things like appearance when dealing in social situations.
I found that the transition from outsider into a member of the community was very easy. This may be partly to due with the fact that the people in the MUDD are quite cordial, helpful, and expecting an influx of newbies, more so than in some of my other chats. Gender was never an issue for me. I play both male and female characters and while they are sometimes treated differently, I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing.
I'm very happy that I've found the MUDD and will be a visitor there for a long while to come. I don't know how deep or time enduring that the relationships that I have made with those in the MUDD will become, but I do plan on having as much fun there while I can.