Roleplay (RP) vs Performance and SWAG 77 SMRLs
There is a difference between what SWAG 77 does and regular RP on major format social media…
Roleplay (RP) vs Performance and SWAG 77 SMRLs
There is a difference between what SWAG 77 does and regular RP on major format social media…
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.
Star Wars at D23 Expo!
For the first time at the D23 Expo, Star Wars fans can have access to experiences created for them by Lucasfilm and Disney. Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, located in the DCP pavilion, showcases the development of the iconic villain from early concepts to striking realization. Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101, presented by Lucasfilm’s resident authority Pablo Hidalgo in Stage 23, will give Star Wars newbies and experts alike a thorough grounding in all matters of the Force and the Star Wars legacy.
D23 is the Disney version fan event expo showcasing all the Disney products. They had a big reveal for Star Wars – possibly elements of Star Wars Episode VII could be stated. On the internet from its link, it actually appears that the Expo is Disney’s first time testing their Star Wars “sea legs”.
Of course, they will have already done so at SDCC and Star Wars Celebration Europe 2. But publicly, on their home turf is the D23.
Lucasfilm is use to this fanfare. Not sure if Disney has seen this fanfare fully? They can handle it, but can they respect it?
LOTS OF FAMILY FRIENDLY COMMENTS – don’t know how that bodes for the “Slave Leias” cosplayers…
Anyhow, we shall see. So far. I won’t drop $500 to get there without a meeting or interview.
The life of a cosplayer can be the most amazing experience ever! But it’s not as easy as it looks. As an avid cosplayer, I know how much time – sometimes several months; energy and most of all money it takes to create these costumes. Whether they’re closet cosplays – ones you create from cloths you already have; made by hand fully, or even a mix of the two. Either way, how they’re made still takes a lot of time, effort, creativity, patience, perseverance, long nights, and spare change.
Now as cosplayers we all think our cosplays are pretty good and want everyone to see it took time to create them. Whether the character is your favorite anime hero or your favorite Sci-Fi villain, each costume holds a special place within you. So when you see your photo plastered all over Facebook or your win in a costume contest it’s a really great feeling! You know that all the hard work paid off and is appreciated by fans.
Some of us create Facebook pages or profiles for our cosplays or just the characters, or post the photos on Photobucket, DeviantArt, or various other photo sharing and social media sites. Sadly, that’s where there are problems…
Now I’m sure everyone at one point has seen a photo, and thought “wow that is amazing and works so well for such and such” or even to share with their own friends. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that, that’s actually part of why we as cosplayers and artists post our work so that people can be inspired. However we also deserve to have credit.
Most of us don’t mind you sharing our photos, but taking credit for them as your own is wrong. Or not even crediting the cosplayer or artist is wrong. Yes, sometimes we find photos where information is lacking or who originally posted our material. But once your find out, it’s polite to give us credit.
Another major problem besides not asking for permission is cosplayers are often building and maintaining their professional reputations. These are based on their artistry and images. When people steal our photos and post them on fake impostor accounts, it is our reputations that are at stake. Our name, our photos, our reputations, and our BRANDS get destroyed because someone is too lazy to do a search. Since social media spreads fast, then our reputations can be ruined faster.
However cosplay not just about the possible ruined reputations and feeling cheated out of getting recognition. It’s the principal of it! Cosplayers and artists are like your favorite band or movie, except we do not get a huge salary. Each expression of our creativity took a lot of time, care, preparation, lack of sleep, and a millions of other things. Unlike big record labels and production companies that want you to pay to use their material (and sometimes people do pay), all we request is some respect – give credit where credit is due. Don’t forget to ask for our permission to use our material.
So before setting up a page on social media, don’t take a cosplayer’s photos and name. Stop and think of the repercussions. How would it make you feel if someone you didn’t know did that to you?
I could continue, but I hope what I have said has helped bring to light what seems to be a growing issue in the cosplay and social media community.
CALL our radio show, the Star Wars Sorority. We are fans of strong female characters in Star Wars.
Phone us at 323-792-2943 on Wednesday, January 30th @ 8PM PST to talk.
We are all fans of women in Star Wars. We are the Star Wars Sorority. The dream of many girls, but the reality of very few women…
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She has been an actress for 9 years and have worked in Theater Film/TV, and Voice Overs. Also quite a bit of experience behind the camera with crew. As well as Star Wars Costumer (light side and Dark side).
Her Facebook pages are:
Joe Mignano is a hidden treasure for Star Wars fans! He is one of the fellow members of the Dark Empire – the Sith Costuming Club. He is well-meaning, well-intentioned and enjoys eating cheesecake! Who knew that Sith love cheesecake?
He is a champion for Star Wars cosplay and comic conventions! He is a believer in service to the community!
In addition to his cosplaying, he does voice work for many Star Wars fan groups who have podcasts, including SWAG 77 Podcast.
Then there is The Dark Empire Podcast
He is active on the Facebook pages: