Suspension of disbelief is a term commonly used in literary and cultural studies to describe the act of actively setting aside one's critical faculties to enter into a state of immersion with a work of fiction or entertainment. In other words, it is the willingness of an audience to accept as true the premises of a story, even if they may seem implausible or unrealistic. This suspension of disbelief allows for a deeper engagement with the work and a more profound emotional response.
For example, when watching a movie or reading a novel, the audience must accept that the events portrayed in the work are fictional and not real, yet they engage with the story emotionally as if it were real. This suspension of disbelief is what allows us to enjoy and be moved by stories that are not true, but are nonetheless meaningful and impactful.
In online communities, suspension of disbelief is often necessary for the enjoyment and participation in roleplaying games or fanfiction communities. Members of these communities must be willing to accept the fictional premises of the story or game and actively engage in the narrative as if it were real. This suspension of disbelief is necessary for the creation and enjoyment of fanworks and allows for a deeper immersion in the fictional world. However, it is important for members to maintain awareness that the narrative is fictional and not confuse it with reality.