Chelsea Muzar Role Play Groups as Folk Groups



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Chelsea Muzar

Role Play Groups as Folk Groups

Role Play Definition
Role play games, as defined by Jerzy Kociatkiewicz at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology for the Polish Academy of Sciences, “are an activity in which a group of people (called players) creates and role play characters in a world devised by the...Game Master” (71). Though this definition is true for the traditional tabletop RPGs (role play games), it does not quite apply to the online spectrum of gaming. RPGs online can be conducted between two people or an entire group. Common places where people participate in these games are online forums, social media sites, chat rooms and, of course, in the massive multiplayer online role play games (MMORPGs) such as World of War Craft and League of Legends. While MMORPGs are one of the most common forms of online gaming, this paper will not be focusing on them. Instead, this paper will be looking at the table RPGs described by Kociatkiewicz and focusing on the RPGs that are created on the social network of Tumblr. While role play in its basic form can be considered simply a game, the groups that build themselves around it seem to develop structured communities that have certain expectations of their players. There is a need-to-know the language of the games, the rules, the qualifications of a “quality player,” and in some cases the ability to take characters from popular books, movies and television series and portray them uniquely, yet accurately. The combination of slang, rules, beliefs and community barriers offer the idea that role play groups, especially those online, have formed their own folk communities.

Unlike the traditional tabletop game, the role plays conducted on Tumblr are forced to function a little differently. Since it is hosted online there is no face-to-face communication and the games are written down instead of verbally crafted, much like a collaboration on a story. The first player writes the opening scene, which leaves a chance for the second player to respond. The interactions go back and forth until the game is finished or the players grow tired of it and the game is dropped. These games are also not limited solely to pre-planned three hour periods meeting in a location like those of the tabletop games. Since they are online, the players can log into their accounts whenever is convenient and post a reply or just check and see the progress of their story.

During a tabletop game, the Game Master (GM) or person who is in charge of enforcing the rules, controls the world. As Kociatkiewicz noted during his involvement with the games, “My role as Game Master in this session clearly put me in a privileged position of power” (75). The game can be solely created by the GM, meaning they’ve come up with the entire creative force behind the idea or the more common approach is that the GM springboards off ideas from a book or online file of a specific game. These books come with their own rules, character sheets, and structured expectations. One tabletop RPG player who was interviewed explained that after the world is created, “the players...usually take on the role of the stories’ protagonists [and] they work together to tell their story” (Goliday). And the players do tell their stories, though certain things must be written down like specific pre-plotted ideas or game scores, most of the interaction and the storytelling is verbal.

Despite the fact that the game may come with a book and instructions, the players themselves work together to weave a compelling tale that will not only make the activity fun and interesting but unique. Of course, it’s unique in the sense that no two players are alike, no two people will have the exact same reaction to an event that happens in the game and the roll of the dice is fair but the outcome is always random.

Within Tumblr there are two different groups of players. There are the Group Players, which will be referred to as GPs and operate much like the table games. They are often, though not always, restricted to playing only with other members of the group and must follow the plot and rules of the administrators or “game masters.” The Independent Players, referred to as IPs, on the other hand, have the freedom to create and drop games with as many people as they choose. In an interview, two players spoke about the topic. RT, a well seasoned Tumblr role player, wrote that “group role players are generally, as the name suggests, a group of people who come together in order to fulfill a select plot and at times will refuse to role play outside of their group of people.” (RT). GPs may be more biased and selective in their gaming but there are reasons behind it. Another interviewee, Juliet, wrote:

“When you’re an independent blog, you aren’t part of any group, so you don’t have any connections and are stuck looking for your own crowd. It’s the opposite with group role plays. When you’re a group role player, you’re already tied in with others that are a part of that group, so you aren’t alone...since you automatically have people to interact with” (Juliet).

Both categories of role play have different applications and functions for their players. GP offers immediate connection, while the other offers personal freedoms. In Group, the player has to apply to be accepted. She is hand-picked by the administrators who have the assumption that she will further the game. These administrators are usually role play partners that have decided to create a larger game and include more people. Sometimes, if the group is too large, more administrators are recruited within the game. These people are usually veterans or those gamers who have been involved in the game the longest.

