drip, drip, drip
There's an oft repeated motif in films where someone is in intensive care with an IV plugged into a vein. The camera zooms in on the IV bag and catches the intermittent drip. I imagine the patient in a coma experiencing each drip as a big downbeat. It becomes what life is all about. It's sort of how I see RP stuff. Relatively long periods of senselessness punctuated by a small drip of excitement. Just enough to keep the character alive but not so much as to jolt the player awake as to how near dead their lives are. If I were in a coma I'd hook up with SL.
In late adolescence, with luck, people begin to orchestrate their lives. What began as dumb role playing takes on some order as they learn to coordinate and accessorize dress, manners and jargon. They see themselves as cool and ostracize those who haven't managed the basics. SLifers are at the same stage but need to experience scenarios uncommon, uncondoned or 'unpossible'.
I've been watching and touching base with RP stuff online since the late 90's. I think it's going to be big, much, much bigger than it's present horizons suggest. Sort of Reality TV meets Godzilla and his vampire mistress. OK, if you don't have a life, can't get one, or, like me, don't want one.
just my loose change