Characters and me

Post #15 for Blaugust 2019

Blaugust is ending and with this post I accomplished my goal for it this year. Once again it was pretty fun with a lot of new blogs (or new to me) participating and some pretty good discussion on the Discord server. 🙂

I was going to do a recap of Final Fantasy’s XIV anniversary event, the Rising, for this last post but I haven’t felt like playing it for a while and haven’t done it yet. So I will just use this Twitter poll by Belghast, of Tales of the Aggronaut, as my blog prompt for the day. To quote the poll:

There is a discussion happening elsewhere so I’m curious. For me all of my game characters are just cosmetic shells for the digital “me”. Getting the impression I am deeply in the minority here

I have no idea where this discussion happened or what is being talked about but I am going to join anyway and there is no one that can stop me! Mwahahahaha! 😀

This is a bit of a complicated topic for me because I think I have three different levels to treat my characters.

At the first level there is the MMO characters. To me they are just characters I choose a set of appearance that I like, slap a name on and choose a class that seems to fun to play.

The only reason I don’t think of them as just mere sliders on a screen is because though out playing the game through them I end up meeting other people and enjoying a lot of fun experiences. But I don’t think of them as a shell for digital “me” any more than I think of a hammer as being a representation of myself.

I guess an imperfect analogy would be like a bicycle that you are fond of. You traveled through a lot of different places with it and created a lot of memories. Even if it comes to a point where you can’t use it anymore you still have some feelings attached to that bicycle because of all the places it allowed you to go.

The second level of characters would be the ones in digital RPGs or any game that is heavy on story and allows your character to make choices that will affect it. I guess you could say my first character is my ideals in character form or the kind of person I’d like to be.

They are the goody two-shoes that will fight to protect their friends or to save the village from bandits for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. While on my second playthrough is again, more like an instrument, this time one of evil just to see how much the story choices are actually meaningful and just to see what happens. I guess that also makes me a bit of a sadist. :p

Any further playthroughs will depend on whatever fits my mood and it goes back to the first level of them being just sliders and avatars for different experiences.

Lastly come tabletop RPGs. Although I have close to zero practical experience on this department my relationship with them tends to be more of trying to come up with an interesting character concept for a story. For example, why would a halfling druid go on a dangerous adventure, what are his goals, his dreams and so on.

At the same time I also found there are certain limitations on what kind of characters I am comfortable roleplaying. For instance I tried to roleplay a womanizer character in a MMORPG once and I found the experience very uncomfortable so I decided to stop that.

I guess that in a way all of them have bits of me in them but I wouldn’t say anyone of them are my digital shells, so to speak. They are them and I am I. We may just share some values. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Characters and me”

  1. I have no tangible roleplay experience, so I’m more than a bit vague on level three. But I definitely agree with the first two variations. I see my MMO character as simply a “GoPro in a 3D story”. In RPGs, it’s like I’m creating a character that can be added into a story to experience it more directly than just reading it. But its still not me. I am not consciously aware of any deeper meaning to my avatar.

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