Roleplay (#RP) vs Performance and SWAG 77 Social Media Reference Library (SMRL)

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There is a difference between what the Star Wars Actors Guild 77 (SWAG 77) does and what other roleplayers do on social media. SWAG 77 are like costumed players, but we perform on social media.

If you join a costuming organization, you have to follow their “Costume Reference Library” or “CRL” to become a member and to join their activities, such as “trooping”. You can’t make whatever costume you want and say, “I’m a member” without their approval. And while you can appear in your costume at public events, you do not represent the organization unless your costume is approved by their panel of judges. That is what a formal costuming organization expects.

For SWAG 77, we have our “CRL”, which we will call “SMRL” for “Social Media Reference Library”. While our SMRLs are “in development” as a “work in progress”, we know that we provide the maximum online presence in character portrayal and roleplay with respect to the Disney Lucasfilm Star Wars content creators.

The SWAG 77 SMRLs are as follows:

1. SWAG 77 follows the Terms of Service of the social media providers. On Facebook, creation of fake imposter profile accounts are illegal. Facebook actively purges those kinds of accounts and it is getting harder to create one. Facebook asks for government issued identification. If you do not want to play “Jedi Mind Tricks”  on Facebook, you must create a Facebook Page for your character.

2. SWAG 77 has standards for roleplay characters on various social media platforms:

Facebook: The title of the page should be very simple. It should not be complex. It does not need accolades and accomplishments for the character like “Jedi Master, Council Member Joe Random”. The page title SHOULD only draw the attention of the fans and engage them in the global plot you are trying to portray. Good social media construction includes short titles and taglines.

There should be a character sheet identified by a “note” or from a blog.  The note is an app must be activated on the page.

There should be a CLEAR CONCISE ABOUT SECTION of your character.

SWAG 77 notation is placed in the IMPRESSUM.

Most of pages are categorized as “Fictional Character” page – not corporations, not athletes, and not comedians. Facebook will one day discover that pages are miscategorized and ruin people’s day by deleting pages. Save time, and create what your page is – a “Fictional Character”.

In SWAG 77, most of the popular canon characters are portrayed on Facebook pages. It is better to become an administrator of one of our pages, than to force us to accept your page. Why? Because we put a lot of energy into our pages by creating an accurate portrayal of the character we represent on social media. We keep all records with proper grammar, readability, stage presence, imagery and respect to the content creators. At some point, we are gifted with early images from the content creators. We cannot have unruly, disorganized and messy pages filled with superfluous and sometimes mature content unsuitable for children. We cannot condone certain pages that are not commensurate with the character – i.e. porn, profanity and adult situations. We have to follow, respect and impress the wishes of the content creators, i.e. Lucasfilm and Disney. We respond to their needs first. Personal connections and friendship buddy do not support SWAG 77 professional goals.

Our timelines respect our characters from the last episode aired. Movies are the highest in the timeline and continuity, and then television. So if our characters have only been in the movies, then we probably won’t have them in television shows UNLESS WE ARE CERTAIN they will appear.  Our certainty is determined by “research, development and study”. A SWAG 77 member always reads, always researching, always studying, always talking to experts. ALWAYS! This is what SWAG 77 membership entails. It is not enough to share ideas on a character page holding random discussions in groups about when novels are released when we are already speak to the author. We cannot have discussions about what is canon versus non-canon on our character pages. On your page, you need to list where your timeline is and where they are in the continuity. Then as a bonus you should know the information 1000 years before and 1000 years after of your chosen timeline. Doing this will improve your performance tremendously.

Twitter – SWAG 77 creates links to Twitter from Facebook and Tumblr. Twitter performances are tightly controlled. We must know who you are on two different social media platforms to perform with us on Twitter. This social media giant is too large and too saturated to maintain cohesion. For short stints, Twitter works well, but for user management, Twitter has no protections. It is good to have Twitter as a drawback to the Facebook page or Tumblr blog. But as a formal RP arena, it lacks protection from trolls and standardization.

Tumblr – SWAG 77 has been a member of Tumblr for a long time. We have recently learned how to use the social media platform for roleplay.  We are still developing our SMRLs for Tumblr. While these SMRLs are good for all roleplaying universes and good roleplayers use some of these guidelines, we need to create ours for the standards of Disney Lucasfilm.

We create our primary character blogs under separate email addresses to have the full range benefits associated with Tumblr, such as asking questions under your character’s name, liking posts – “hearting” and following similar blogs.

Themes must be modified with a profile image and cover banner. Tumblr requires a lot of technical expertise.

Pages are created to add the “RP Rules”, the “About the Muse”, the “Headcanons”, etc. to help other roleplayers to engage you in conversation.  These items are important because they show how other blogs approach your character. Answer these questions: If you are roleplaying a canon character, how will you play it? Will it be according to canon? What if canonicity is murky for your character? How will you improvise to develop responses to questions? The answers to these questions take creativity and background research. Headcanons, Muse, Mun are all ideas that come from roleplaying games (RPG) and have been co-opted by Tumblr RPers. Learn what they are.

Tumblr RPers are WRITERS and they love writing. Which also makes them avid readers. Poor writing skills will not help you on Tumblr, leave that on Twitter and Facebook. Most Tumblrs write, a lot. It is a great place to practice writing, to write and get feedback on writing. But there are no full-length Fan Fiction posts on there. There are social media limitations. Some of the kinks have not been debugged in Tumblr and most likely. Tumblr seems to be more in tune with providing optimal tools for social media RP, but it’s layout needs improvement, the inability to track posts and pictures for quick response could be improved, mobile communication causes the post response appending impossible, the nested post by post can be missed, and lack sent message storage hurts line of thought responses. Those are programming issues that Tumblr RPers are trying to overcome.

Another appeal to Tumblr is GIFs (Graphic Interface Files). These files are 2-5 seconds of moving images. The reason for GIFs is fans want anything and everything aired from YouTube, TV  and Movies – like a trailer, or a commercial or a part in a movie. Within 2 hours, Tumblr users will have “GIF’ed” these brief moving images that include annotations. That 2 hour window will be shortened over time. It behooves the RPer to know how to create a GIF, which mainly happens with Adobe Photoshop 5 and higher.  There are online GIF creation company that include their branding, but apparently Tumblr has a limit of ~50 frames with size limitations.

3. How the social media platforms view roleplaying on their sites.

On most social media platforms, they do not know or care if there is roleplaying on their sites. Tumblr-Yahoo does not know there is roleplaying on their site. Facebook does not know or care about RPing. Twitter knows there is roleplaying on their site, but isn’t sure what to do about it.

SWAG 77 has developed these “SMRLs” – social media reference libraries to protect serious RPers in the Star Wars fandom. Our parent division, ISCA and Ariafya LLC, will create SMRLs for other fandoms.

SWAG 77 SMRLs respect and honor the creative process of the content creators of Lucasfilm and Disney for Star Wars. The SMRLs are our rules and they work. We know this because many of our Facebook page admins are formal costumers and are willing to portray the character in context. We have studied how to optimize our activities for a few years and we have prevailed. Should this interest you, please contact us with your information. Thank you very much.

Dr. G-

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