Thanks primarily to Tommi Brander‘s insightful observations and advice, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this last week. Consequently my simple model of roleplaying has evolved somewhat (see below).
I’ve changed some of the names, hopefully to improve clarity, and now have working definitions of roleplaying and each of the model components:
Roleplaying: A game in which participants control imaginary characters within a coherent fantasy.
Constituent elements of roleplaying:
Players: the individuals participating in play
Process: the formal or informal rules and processes that constitute game-play, which govern how the fantasy (incl. characters, places, situations and events) is created and how coherence is maintained – non-diegetic elements of play
Fantasy: all imaginary content (characters, places, situations and events), whether part of the group consensus or imagined by individual participants – diegetic elements of play
I’ve also recognised (again thanks to Tommi) that roleplaying doesn’t occur in a vacuum and that there are External Influences such as GM modules, source material and genre canon that, though outside the game, affect the creation of the in-game fantasy.
As always comments on this and where it is going are most welcome, nothing here is sacrosanct.