My working definition of Modern Vampires are those people who experience observable benefits from ingesting blood (physical level) or energy (metaphysical level) and/or experience detriments from not ingesting blood or energy on a regular basis. There are those people who do ingest blood or energy from other humans without experiencing any observable benefits and do not experience any observable detriment when they withhold from ingesting blood or energy.
Within the Vampire Community, Role Players are literally those that LARP or otherwise play at being a modern vampire. As an extension of this definition, “role player” is also used to designate those people that claim to be modern vampires, but are deluded or mistaken in their self -diagnosis or self-identification. Meaning, there are people who do drink blood, but who do not receive any physical benefits from it. There might also be those people who metaphysically draw on other people’s energy systems, but do not have the need to do so and/or do not process this consumed energy in any way which benefits their system. Then, of course, there are those role players who just talk about performing either form of feeding, but do not actually even go through the basic motions of either form.
At one point, I assumed that just by pointing out how role playing interferes with clear and precise data collection and information sharing….that would be enough to deter non-vampires from playing the part. I assumed that once role players understood that their pretending interfered with our information exchange, the respectful thing to do would be to stay within clearly-delineated areas of roleplay which would not interfere with our discussion groups.
The easiest excuse for justifying role players continuing to interact with actual modern vampires is that some role players assume that we are ALL role playing or otherwise deluded. There is not any physical test using technology to measure the clear-cut validity of either blood or energy vampirism. Self-perception of modern vampirism is based on a complex thought process–in the case of sanguine vampirism, it is an extended observation of how blood affects the physical system, whether in consumption or in the absence of consumption. This includes abstinence, as well as the substitution of other substances. In the case of energy vampirism, the observation is based on metaphysical theory, including the validity of non-physical sensing. A decent metaphysician will refine one’s observation process, including experimentation on ingestion of non-human energies.
The main difference between someone who thinks of themselves as a Metaphysician and someone who does not self-identify as such is that Metaphysicians strive to be conscious of the process of cause and effect, within the framework of metaphysical principles and concepts. Even though non-metaphysicians are not working with the terminology, Metaphysicians recognize the same energetic and mental-level processes manifesting with the non-metaphysicians. Magick and metaphysics is the study and conscious application of the processes that happen on energetic and non-physical levels in the manifest world.
In the case of Role Players–some of them are haphazardly deriving secondary benefits from the role playing, itself. Ritual drama, thoughtform-assumption and god-assumption involve consciously taking on the energies of a chosen archetype and the characteristics associated with that image. For the magician, it is a conscious attempt to “become” that archetype on a psychological level to a certain degree, to mentally tap into the characteristics attributed to the archetype–and therefore, make an identification with those traits.
[“Vampires are powerful. I am a Vampire. Therefore, I am powerful.”]
When Role Players pretend, depending on how much they “believe” or do whatever it takes to make themselves believable to any outside audience, there might be that possible mental shift in which energy is invested into that personal identification with the Vampire archetype. In the process of role playing, the Role Player might mentally shift into the strong conviction that they are the Fictional Vampire, however they might conceptualize that figure. Depending on how strongly they identify as that figure, their psyche might take on the characteristics of that–strong, stately, powerful, unstoppable, mystical, confident…the specifics being personal to the Role Player’s interpretation.
This might be a developed thoughtform, depending on how much the Role Player has fleshed out the backstory and description of their vampire character. At any rate, taking on the persona of their Fictional Vampire might allow the Role Player to take on personality traits that they might not access in their day-to-day life.
This is partially what makes acting, impersonation…even such role play as found in Ren Faires and LARPing….very attractive. This process allows one to mentally and energetically shift into personality traits at least temporarily, as a sort of relief from everyday life. At very best, with enough practice, this will make those desirable personality traits easier to access in the normal day…in real-life scenarios, away from play-acting and role playing.
There are benefits to Role Playing, if performed with conscious direction. Even if performed haphazardly, some benefits might manifest. As someone who is invested in information exchange, the only thing I ask for is precise categorization of experience.