If you've ever played a game that enforces a roleplaying atmosphere, IE, one that requires you to play out a persona that isn't you, then what is more important to you?
In roleplaying, it is generally assumed that the player and the character are two seperate entities, meaning that the motivations that drive the character are totally different from the motivations that drive the person playing the character. It is this differentiation that many roleplaying games seem to overlook where roleplaying is the primary focus of the game over all of it's other mechanics.
Where roleplaying games differ from other games is that true roleplaying cannot be employed as a code enforced mechanic - it relies upon a mutual understanding between all players to know the limits and expectations of what they can and are expected to do.
This boils down to a few age old rules that I've encountered, which I will discuss to any other roleplaying fan:
You are not your character, your character is not you.
This is the golden rule and one of the primary foundations of roleplaying, and is very self explanatory. You, the player, the person behind the monitor, looking at the screen, typing on the keyboard, are not the same person as the character, the person in the game, the person who is experiencing first hand the fictitious world infront of them.
Yet this rule seems to be one of the most overlooked, because time and time again I see people acting upon the players own wishes and motivations, instead of their characters, and this seems to be because no attempt at differentiation was made in the first place: Make a character that is not yourself, and make sure their goals are their own, and do not make the goals of the character the goals of the player.
In Character Actions = In Character Consequences (ICA=ICC)
This one is also very important, but is not as well known as the former. It is also very self explanatory (Which is the nice thing about us roleplayers, we tend to be straight forward in our teachings) and means that what your character does in character will lead to consequences taken that are also in character. As an example, if someone kills your character in a fair, IC manner, then you are not supposed to get angry at them OOCly as a player, or take action against them OOCly. In character stays in character!
I'll probably do more of these posts, as it's one of my most favourite activities and something I enjoy passionately. Once again, thank you for reading, and feel free to share your own view via comments.