We all are taught at a young age what’s real and what isn’t, but what if the very foundation of this teaching was flawed? We know when Mufasa died or Bambi’s mom died, that he wasn’t real and we shouldn’t be upset, but why did these deaths invoke all these emotions. The real part was the emotion, and this is where ones reality lies. No longer able to say what is real and what isn’t by physical boundaries, virtual gaming has pushed the digital envelope. Our reality should not be based on the physical, but based on the emotional.
Burn your hand and you feel pain…get your virtual character killed and you feel pain, among other four letter expletives. Virtual characters long had the stigma of ‘time-sinks’ or ‘sunk-cost-fallacy’ wherein the person behind the character wastes his time in his virtual persona. However, the exact opposite should be preached; these virtual personas/characters allow individuals to express themselves outside a world of human physical limitation. Don’t let others pigeon hole your expression and continue taking pride in your online personas.
So How do you get started expressing your inner self that is constrained by the ‘real world’? First, try and decide what type of character you want to portray. Do you want to be the feared dark assassin, or the cute friendly dwarf that enjoys healing his friends? There are many sub-categories but most people are soloers, group oriented, damage dealing, healing, or supporting. If you like to deal damage a persona that resembles power and strength such as a wise wizard or a buff warrior. Not everyone is like the “complete badass” from South Park’s WoW episode, but playing a character helps you exaggerate your own personal characteristics, or perhaps experiment with others. Is that sexy night elf rogue a 50 year old male, and is that buff warrior a 15 year old girl? This is the beauty of Online Characters. Experiment, role-play, and spread your virtual wings.
Next, go out and download a free online/mmo/mmorpg game if you are new to the gaming scene. Choose a game that fits your interests. There are many genres available from fantasy with dragons and elves to sci-fi with laser guns and teleporters. If you aren’t ready to create a character/avatar, try an online gaming website where you can post a picture of your persona and roleplay as he/she/it. With your new profile updated with pictures and perhaps a story behind your online persona you are now ready to chat with the virtual world.
In conclusion you can express yourself in many ways through virtual reality/games, but it is not without responsibility. Roleplay characters you feel comfortable with and accept the persona you have created. “You create your own reality” has never been more true. Have fun, test your roleplaying, download a game or two, and join a virtual forum. Unleash the “insert your fantasy” within you!