Friday, August 5, 2011

BAST: Character Identity

This past week, Aka's Shared Topic was proposed over at BA:ST:
How does your character define themself? 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 was a hard topic for me at first, so I read Aka's post about it as well as many of the others that posted on it. I have to agree with Aka and Saz, and many others: my characters have their own identities that start forming based on my own identity.

In real life (or meatspace, as Aka put it), I am a geek, a gamer, and (I like to think!) a very smart young woman destined to fulfill my life goals. I'm also a very family-oriented person. I'm close with my parents, my brother, and my extended family. I'm also very close with a few friends and consider them a part of my extended family.

My WoW family falls into the category of family-oriented as well. Chestnut, my main, may identify as being a Druid (Feral, of course), and a Tauren, but she mostly identifies with being The Mama Bear. And you don't mess with The Mama Bear or her pack. She of course has her own quirky personality aside from being the Mama Bear--she's an avid raider and pvper. She loves ripping face... unless they're Dwarves, strangely enough. Chestnut, for some unknown reason, has a soft spot for Dwarves. Now, that's usually me being unwilling to go all-out on Dwarves unless they start it, because I was once a Dwarf, but still. Chestnut has a soft spot for Dwarves. Chestnut, in all her Mama Bear-ness also has a small pack of her own--small being an understatement--over 100 mounts and at least 112 mini-pets that she makes sure to care for each and every day. She also likes that little "BONG" noise that happens every so often when she achieves something of worth in the game.

Chestnut, in the greatest sense of the word, is me. If there was a character I identified with the most to my own personality, it would be Chestnut. Much like Saz identifying with, well, Saz.

My other characters, however, have much more narrow and RP-specific personalities.

Take for example, one of the newer additions to the family: Torquenut, the goblin hunter. Torquenut is strongly affiliated with being a Goblin, but is also strongly affiliated with being a Hunter. And she has a penchant for pink. I myself am not a fan of pink, per se. I prefer earthy tones with the occasional red and blue. But Torquenut absolutely LOVES pink. She has her non-pink pets, like her fox Tod, and hound Copper, but she wants all her other pets to be pink. Pink pink pink! And if her gear were pink she would love that too! And Torquenut, oh boy, does she love to tell stories!

Obviously, there's some of my own personality in there--I like telling stories, and I like naming my hunter pets after movie characters, err, animals. But the rest of Torquenut is allllllll Torquenut.

What about the rest of you? I know I've read some takes on it, but there have to be others out there. What about non-RP-minded folks? What about the PVPers, or the Min-Maxers, or the Straight Raiders?

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