One of the controversies that rages between RPG enthusiasts of various stripes is the awarding of bonuses (usually experience points or whatever the equivalent method of advancement is in that particular game) for 'good roleplaying'. On one side there are the Patronising Overbearing Paternalists, who see it as the GM's job to reward good play and, in particular, good roleplaying (since that is the purpose of the Game). Arrayed against them are the Limp Wristed Pseudointellectual Pansies, who argue that, hang on, just because somebody isn't great in the amateur dramatics department or suffers from a crippling lack of social skills, they shouldn't be penalised or discriminated against for their 'bad role playing' (which should be read: bad acting/lack of confidence).
These days the views of the Limp Wristed Pseudointellectual Pansies tend to win out over those of the Patronising Overbearing Paternalists, and role playing XP awards no longer seem to be de riguer. But I think both sides are really arguing over the wrong thing: the Limp Wristed Pseudointellctual Pansies seem to believe that the Patronising Overbearing Paternalists are too deferential to the GM and too into "acting", while the Patronising Overbearing Paternalists see the Limp Wristed Pseudointellectual Pansies as a gang of weak-willed, callow quislings without backbone and a pathological fear of competition. Neither of those is actually the case.
Let me make one thing clear, first of all: I don't see role playing as amateur dramatics. As a player or GM you'll never find me "doing a voice", delivering tedious tortured monologues, or otherwise inflicting my akting skillz on the other players. When all's said and done role playing games are games, not theatre, and if I wanted to humiliate myself and irritate others I'd play a LARP.
But it is indisputable that role playing games involve playing a role. It's right there in the title. So what does 'playing a role' mean, if it isn't amateur dramatics?
What it means, quite obviously, is taking on the persona of somebody who isn't you, and behaving in the way in which they would behave in a given situation. That doesn't involve pretending to be them. It merely involves taking the decisions, in-game, that they as the character would take - not what you as the player think is best. This could mean doing stupid or irresponsible things if the character has low Wisdom or Intelligence, running away from a fight if you've established that they are a coward, or doing something callous if you've established that they're a sociopath. That is what good role playing is, in my opinion: playing the character as a character, not as a mere cypher or mouthpiece for you as a player. Acting skills are irrelevant; it's about the characterisation.
And there is nothing wrong with the GM awarding experience points for players who are doing this well. It isn't about rewarding good actors or those who are socially confident - it's about rewarding people who play the game the best, i.e. those who play their roles in a consistent and believable way.