A chatplay is, in essence, a roleplay on a chatroom. It is a common term in Cult of Ustream Out-of-Character discussions, and an element of frequent debate.
Roleplays vs ChatplaysEdit
This was once a highly contested standpoint; whether or not chatplays were on par with full forum roleplays. However, it was eventually agreed that while roleplays were marginally better than chatplays, both have their strong points. A chatplay, while not as in-depth as a roleplay, allows for faster responses and progression in the plotline. It's more suited for less serious or important plots and most noncanon adventures- which are meant primarily for fun- took place as a chatplay. However, some of the major downsides of chatplays are lack of atmosphere, timezone issues, arguments or discussion in OoC, and inevitable spotlight battles.
Roleplays, on the other hand, have the virtue of being atmospheric and deep, and have higher-quality posts than chatplays do. They allow for people of varying timezones to participate and are easier to keep track of due to it all being logged in one thread. It's also slightly easier to manage multiple characters. The downsides to roleplays are that they are by definition slower to progress and force a player to frequently think up a paragraph or two when they've been given little to work with.