In Their Own Words: The Immersion Component
A prevalent theme among players who enjoy being immersed in a game centers on developing a back-story or history for their characters. For them, it is crucial that their character makes sense and is rooted in the lore and mythos of the world.
Each one of my characters has a story, each one of them have different motivations. I've played everything from a fratricidal zealot to an elf who trades in human slaves to machiavellian manipulators. I always enjoy creating characters, because coming up with something different is such an enjoyable challenge. [DAoC, F, 23]
My tauren druid, Jionania, is quite a complex character as the main idea of her story is that she was born into a tribe of druids, but is fascinated by engineering to the point where engineering is more like her class now than druid is. The important details to the following event are that Odelisque is a Undead girl who was my character's best friend and that Toorsk is the tauren she planned on marrying. Since Toorsk wasn't a druid, Jio needed to take him to Moonglade to meet her tribe. Since we were nowhere near strong enough to make the journey, Toorsk went out into the wilderness to train, while Jio continued her studies in engineering. A week passed and Jio began to worry, constantly sending letters to him. All she got in the mail was a letter from Odelisque saying that she was feeling the call of the scourge and that Jio best stay away from her since she had no idea what would become of her. Needless to say Jio broke down. Toorsk still hadn't written (it seems he just stopped playing the game) and it wasn't long before she went out to search for him and ending up dieing alot. It eventually an orc named Morkris calmed her down, and she is beginning to get over Toorsk and is falling for a guy who she just found up is already married. This is also making her worry that she is just addicted to attention and will fall for whatever Tauren is giving her attention at the moment. She has a lot of issues she needs to work out so she's a bit messed up emotionally. [WoW, M, 17]
I'm not a hard-core role-player or on a role-playing server, but the two characters I play now have very distinct personalities. It's important for me to have backstories for my characters before I really enjoy playing them. For example, I know that Trigger, my dwarven rogue, is the younger sister of my husband's character's (Hawthorne) best friend. Thus when Trigger plays, it's with a great deal of enthusiasm and not necessarily a great deal of sense. When Trig and Hawthorne group together, there's a great deal of friendly bickering and /bonk going on. I think it's a replacement for the acting I did in school, which is so hard to fit into my life as an adult. [WoW, F, 36]
When we first started, I voted for an RP server, but was outvoted by the rest of my friends, who didn't want to have to deal with the RP snob types, and were willing to put up with more b-net kiddies not to. At the earliest opportunity, however, I started an alt on one of the RP servers to play when my main server was down or I just wanted to get away from the dumbasses. This has been a lot of fun; I've been playing as a Night Elf Druid who's older than dirt, but has been hibernating for milennia. It's been fun to play out her first encounters with humans, gnomes, and orcs, none of whom existed when she went to sleep. I've been playing her as the type that's incredibly wise, formerly very powerful, but somewhat confused about the modern world. Combined with some friends of mine, playing VERY different characters (an innocent, childlike priest and a bloodthirsty, sarcastic rogue), it's been a blast, and made me wish we'd rolled on one from the start; I know my holy undead priest would be a lot of fun to RP. [WoW, M, 23]
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