It seems that there is a specific purpose for her playing and Tumblr Group RPGs oftentimes offer preplanned connections with people. The administrators can pair two characters up and label them as a couple, as siblings or as enemies. The basic plot and game ideas have already been chosen for each character in order to create a complex and structured gaming experience. GPs must often deal with a schedule or number of posts they must provide each week. If they do not meet the quota then they are removed from the game or they are replaced. Group Play can be very strict as compared to Independent Games since GPs are held responsible for their game time.

It’s up to the IP to find the niche that he belongs in. Here the groups that are established are organic and those who are drawn to each other are usually people with similar interests and writing styles. Most often specific fans of TV series, movies, games and books branch off into their own smaller groups within the IP spectrum of the community. The IPs are freer to pick and choose those people whom they want to start a game with, making their experiences more organic.

Telling a Story
Kociatkiewicz writes that RPGs are “an activity, or perhaps an art of moderately regulated joint telling of stories” (73). Writers tell stories and create worlds that people believe in, if only for the moment. In RPG the players are collaborating on a story. For example, the world could be the world of fairy tales and fables, the characters could be Little Red, the Wolf, and Grandmother. The players could roll dice or take turns for the order of who gets to tell the narration. They each tell different snippets of the story or, to complicate things, they could use the dice to mark up points and attack, hinder or aid other characters. The story will never turn out exactly the same each time it’s played. However, the system of tabletop RPGs seems to be more structured than what would happen in an online setting. Their games come with books, PDF files, online dictionaries, rules and regulations that are set up by the people who create and sell the game. Below is an example of a “Character Sheet” from the game Grimm.

Grimm character sheet from Fantasy Flight Publishing Inc.

This would make it nothing more than a very complicated board game; however, the individual groups can stray from the original rules and create their own. This is similar to sandlotting, which is when the rules of a game are changed to benefit the group. The term sandlot was usually applied to baseball but, according to the folk-etymologist Peter Tamony, it eventually “came to denominate unorganized sports” in general (Tamony 268). Though tabletop role play is not a sport, the concept of sandlotting can still be applied to the games. One of the rules used in the Truman RPG group was gathered from Mary Oliver, a tabletop role player, states, “Don’t say no, go with it” (Oliver) which means don’t protest what happens in the game just because you don’t like the outcome, accept it and move forward. Oliver, who is also a member of ROTC, is the GM (Game Master) for several of the group’s games. She conducts her games based off the sheets seen above; however players can edit the world the books provide for them in order to fulfill the needs of the group. They create their own terms, such as “Ghosts or persons who have graduated from Truman but still use the online forum” (Oliver). Then there is the importance of telling the story, of creating a world and controlling the outcomes of its inhabitants, basically playing God.

Still, as serious as that sounds, according to Kociatkiewicz, “RPGs are actually more akin to the childhood play of make-believe” (Kociatkiewicz 73). That quote is echoed by Oliver, one of the GMs of Truman’s RPG club, when she wrote, “RPG is structured make-believe” (Oliver). But when children play make-believe, they indulge in games like house, wedding, doctor, teacher and so forth and the suggestion is that, “Children may indeed imitate the reality of adult custom” based on what they’ve seen older children and adults do in daily life (Sutton-Smith 34). Essentially they want to be a part of the older world so they create their own version of it. So what would role players achieve by playing make-believe?

On Tumblr the players are writing a thread or as M. E. Keck, a Tumblr role player wrote, “the chronological list of interactions between characters, a series of one reply after another” (Keck). It is a post on the Tumblr blog that is used to write the story of two or more characters. Many of these stories are written about interactions between the supernatural and the natural world, gods and mortals and the uncanny. It seems that many players online prefer to write with a character who has some sort of supernatural gift or who has come from the heavens. Austin E. Fife believes that “an author is inevitably involved in the process of myth formation” (229). Fife, however, is talking about how writers take a pre-existing myth and create something more from it, a sort of retelling. This still applies to RPGs since it is normal to see players using gods and goddesses from many pantheons, angels, demons, mythological creatures and if it is not a true person taken from myth, then it’s a hybrid. Many players use pre-established characters from television shows, movies and books. There seem to be very few true “mortal” or “non-magical” characters used in the game and if the character is mortal, they are usually some sort of superhero, secret agent or, though they are non-magical they are aware or involved in the magical world.

