Just about everything is an aid, being in a virtual 3D world is just about the best role play aid so far invented, but it would still be possible to role play just by voice and imagination.
Think about how much more you would have to do. Reminding everyone who is in the room, what they are wearing and look like and all the rest! Our viewers let us see and make it all more real, but they cant do everything. Some things we have to describe, most role players use only text because they don’t sound like a pirate or a dragon and speaking would ruin the illusion.
Also they will usually have a quick summary of their character in their profile so that they don’t have to explain it over and over. Looking in a characters profile may also give you important ‘Out of Character ‘ information. This can include practical information like what times they are usually on line and very importantly their limits. They might not enjoy violence being described in detail or bad language.
Meters add some fun and take some of the work out of situations. At Celyddon we use the Unity meter and weapons to determine the consequences of melee combat and the SPD meter does the same for ship to ship combat. The UES pouch remembers what we are carrying and sell or barter. These all have to be used with common sense