The golden age of chat room roleplaying was mechanic in nature.In December of 1996, the internet service provider, America Online, rid users of arbitrary hourly limits, and introduced unlimited usage, allowing eleven-year-old me to cruise on the internet without accumulating steep charges for my parents.Included in this unleashing of infinite play time was the AOL chat room service, which allowed users to create and manage their own rooms.

Within chat room roleplaying (Chat RP), 1997 was a very crucial year.

The game was released in January, elevating character-driven stories in video games.

The game’s strange universe forced young adolescents like myself to go into online chat rooms to seek interpretations of the game’s eco-terrorist characters and biopunk style.

What we found was not direct explanations of the game’s characters, but styles of playing with those characters, sometimes brawling, sometimes erotic.

The new examples of complex characters in gaming combined with limitless time in chat rooms made Chat RP unapologetically character-focused.

The writer was known as a mun, meaning “mundane,” and was only referred to via the character (“Kawika’s mun”), while written gestures like “need not mention the subject at all.

For those “literates” who come to Chat RP to practice detailed writing, chat rooms continue to offer space and time to bond with their character, to foster the savvy and know-how to respect that character’s actions, to attune themselves to their psychological imprints, and to play them against other settings and peoples.

Five seconds into a chat room called “Slave Adoption Center,” I receive three invites to private sex plays. From the small purview beneath a sunhat, finds a table and, kicking legs up, sifts through a newspaper kept rolled up in a left sleeve, letting the sweat-mixed print rub off on fingers.first time in two years entering a roleplay chat room, and though the medium has transformed time and again since I began, the writerly high I get from spinning the perfect post, and partnering up with an anonymous writer to clash literary talents, still remains palpable. I dig deeper into my trench, and prepare the next round. It was early in 1997 when I first entered a chat room and pretended to be an invented character with an anime face and a pansexual appetite.

You could recognize Kawika creeping open the tavern door, holding the bracelet’s silver chain to keep those crystal charms from announcing a new presence.

Names like “Panda_girl” and “Daughter_of_hades098” post what looks like nonsense, but I can feel them too searching for a heart to warm against their own, a muse who can convey themselves better than the language they possess.

I snub them, exit the chat, and skim the other room names: “Beastality 4U,” “Nekocat Daycare” “Dirty School Girl RP” and “You are in a mansion rooming with an opposite sex roommate what will it turn into.”I enter a chat room called “Hooter’s Bar and Restaurant,” and scan the room’s posts for a significant other.