Pic of the day: Setting up a conflict. (Screenshot from Dark Age of Camelot, strangely enough. There will be no further references to DAoC in the text.)
Defined by others
In the AR forum, we have started a new roleplay. Yes, I have mentioned it. I am not going into any more details about Lightwielders and their wonderful world today. The interesting thing is the way we roleplay. Instead of giving a brief report of our own choice and letting the GM roll dice or something, it is more like a collaborative novel. We write about one or more of the characters, and just keep inside the limitations given in the character definitions (which are themselves descriptive rather than numeric). For instance, a Lightwielder cannot fly, to the best of my knowledge, so it would be bad to write him flying. I extend similar consideration to the other characters.
Even so, there is no helping it: In this way, the character is written differently from what I would have done. And conversely, I write their characters a bit differently from what they would have done. As the story goes on, we can correct errors and get the character back on the road, but sometimes this is hard to do without undoing a plot curve.
For instance, it seems that my character comes across as a "knight in shining armor" out to right wrongs and help damsels in distress. I guess it follows somewhat from the class name (Lightwielder), but it's not something I had thought of. I imagined Glorrus as an introvert mystic, not exactly shy but a bit withdrawn, indecisive and ponderous. The question is how much I should dig in on my principles, and how much I should adapt to expectations.
It's just a game. But the same applies in real life too, for most of us.
For instance, people have very specific ideas about my workplace. For those who know where I work, it may be hard to consider me as something very different. But that I am. In this case, I am so digging in. I refuse to be my workplace. It's not illegal or anything, but I don't want it to stick to me. I am not that kind of guy!
People have also some ideas about computer guys. I am not quite that teflon-covered against those stereotypes. I am not quite the classical computer nerd, but I don't really mind if people think so. In reality, I don't have a microwave at home. I've never had a PlayStation, or a remote controlled toy car. And I don't like challenges. (But challenges to others are not always to me, if it's about software I know).
People certainly have ideas about Christians. In some American milieus especially, but also here in Norway, people assume that as a Christian you have to agree with the spiteful bigots who try to make people miserable in this life in the hope that this will somehow improve their standing in the next. No deal. There's a lot of strange things going on in mainstream Christianity that I simply disapprove of. That doesn't mean I am going to open a sex aid shop in Kristiansand, as a former Christian preacher did today. It's just that to me, it is about other things. But in my absence, people will "play my character" in their heads, with a different behavior from what I do.
Not all Norwegians are the same either. While we do have some cultural heritage in common, we don't agree on all things. And we are definitely not all Social Democrats, despite repeated public claims by prominent Norwegians to that effect. We are all individuals, though! ^_^
I guess I'm trying to say this: We cannot avoid that others make mental pictures (or even movies) of us. We just have to choose how much we accept them and how much we protest them. I hope I shall never become a hollow man who is defined by expectations. But I hope I shall not go back to enjoying controversy for its own sake again, like I did when I was young. You have to choose where to stand your ground – what part of you is worth fighting for.
(And a little bit of exposition never hurts. Write an online journal today!)
A bit of rain.
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.