This is way beyond me and I thought I have bridged the tech gap between my daughter and I! What's this RP thing which I just found out today from my double-digit-age-daughter Khadijah?
See....I was sauntering in to our home office this morning whilst, as usual, Khadijah and Ib were fiddling with the keyboard when Khadijah happily announced that her cousin S**a was on9 ("online" for the uninitiated) chatting with her but this time they were role playing on myspace. In their lingo they were RPing (she just shook her head and said "role playing, Daddy!" to my question what RPing was). Her cousin is "Bomber in the Wind" (if my memory serves me rightly) and she - "Cream" (what a nick?). I was next to her when the cyber-conversation was taking place. What a weird thread of conversation like "Cream hugged Bomber in the Wind whilst stepping in to the portal which brought Bomber in the Wind elsewhere" (something to that effect lah!)
According to her, RPing can come in two forms (a) one is that you are entirely a fictitious person with stats displayed on your myspace and you develop that person's character in the process OR (b) you pretend that you are a character plucked from an anime/manga movie like "Final Fantasy" or from a book or from other films etc and your cyber-conversation will be based on the story line....
I really dont know what to think now. On one side of the coin, it's pretty cool that this RPing encourages the creative side of a person to surface but on the other....who's to monitor and ensure that certain lines are not crossed OR what if other real life person's picture is being used just to be hip RPers? Apparently RPing is very popular (at least from the postings I read of which were made mid last year - read here, here and here), After reading these articles especially the interview with the RL (read "real life") RP - gawd....they are indeed using other ppl's pics to post on their RP stats....Hey your pic may be flying around in myspace for all you know - that's scary!
Isn't parenting in this fast-paced cyber era most daunting? This is the sole reason why I try to update myself with what's hip and what's not for teenagers so that I can understand them better and help me with parenting issues. I have long decided that you have to speak their lingo in order to stop the bridge from getting wider - it's a fact of life! And stopping them from visiting myspace, friendster, ym at home does not mean that they will not do it elsewhere (like cousin's house, grandma's house). If you cant beat them, join them!
Back at home tonight, I will be having a chat with missy K and explain to her the do's and don'ts of RP.........If anything to console me - at least missy K was RPing an anime/manga character which she created and the other side was her female cousin.
To you peeps out there who have faced this parenting challenge, can you please share?