The popularity of the role-playing game Vampire: the Masquerade has created an entire subculture of people devoted to the game, its universe, and the personae they create in order to “live” the game. These individuals have their own network of interconnected websites, chatrooms and messageboards, and enjoy posting to these “in persona” as their gaming characters. As such, they maintain the illusion that they are “real vampires” as defined by the rules of the game and the fictional qualities, history and supernatural abilities accruing to their game persona.
It has been suggested that some gamers may actually be HLV’s or vampiric people who have not yet confronted their nature, and are using the game to “try out” the idea of being a vampire and see how it feels. Other gamers are also Vampyre Lifestylers who take the ideals of the vampiric universe in the game seriously and attempt to manifest them in real life.
Unfortunately, many of those in the vampiric community feel that some gamers deliberately mislead and deceive HLV’s, and true seekers of vampiric reality, by pretending to be what they are not. Some HLV’s fear that by presenting themselves online as “real vampires” who claim to be centuries old predators, the gamers make living vampires look like mere role-players themselves, or create the impression that HLV’s also claim, or believe themselves to be, bloodthirsty hunters of humankind or world-weary immortals with supernatural powers.
For HLV’s, the gamers not only confuse the issue of what true living vampires are, but also makes it more difficult for them to find each other via such media as vampersonal ad listings or messageboards. This is the reason that the majority of ads listed by HLV’s or seekers looking for living vampires strictly specify that role-playing gamers not reply to the ad in persona.