The most common plot of these threads, according to all who were interviewed, is the formation of a relationship, usually with romantic intent, between two characters. These plots seem to function as a way for the player to become closer to another person through the game. The observation was made by one player, Nina Tapio that “many people are actually afraid [or] too shy to follow1 the people they like or talk to them about wanting to RP” (Tapio). It seems that many of the players have some form of self doubt or anxiety, with a high amount of posts being written about the fear of a lack of “quality” in their abilities to write and portray their characters in a way that everyone finds enjoyable. These may be because the player is not only looking for a connection between two or more characters but that they are also looking for a connection between other players or partners as well.

The players claim that they participate in the games and threads in order to relieve stress and to enhance their writing ability. “[I role play] to practice my writing and create stories out of the ideas stored up in my head” (Juliet). It is an exchange of ideas, “a creative outlet, but beyond that, for me, it’s a chance to explore...the different views others have of the characters” (Keck). It is a chance to escape the pressures of real life:

“To me, role playing is an escape. I use it as a means to get away from real life. I like to step away from the real world and enter the world of whatever character I’m playing at the moment. It’s a way to remind myself that not everything is bad, that I have friends online and off [who] can help me out of my own head by getting into our character’s heads” (RT).

When asked about the communication between players of the use of OCC (out of character) conversations with partners, most of the interviewees stated that they spent the same amount of time role playing as they did simply talking with their role play partners about normal mundane things. As Fife points out, there are many “hours spent discussing materials, methods, organization...” and so forth when two writers collaborate (237). Still, regardless of whether or not they speak out of character with their partner, some sort of bond is formed through the creation of plot and the collaboration of storytelling. A relationship is created and a sense of community is provided for those whose needs aren’t completely met in the world outside of the internet. When observing some of the posts made by members of the RPG community on Tumblr, a common thread ran through their complaints about “the real world.” They didn’t fit in with what was expected of them in social situations and they felt more comfortable making friends online than in common face-to-face interactions. When asked if she felt she was part of a group, RT said that role players are “definitely a community and I would even go so far as to say family. We’re there for one another. I feel like there are people I can go to and talk to when I need to and that, to me, is a community and a family.” (RT).

To add to the aspect of community, almost every player who was spoken with claimed that they were drawn to the role play community because of a friend. A friend taught them how to create the games and function properly within the group. They walk the new player through the beginning processes of becoming involved in a game. Though most of the games did not start on Tumblr, the horizontal learning of how to play the games led them to the social media site or the tabletop RPG clubs.

Burt Feintuch wrote an article about community and what it means and he states that, “in community there is responsibility, integration, and obligation” (150). It is not simply a place where people go and hang out and leave all cares at the front door. To be involved in a community requires a commitment to caring about the other members of the group and offering help when it is needed. Much like RT’s comment, Feintuch makes an observation about a local neighborhood, “[A community] stood for neighbors who would lend a hand when you needed to raise your barn, who would be there when you needed help, who would monitor your children and shared your religion” (150). The games are not just structured time to play pretend but a chance to have that sense of community and support.

Barriers in Online Games
Getting started in the Tumblr RPG community can be difficult and oftentimes is overwhelming for a new gamer. First there are the mechanics of the site itself, which are constantly changing and causing massive uproars amongst the bloggers. Then there’s the actual communication between the players and, even though someone might be new, if they can’t follow the established rules then they will be shunned and perhaps even shamed from the group. In her study of groups, Noyes labels these barriers as “boundary mechanisms,” which are used to mark the boundary lines between someone who is an insider as opposed to someone who is an outsider (Noyes 465). Just like many other groups, they don’t want outsiders in the community.

The easiest way to find out who is a member of the group is the use of slang because “competence in and use of such varieties of speech mark one’s initiation into the shared knowledge of a specific group and are continuing signs of one’s participation” (Brenneis 239). Below is a list of common terms used by those in the Tumblr role play community gathered from observations and from various interviewees.

Canon Character- A character that belongs to books, television or movies

Drabble- A short-short story about a verse or situation including one or more characters that is usually written by one of the players2

FC - Face Canon. An Actor or Actress that represents the “face” of the character or who the player believes that character would look like in the real world

Headcanon - A fact about a character that is created by the player

IC - In Character.

M!A- Magic Anonymous. Someone who contacts the player anonymously to give them a “magical command” such as: you are now trapped in a cat’s body for 24 hours

Mary-Sue- An original character that is without flaws

Multi Para- Multiple Paragraph. A type of role play that involves more than one paragraph

Multi-verse- More than one verse in available for the role player to use. This is usually for the purposes of interacting with more characters and having more relationships develop between characters.

