Avatars

The relationships we have with our characters. Are they just pixels? Or do we feel more of an attachment to them? And is it right that others should treat us as just avatars?

I personally get quite attached to my characters. A very good example is Fae’s orc race change. I did it because I wanted a change, I was bored of looking at my character screen and seeing a pile of blood elves, so I decided orc. Nice racials and they do look cool in Fae’s gear. The problem is, I convinced myself it was the right thing to do rather than actually thinking about it. For those 3 days I barely played my character, when I did it was because I was asked to relog. She wasn’t Fae anymore, as awesome as she looked, I missed Fae the blood elf and on top of that, I felt really guilty for wasting all of that money.

In the same breath, if I don’t particularly like a character, I won’t grow attached to it. Take my warlock. I made her pre-TBC, so the only horde races she could be were orc or undead. I chose the one which looked most.. “normal” in my eyes, the undead. As I saw more and more blood elves running around, including my own, I couldn’t like her. That along with at the time I didn’t enjoy the warlock class, and I felt pretty stupid that I couldn’t dps on her. So, as you all know I assume, I switched her to blood elf after reaching 80, threw a name change at her too, and now I have an attachment to her.

Don’t get me wrong though, although I have an army of blood elves, they aren’t my favourite race. That’s purely because I’ve always played horde on Vashj-EU, because of the people there. When on Terenas, I play alliance. Alliance have humans, night elves, and draenei. I absolutely love draenei, I just hate their starting zone and it’s a struggle for me to get much further than level 8. There’s something about alliance I like, their races are better, in my opinion, their mounts are better, even their cities and starting zones are, in general, better. I’ve just always played horde and this is where my odd attachment to cows, Orgrimmar, and wolf mounts comes in.

At the end of the day though, aren’t they just pixels? Well yes. They are, of course. We as gamers put so much time and effort into our characters that sometimes it feels as though they aren’t just pixels, but they are. I’ve never played on an RP realm before, and I don’t really know what it’s like to. I’ve heard they aren’t as full of RP as you might expect, but the RPers out there, I’ll assume, have a little more of an attachment to their characters. Not only do they gear them, get achievements, collect mounts and pets, they have a backstory, making the characters just a little more real. I’ve always considered creating backstories for my characters, but aside from putting them here they’d go to waste.

Sometimes you might notice people will treat you as just another avatar. If you have less than 5k gear score, and barely any raid achievements, then you obviously don’t deserve to be treated like a person playing a game, but just a bunch of pixels, right? In my opinion, some people need to remember that there are people behind the avatars, and sometimes people are hurt by being treated this way.

6 thoughts on “Avatars”

  1. Surprisingly enough, the avatar I am most attached to isn’t Anea (who I still consider my main and I have devoted the most time to) but my rogue. She is a Blood Elf rogue and she was my first 70, though not the first character I ever played. I am so attached to her as she is that I refuse to even change her hair – if I did, she wouldn’t be the same, at all.

    But I do agree that more and more often, people forget that there is a person behind the pixels (especially when it comes to stupid gear scores!)
    .-= Anea´s last blog ..Ponderings =-.

    1. Hair’s a strange one, after a while I get attached to a character’s appearance, I do try changing hairstyles but I always end up changing back. I like changing my DK’s hair colour though, love nelf hair colours 😀

  2. I am very attached to my characters in the same way. My hunter, I cannot change her hair,skin, race ..nothing. If I did I don’t think she’d be the same Wulf. However, I don’t roleplay but if I did change her (worgen maybe) I’d have to come up with a convincing story in my head as to why she changed.

    I also have another alt, who I recently race changed and it hasn’t changed any emotion in me. Like you, I had no attachment to her so her transformation from a NE rogue to a Human was not a big deal.

    Very nice blog by the way 🙂

    1. Actually, funnily, I did come up with a story in my head about how she contracted a rare orc transformation disease and luckily found a cure. Lame but made me feel a bit better about it :p

      And thanks <3

  3. I most definately get attached to my avatars. When I create a character in WoW – be it a main or alt – I am making a person, not a representation of my skill using a certain set of spells and abilities. I am not healing the group, Nimala is healing the group.

    I am not a big fan of the Draenei (the males especially so), but I will never be able to bring myself to give Nimala a race change. It would no longer be her, and I would no longer enjoy playing that avatar. I’ll create and grind a new character before I defile an old one.
    .-= Nim (Ankh)´s last blog ..Kris Kringle: Quicklinks =-.

    1. I know what you mean 🙂 I sometimes wish I had a cow hunter, and instead of working out where the money for race change will come from, I think which server to level it on. I highly doubt I ever will, but the point is I can’t race change a character I’m comfortable with.

      When I race changed my warlock, I changed her name, it was almost like I’d just ebayed a freshly dinged 80 rather than race changed, it felt new and I liked it.

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