Roleplaying Thoughts: Burnout


Good morning!

Before I drown your eyes in text again, I’d like to make a quick apology for the lateness of this post. I had something lined up for Monday; but then I had a conversation with someone that made me think there might be an even better topic to talk about. Today, I’d like to share that very topic with you: that of burning out.

Roleplay can be an intense emotional experience! We become vested in our characters and the lives they live – entwined so deeply with the lives of those characters around them. Sometimes, to the point that we begin to empathize with our own creations! When our character feels happy, sad, angry – it might get to the point that we begin to share those emotions. This is both one of the qualities that makes roleplay such an engaging thing – to truly live vicariously through fantasies developed by not only our own imaginations; but of those around us… and the very same quality that can make it so taxing!

Eventually, we’ll begin to drift – to slowly lose interest in what may well be our favorite leisure activity. This is okay! This is our brain telling us that it’s time to recharge. Burnout isn’t something to be feared and avoided, I like to think – but a natural part of the process that we can embrace and make the most of. How you choose to work with it is entirely up to you – you might decide to pick up a new character for a while; and let the vested ones sit on the backburner for a little while. This is a time for reflection, for new ideas – and if you can find something that excites you; then go for it! Try something different!

If not, then it’s perfectly fine to take a step back from RP altogether for a while. You might only need a few days; a week – or you might need much longer! The longest break I ever took spanned two years! But boy, was I itching for some good RP by the time I wandered back in. Just be sure to communicate with your RP partners – let them know what you’re feeling, and how you intend to settle it. Whatever it takes to let you relax with a clean state of mind – being mired in worry when you intend to recharge is counterproductive! As is dragging it out and hoping the burnout will simply disappear if you continue to RP.

Relax; do whatever, with however much time, you feel you need. Some “time off” is much less troublesome than losing your desire altogether.

What kinds of experience have you had with burnout? Share your stories below!

Burned out of burnout,




3 thoughts on “Roleplaying Thoughts: Burnout

  1. I actually had a bit of burnout recently with one of my games. The episode was the unfortunate combination of an unfortunate circumstance with my guild at the time, exhausting roleplay, and real life staring me in the face. I dropped that game for about a month and used the time to really understand what I wanted from my games and what I did in them.

    I think taking time to reflect was the best thing I could have done. Aspect of RP had become like obligations, and because I became entrenched in the political maneuverings between guilds, I found it hard to get away. When I came back to game, my fresh outlook became a boon to my friends. We created new plots together, new angles to take existing stories, and in general tried to enjoy the game rather than feel we *had* to RP in certain ways with certain people to feel involved.

    I agree entirely with what you’ve said. Taking time out to recharge shouldn’t be viewed with anxiety since the game and your friendships with others can become even better as a result.

  2. The only thing I would add is that make sure you do the responsible thing and come up with mutual ways to explain the absence for your friends and guildmates, etc.

    As opposed to just disappearing. ^_^

    • Agreed. Speaking from WoW again, I’ve had a person faction-change all their characters over with no word to me, just up and did it. I wasn’t happy. Nor were any of my friends involved in the stories.

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