Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blog Azeroth: Shared Topic 08/01/11

Identity and Affiliation
Courtesy of Akabeko
How does your character define themselves? What part of their identity is most important to their personality and self-presentation?
In meatspace, we have so many affiliations, it's anyone's guess whether we consider ourselves a tuba player first, or a student, a Gators fan, a New Yorker, a mother, a nerd, a liberal. Our identities are comprised of so many different aspects of life that it's hard to tell which parts different people will choose to define themselves.

In game, there are less game-related ways to identify.
You can identify as:

your class - your spec
your race - a particular subgroup (Mag'har, Wildhammer)
your faction - a faction other than Horde/Alliance

 This topic brought up a rather curious revelation for me - my main is perhaps the least defined of all my characters. Kaezhol is who I raid with, so I spend the most time with her, but I know very little about her.

I know small things. I know that her parents wanted her to be a paladin but she stubbornly decided to study shamanism instead; but, that she was bad at the harder (read: healing) spells so stuck to lighting axes on fire and whacking things with them. I know that she's calm unless she's fighting, and when she's fighting, she doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. I always picture her right in the middle of it: weapons swinging, grungy armor, hair slicked back with sweat. But that's it.

It doesn't seem to make much sense, considering I love playing her. I couldn't spend twelve hours a week doing the same things over and over (like tanking the floor with my dead body) if I didn't enjoy playing her. It's just that... I don't know what her story is.

My warrior on the other hand, now she has a story. I know where she came from and where she's going. As far as game time with her goes, however, I just use her to get enough valor points to buy Kaez bracers and then she's back on the bench.

My lowbie druid alt is the same - though not quite as fleshed out as my warrior. But the point is she too has more of a story than Kaez. Heck - I even have half a story developed for a forsaken alt I have yet to make.

Why does Kaez get the idenity shaft? Is it that I spend so much time thinking about her in terms of raid - did I cap valor this week? What gear is BiS this tier? How should I improve my DPS on this boss? - that I don't feel the need or have the time to think about her creatively?

Or is it simply that I see her as an extension of myself? In WoW I am Kaez and she is me. I don't have any elaborate identity associated with her because, to me, she is already as defined as she needs to be.

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