Mun- The person who controls or writes for the character

Muse- The character who is used in the games

OC- Original character. A character created by the player

One-Liner- A type of role play where the interactions are usually just one or two lines of dialogue

OOC -Out of Character. It’s used to let everyone know that the player, not the character, is speaking

Para- Paragraph. A type of role play that consists of having a paragraph that mixes dialogue with action

Reply- One player’s written response to another’s writing

RP- Role play

Self Insert-A character that is basically the player or the writer3

Ship- Who the player believes the character should be in a relationship with, usually romantically4

Starter- The opening of a game, usually consisting of a sentence or a paragraph written by one of the players5

Thread- The story between characters that can take the form of a One-Liner, Para, or Multi-para game

Verse- A “universe” in which the character resides

Certainly there are more terms, but these are just examples of the basic slang that is used amongst the players that can be picked up within the first few games sessions. There are also other ways that the players patrol the boundaries of their group. They hold certain expectations of those that who play original and canon characters. If someone is playing a canon character then it is expected that they do not stray too far from the original characterization without reason. Original characters cannot be too perfect, too kind or too angst driven lest they be labeled a Mary-Sue6 or self-insert character. Usually these prejudices are pointed at original female characters. If these expectations are not met, then the player may have their blog and their character but people will often refuse to participate in games with them.

There is also a certain set of rules that everyone must follow in order to be accepted in the community. These rules may appear on sites or blogs that explain how to role play but they are not linked to one single person. In the interviews that were conducted, the Tumblr players gave examples of some basic rules that were meant to be followed. Miranda Reid, an off and on again role player on Tumblr, wrote that “there are a number of rules every role player should follow. I’m not entirely sure who made them, as until fairly recently (in my case anyway) they were largely unspoken and just KNOWN amongst anyone in the community” (Reid). Miranda continued by explaining an important rule:

“...some of the more important ones are basic understanding and patience. To understand that it is just a game. To understand that you can only control your [own] character(s)...never do anything you or your partner don’t consent to or don’t feel totally comfortable with. Be patient with your partner(s) as they’re only human and have real lives outside the computer” (Reid).

This is summed up perfectly by another Tumblr role player, M. E. Keck who says, “First and foremost, the greatest rule it respect your fellow role players” (Keck).

Respect is an established rule but there are other rules that stem from that base. RT wrote a list of more rules that players are expected to follow, whether they are aware of them or not.

“Do not power play (which means the controlling or injuring of another character without the character’s role player’s permission). Do not god-mod (making your character all powerful or unable to be hit in a battle). Do not metagame (where one character knows everything about another character). There are some others, such as not to start OOC [out of character] fights, not to send hate on Tumblr to people, to keep fighting private and not make it public, etc. The following of these rules keep the peace in the role play community” (RT).

It’s been observed that when someone breaks a rule they are sometimes put down or shunned from the community. Written blog posts or PSA (public service announcements) are circulated essentially labeling this person as an undesirable. They are sometimes attacked by extremist members of the group, called names, sent hateful messages—even though this goes against one of the basic rules that was pre-established in the community, suggesting that it is alright to attack outsiders or those who are now seen as outsiders while it is not alright to attack those within the community—and so forth in order to get them to take down their blog and leave Tumblr. Sometimes the person who has broken the rule is simply ignored. They may or may not lose their current partners or opportunities for potential partners.

There are those few people who seem to purposefully act against the rules. These people are more likely to have several PSAs posted about them with listed warnings to avoid them completely. They are more likely to lash out at the group. They attack the players who refuse to participate in a game as well as their partners. One notorious Tumblr user, who will be called D, was observed sending mass messages of “anon-hate” to certain players who refused to play the game the way D wanted. D has well over 20 PSAs posted about them and has been rejected by most in the community and reported to the Tumblr Staff in an attempt to have their account removed.

Along with the basic rules that role players have, each person usually comes up with their own individual rules that they ask everyone to respect. They may stem from the rules mentioned earlier but they’re usually influenced by the way the player role plays. For example, Katorie Purser, another Tumblr role player, writes that her rules include, “third-person past tense” as the form of writing she prefers her partners to use. Not every player uses third person, some use first. These rules may be created in order to shrink the IP (Independent Player) community down into smaller groups.

