Faces of Role-Playing
Who I am is the accumulation of all the decisions that I have made
The final category of characters that emerged were those of players who deliberately created characters with unremarkable personalities and allowed the ensuing role-playing to guide their character development (the "Interaction-Scripted"). Beyond some basic set of personality quirks (seldom overly traumatic or heroic), these players allowed their interactions with others to shape who their characters became. In a sense, this category isn't a "character type" as much as a method of character development. Whereas some players prefer to script their characters up-front, these players leave those characteristics loosely scripted and open to change.
I didn't have any personality or backstory planned out for her at first. After I was recruited into a roleplaying guild, my character started to develop. I suppose if you roleplay during most of your ingame time, you end up with a hell of a lot of RPed moments, memories, various factors that contribute to your character. So every day you log in, your character's personality, experiences, and history is developed. I'd say maybe two thirds of my character's development has occurred in this way, and the other third was steered by me. [The Saga of Ryzom, F, 14]
While the initial character background was formed around the class and gender of the character, as always it was interaction with other role players that really solidified the characters personality. In AO the class of Fixer is a 'rougue'ish one who slips around and uses stealth and speed. Miyuki eventually got a reputation of being a little bit of an 'ice queen', aloof and suspicious. I have worked that reputation into her interaction with her 'family' (alt characters). [AO, M, 40]
Indeed, some of these players emphasized that their character might have turned out very differently had they experienced a different set of experiences in the game world.
I also get most of how the character itself acts based on actual playtime - she was more cruel and introverted because of the people I met while playing with her - if she had ran into some more healthy, compassionate players, she may have turned out COMPLETELY different. [UO, M, 19]
These three character categories suggest two underlying axes. First, there's a spectrum of character personas that might be roughly described as Tragic to Comic. And secondly, there's a spectrum of character development that might be labeled as Prescribed to Open-Ended.
To speed up load-times on multi-page articles, comments are now only loaded on the last page of an article.