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MEDICAL ROLEPLAY: HOW TO (VERSION 2)
Offline 09-30-2017, 02:33 AM (This reply was last modified: 09-30-2017 02:50 AM by LittleBirdhouseInYourSoul.)(Edited by LittleBirdhouseInYourSoul.)
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MEDICAL ROLEPLAY: HOW TO (VERSION 2)
Explicit content ahead. While not strictly 18+ it goes into the topic of medical procedures and the occasional vulgar reference. This guide has been tuned to fit a younger, more public audience than the original version.

My last medical roleplay guide was about how to do specific operations, and after a long while I have realized that it was obsolete in reference to writing that would be without fluff. Another guide that I posted goes deeper into the subject of too much information, written graciously by someone else that I know who is very well versed in such an avenue of roleplay pet peeves.





** Johnny Medic heats the scalpel, making a perfect two inch by two inch incision in the shape of an X on Jimmy Patient's chest, grabbing the [MEDICAL INSTRUMENT] and doing [INCREDIBLY DETAILED MEDICAL OPERATION STRIPPED STRAIGHT FROM HOSPITAL INFORMATION WEBSITE.]
** Johnny Medic proceeds to do twelve more paragraph-sized roleplay excerpts while his roleplay partner is unconscious, unable to interact, is forced to stand by and watch someone roleplay effectively at a wall for 1-2 hours twiddling their thumbs through likely plagiarized emotes, and the receiving end is very likely not even at their computer, watching TV due to sheer boredom.


At this rate I'm sure many of you can understand the specific roleplayer trope that I'm calling out here, and their general oversaturation of specific details to maximize "absolute realism." While details are important, especially important for something as circumstance specific as the health of an individual and attempting to save them from the brink of death in the midst of an operating room, a battlefield or in dank, dim lit cellar in the aftermath of a shootout, an abundance of details and attempting to cram all of the details you can- even the little and unnecessary details, is more of a hindrance than a writing tool. This has been something that I've seen roleplayers time and time again fall into as writers.

I write this guide on the practice of writing about medical treatment, not how to have your character preform them. This allows players to do their own research instead of going off of a list or guide of how to do something and declaring that as the laws of the land, and avoids the whole "you can only roleplay [thing] if you do it this very certain way, or else you are wrong!" shtick that generally occurs when a step by step guide is offered on how to preform certain things in roleplay. As someone who has waltzed down this avenue of writing for a very long time I don't necessarily deem myself as an overarching authority in medical roleplaying but I am versed in it well enough to consider myself seasoned, so take my words with some weight to them.




1. Familiarize yourself.
Nobody is going to shame you for not knowing how to do a heart bypass surgery in a virtual dollhouse, because in reality only 0.01% of people in the roleplaying community is actually qualified to operate on you in any capacity, and even that is fairly optimistic. We can't expect people to fully comprehend everything that their characters know; they're entirely separate people realistically. (Some exceptions apply) But it should go without saying that you should have a basic and bare bones grasp of what your character is doing in any area of vague expertise, and that includes medical knowledge. If you want to go the extra mile, draw the line for your character at where you think their skillsets reach to. Are they a full fledged neurosurgeon? Are they a college graduate with a basic first aid training? Do they know X, Y and Z? Do a light amount of research, nobody's expecting you to skim through textbooks and learn how to do literally every kind of procedure under the sun but you should be expected to have a rough understanding of how things go. It's better you know what you're getting into than having your roleplay partner wait as you quickly thumb through wikipedia for thirty minutes.


2. Know when to fade to black.
If at any point should your roleplay partner's character be rendered unconscious, paralyzed or otherwise unable to respond to your emotes in a capacity that would consider them a part of an exchange of emotes in the middle of this kind of roleplay, **stop what you're doing.** There is literally nothing else in the entire expanse of all roleplay that is more boring, time wasting and mindnumbing than having to be on the receiving end of a completionist roleplayer in the midst of having their character preform an operation on your character. It is above all the absolute most boring thing to be stricken with. Instead of forcing someone into a corner where they're forced to watch you babble about furiously at a wall, use fading to black as an alternative.

("Fading to Black", for any that may not be familiar with this term, is when a roleplay scenario is unanimously agreed to be handled off-screen and timeskipped as to avoid going into detail in certain topics or simply saving time. Once everyone involved in the roleplay scenario agrees to fade to black, you would simply write an emote that describes a vague summary of the events between then and the intended timeskip.)


3. Less is more.
As Dieter Ram's ten principles for good design says, the tenth principle states that "Good design is as little design as possible." What this means, in tl;dr, is that less is exponentially more. And this principle is incredibly relevant for writing as a roleplayer. While purple prose is a curse among many writers it maintains a strangehold among many people who invest themselves into roleplaying as medics, doctors or any kind of medically qualified character. Focus on the larger details in your emotes, and keep it short and sweet.




That about sums it all up. It should go without saying that just because you've roleplayed medical procedures it doesn't mean you are by any means medically qualified or certified in first aid. That's generally pretty obvious but people who play pretend on the internet are generally very far from any definition of what we'd call normal people.

Thanks for reading.

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