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Meaning Making: Crafting a Virtual Identity

Updated: Feb 10, 2019



As I play the game, I have noticed the great detail that goes into each individual character’s persona. There are no two gamers who I have witnessed with the same outfit, color scheme, or weaponry. Each person brings their own unique character creation and imagination to the Guild Wars 2 online community. There is also a wide variety of different species of creatures that players can have to accompany them on their journey within the game. How real world situations and attitudes affect character creation and the continual growth and development is the subject of discussion for my blog piece.

I know that players who play put a lot of thought into their character’s unique outfits, weaponry, and color schemes while creating avatars within the game. A guild can have members that play together but, just like in real life, players may have a group of friends who hang out together, but none of them wear the same exact clothes, laugh alike, or talk the same. The online gaming community is no different. Guild Wars 2 has unique gamers with unique experiences sharing those differences through player creation and the different aspects of player creation, such as picking a guild to join, how character’s skill sets are determined, and when to possibly delete a character and create a new character.

The character a gamer creates is an extension of the unique player that is on the other side of the computer screen. There is a detachment that gamers should make between understanding the real world from the virtual, but once players come back to the game world, they immerse themselves in the character they have created to be an extension of who they are in the gaming community. That is the beauty of it. Through their character, a person can explore new worlds and meet new people that are personal extensions of what that person thinks about, feels like, and enjoys in the real world. For example, a person’s color scheme for their character could come from a mindset of their favorite colors, the colors they feel goes best with their character, and/or how they may be feeling that day or at the time of creation. Understanding this mindset helps with understanding how character creation in the gaming community is an extension of the player and their thought processes towards real life situations.

I created my character based off of real world situations. I remembered the necromancers from the Riddick series and chose them as the basis of my character’s class. If I had never seen the series in the real world and been a fan of it, I would have never chosen this skillset for my character. This is just one example of how character creation can be an extension of the gamer on the other side of the computer screen. I am sure a lot of male gamers choose male avatars because they are male, and female gamers do the same. It is just real-world relationships, demographics and mindsets shaping and creating the online world of Guild Wars 2.

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