For a very long time I didn’t know Brade’s log in information. It’s not because he didn’t trust me, or thought that I’d delete his characters out of spite if I got angry with him, it was because Brade felt that his characters were an extention of him. They are characters that he created and developed and that have his personality. In essence, they are a pixelated form of who Brade is on the other side of the screen and he wanted to maintain that.
Even today I do not “play” Brade. I may assist with the guild bank and managing the auctions, but I don’t actively play any of his characters. Of course, there will be times when he is AFK and I might reply to someone via him…and that someone might get a screenie of “Brade” declaring that he’s going to go and get wasted on Peachbellinis *ahem*, but generally speaking I don’t communicate via Brade. Brade is Brade. Brade is not Beru.
This is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. I frequently find myself wondering who the people that I play with on a regular basis are. Are they the same in game as they are out of game? Are they the same? Are they different? Are the braver? More shy?
Well, what about me? I try very hard to be the same person that I am out of game in game. My morals are very much still in tact and I try very hard to be “myself”. However, I think that I tend to be a little bit braver in game than I am out of game. I am assertive both in and out of game, but I think I’m a little more quietly assertive outside of game. In game I frequently take the lead when I see that nobody else has, and I’m not entirely certain that is a behaviour that I would exhibit outside. It’s not that I couldn’t, it’s more that I’m happy to let someone else. That being said, I do step up when it’s required of me.
In life I tend to keep mostly to myself. I mean, I’m chatty and I can glad hand with the best of them, but I don’t always feel like “me”. I’m quirky, odd, different. And while I’m OK with that, not everyone else is. So I tend to sort of shell myself outside to be more the person people expect me to be, while still retaining who I am…just not quite as loud. However when it’s just Brade and myself, I am completely comfortable. I will wear my pink tennies if I want. I wear pigtails, even at my age, because I like them. And if I coordinate both of us in our matching “for the horde” shirts, I giggle and think it’s good fun. Why? Because I like pink tennies and pigtails and quirky Tees. It’s who I am.
I hate social settings. I don’t do parties. I don’t do night clubs or bars. I’d much rather spend a night curled up with a good book, a glass of wine, and a snuggling puppy than go out and chat with people that have absolutely nothing in common with me. Even when I do go out I have a meter for how long I can keep up my social graces before my “are we done yet” whine starts to kick in. I like being able to do what I want, when I want. I have no problems entering a sit down restraunt with a good book, boldly looking the hostess in the eye and saying “just one” and daring her to give me a look of pity. I just think I much prefer solitude to fake companionship.
And a little bit, I see this in how I play the game. I perfer to solo quest than to group. If I want to play and just be left alone, I do just that. Sometimes I just observe guild chat and never contribute. I think this is a little bit akin to people watching (another of my favourite past times). Sometimes I’m feeling silly and bold and you can’t shut me up…although some people might wish they could! Sometimes people get me fired up and I’ll openly give my opinion. Sometimes my mouth to brain filter malfunctions and I say things that I shouldn’t say outloud.
But, whatever I am, it is truly me. I don’t pretend to be someone else when I’m in game. My emotions in game are very real. They are the same emotions that I feel outside of it. I may feel emboldend and do say things that I may not have the courage to say and do outside of game…until you know me well, but I am still very much myself. If you met me outside of the game, I’d probably be very shy at first, but once you got me out of my shell you wouldn’t be able to shut me up. Just ask my guildmates from Blizzcon!
But I don’t think that anyone would be surprised about how I behaved once they met me, I would be the same Beru that they’ve known for years…just with less fur. Much like Brade, I feel that my characters are an extension of who I am. Sure they are simply pixelated images on my screen, but they are controlled by the very real person behind them. And when I want people to think about me, either the flesh and blood version or the pixelated version, I want them to think about the same person.
So who am I? I’m the same voice that you hear when I blog. I’m the same person that you’ve been playing WoW with for five years. I’m the same person that you’ve meet or who has helped you or hollered at you or become frustrated with you. I am me. Regardless of the medium that you’ve met me, I am the same. And I like that.
What about you? Who are you? Do you find yourself being someone different in game than you are out of game? Do you see many of your characteristics transfer mediums?