Following the basic rules also leads to the discussion of what makes a person a good role player. There are many instances on Tumblr where people are praised for their abilities in the community. They are referred to as “senpai,” which is Japanese for “senior at work or school” (EUdict.com) and according to M.E. Keck, “in the role playing community, I imagine [senpai] refers to a more senior member (in terms of time role playing or quality) of the community that one admires” (Keck). There are collective beliefs about what makes someone a good role playing partner. Out of everyone who was interviewed, all had almost the exact same response to the topic. The traits that are looked for in a good role player consist of: someone who knows how to write well, respects the characters they play with, respects the other players, who has a good understanding of their own character and has developed them beyond the static state. A good or “quality” role player appears to be someone who is established in the community and is usually well respected or admired by their peers. They follow the rules established in the community and conduct themselves in the proper manner. Someone who is opposite of this vision, is a person who is described as “selfish...who doesn’t take rp seriously” (Reid), as “someone who refuses to hear out the other mun and cannot take criticism” (Tapio) and someone with poor writing skills. While there seem to be terms for someone who is a good player, the poor players are only labeled as bad players or sometimes bad people.

Role players have slang, certain rules they must follow in their community, and certain beliefs about what makes someone a good or poor player. These things are set into place to create a dividing line between players and non-role players. For the purposes of this study, non-role players are people who are not involved in role play in the Tumblr and online line forum communities or tabletop players. When interview Nina Tapio said, “I personally have nothing against no-rpers as long as they keep their noses out of our business...most probably think us role players to be weird, I think” (Tapio). Another player wrote, “Role playing is writing and is common nowadays. I don’t care for non-role players. They probably think of role playing as a sexual activity” (Juliet). The barrier built up between the groups is not only for the players to feel comfortable in their own community but to protect themselves from persons they believe would mock something they enjoy participating in.

This fear may come from the belief that role play is strange, that it goes against the norm and will be seen as wrong. While most players seem to be comfortable talking about their time spent role playing, they do not openly label themselves as role players. Nina Tapio wrote, “I don’t see people walking on the streets announcing that they role play...” (Tapio). RT’s response echoes Juliet’s idea that non-role players believe that the activity is sexually based. “I think the idea of it as it exists in the public thought is taboo. People, as I’ve found, generally think that role playing is some obscene act that people in costume do” (RT). Role play in the online Tumblr community does not seem to be normally used to reach a sort of sexual gratification, rather it is used to build relationships that the player lacks or wishes to expand upon in interactions outside of the internet.

Something notable happening more and more in role play is the use of mythological and folk tale characters in the games. This rise could be linked with commodified movies, graphic novels and books like Marvel’s Thor, Rick Roidan’s Percy Jackson series, and Supernatural’s use of folk tales and urban legends. The Canon Characters or “a character that was created for a plot in mind set in a specific universe, for example, Thor Odinson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Comic-verse” (Anonymous player) that are appearing more frequently within the community come from those commodified genres. There are hundreds of Loki blogs, hundreds of Thor blogs, and many Athena or Aphrodite blogs. There are blogs that contain werewolves, vampires, mermaids, ghosts, demigods, gods and so forth. Role players are taking the characters and stories that have been sold to them by corporations and making them their own again. No two Loki blogs are alike; each one is crafted by a different person who has a different view of the character. They are creating something that is uniquely their own.

This uniqueness expands into the activity of role play itself. Role players have established their own communities with their own rules, beliefs, slang, and barriers. They have created a system that separates their group from others, keeping out those who would be considered harmful to their community. Players who understand the slang and meet the requirements of group expectations are praised, while those who fail to do so are shunned. Popular characters are taken and adapted to fit the needs to the player and the game. Lasting relationships with game partners are created in online friendships and communication outside of the games between players is considered just as important as the games themselves. People within the RP world have created their own communities that follow certain traits that qualify groups as folk groups.


