The terminology regarding role-playing games is not yet established, and it is common that different terms are used to refer to the exact same thing. We provide here a tiny style guide, which you are free to ignore, in order to harmonize at least spelling, if not meaning.

Pay extra attention to the distinctions whether you discuss role-playing (in general), live action role-playing, tabletop role-playing or online role-playing. In different countries, role-playing means different things.

Please avoid using words that are not English. If you need to use such terminology, explain both their meaning and relevant fields (if any) where those necessary words come from.

Take extra care when using the following terms:

Preferred forms: diegesis (plural: diegeses, adjective: diegetic), game master (not gamemaster), larp (no caps, used as a noun), role-play (with a hyphen), RPG (all caps), tabletop role-play (not pen’n’paper), live action role-play (not live-action), ludus (adj: ludic), paidia (adj. paideic), character (not: role, avatar), Nordic larp or Nordic role-play tradition (when talking about tradition around Knu(t/te/de)punkts and Solmukohtas), Knutepunkts (if you absolutely need to talk about all of the events with one term), Knutepunkt 2009, Solmukohta 2008, Knudepunkt 2007 (and so on when talking about an event).

Please avoid the following: arranger (when meaning an organiser), chronicle (when talking about a campaign), laiv, lajv, LARP, LRP, live (when meaning larp), narrator, dungeon master, referee (use game
master), role play and roleplay (use role-play), Scandinavian (when meaning Nordic).

Be careful when using: player, larper, participant, role (when meaning character), character, culture, fiction, freeform role-playing, hard core, immersion, narrative, reality, simulation, story and theory (vs.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Hyphenation: “role-playing” vs. “role playing” (Update 29.03.2012) « Games Coach

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