Glossary
Cannon Character - A character from a book, television show, movie or game
Drabble - A short-short story about a situation including one or more characters that is written by one player
Face Canon (FC) - An actor or actress that represents the “face” of the character or who the player believes that character would look like in the real world
Follow- An aspect of the Tumblr blogs that allows people to track the posts of other bloggers
Game Master (GM) - The person who plans and controls the game
Group Players - People who play a game with a specific group of people
Headcanon - A fact about a character that the player creates
In Character (IC) - A player speaking as the character or multiple characters
Independent Players (Independent blog) - People who pick and choose the people they participate in games with
Magic Anon (M!A) - Someone who contacts a player anonymously through the “ask box” feature on Tumblr and gives them a command they must follow
Mary-Sue - A character that is too perfect, usually a female character. Male characters would be called Mary-Stews
Massive multiplayer online role play games (MMORPGs) - Games that are created by companies and then massively played by people online
Multi-Para - A game where the players write with two or more paragraphs
Multi-Verse - Having more than one universe for a character to function in in order to create more relationships
Mun - The person who writes for the character
Muse - The character
One-Liner - A game where the players write with one or two sentences
Original Character (OC) - Character created by a player that has not been seen in movies, books, TV shows or games
Out of Character (OOC) - The players speaking to each other as themselves and not as fictional characters

Para - A game where the players write a paragraph

Partners - Two or more players who continuously create games together
Post - A feature on Tumblr and other blog sites where the blogger can write and post their thoughts, opinions and writing
Quality Player - Someone who meets the guidelines and expectations of the a good role player
Reply - One player responding to another players post
Role play (RPGs) - A game where two or more people engage in story telling using fictional characters they created or have pulled from movies, television, books or games
Self Insert - A player whose character is literally them-self
Ship - When a person pairs two characters together in any sort of relationship though it’s most commonly a romantic relationship
Starter - The first post or the start of a game
Tabletop Game - A game that is played on a table, usually based off a game book or PDF file from a game company
Thread - The back and forth communication between two or more people when they reply to each others’ posts
Tumblr - A social media blogging website
Verse - The universe in which a character exists
Bibliography
Anonymous. Personal interview. 25 Oct. 2013.
Bätz, Devan. Personal interview. 7 Oct. 2013.
Bayard, Samuel P. “The Materials of Folklore.” The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 66, No. 259 (Jan. - Mar., 1953): 1-17. JSTOR. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.
Brenneis, Donald. “Turkey,” “Wienie, “Animal,” “Stud: Intragroup Variation in Folk Speech.” Western Folklore, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Jul. 1977): 238-246. JSTOR. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
Burns, Thomas A. “Fifty Seconds of Play: Expressive Interaction in Context.” Western Folklore, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1978):1-29. JSTOR. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.

Feintuch, Burt. “Longing for Community.” Western Folklore, Vol. 60, No. 2/3, Communities of Practice: Traditional Music and Dance (Spring-Summer, 2001): 149-161. JSTOR. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.

Fife, Austin E. “Myth Formation in the Creative Process.” Western Folklore, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Oct., 1964): 229-239. JSTOR. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.
Goliday, Will. Personal interview. 7 Oct. 2013.
Grimm Character Sheet. N.p.: Fantasy Flight Publishing Inc, n.d. PDF.
Juliet. Personal interview. 4 Oct. 2013.
Keck, Maura. Personal interview 30 Sept. 2013.
Kociatkiewicz, Jerzy. "Dreams Of Time, Times Of Dreams: Stories Of Creation From Roleplaying Game Sessions." Studies In Cultures, Organizations & Societies 6.1 (2000): 71-86. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.
Noyes, Dorothy. “Group.” The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 108, No. 430, Common Ground: Keywords for the Study of Expressive Culture (Autumn, 1995): 449-478. JSTOR. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.
Oliver, Mary. Personal interview. 7 Oct. 2013.
Purser, Katorie. Personal interview. 4 Oct. 2013.
Reid, Miranda. Personal interview. 2 Oct. 2013.
RT. Personal interview. 3 Oct. 2013.
"Senpai." Eudict.com. N.p., 9 May 2005. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
Tamony, Peter. “Sandlot Baseball.” Western Folklore, Vol. 27, No. 4, Western States Folklore Society (October, 1968): 265-269. JSTOR. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.
Tapio, Nina. Personal interview. 6 Oct. 2013.


1 A tumblr term about how blogs are able to watch or “follow” other blogs in order to enhance their blogging experience.

2 Mun-drabble collected from Mirada Reid

3 Mary-Sue and Self Insert collected from RT


4 Collected from Nina Tapio

5 Thread-Starter collected from M.E. Keck

6 The term Mary-Sue came from Paula Smith’s story A Trekkie’s Tale.

Verba, Joan M. Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan & Zine HistoryL 1967-1987. Second ed. Minnetonka: FTL Publications, 1996. Bwebook.pdf. 2003. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.



Wesley Crusher was a male version of Mary Sue in episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation





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