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Virtual Identity and the Real Self

An asura wandering Lion's Arch in Guild Wars 2

One thing that I absolutely enjoyed as a child, and even to this day, when playing a video game, is creating your character or avatar. It’s very fun to go on to create your character and make him as you want. You can make this character in your image; you can make the character an image of what you would want to be if you were in the game, you can make this in-game character to be someone in the real world.

You can absolutely go through dozens of different avenues when it comes to creating your own character. I think typically when people create a character, they make it to where they can relate to the character in one way or another, to their identity. When a person creates a character to where they can relate to him/her they play harder, enjoy the game more and can see themselves in the game. This can also go for characters already built in game. When you relate, you simply care more. I recall the game Saints Row which was another version of GTA, and in this game you could create your own character, and that was a large draw within the game.

It was such a large draw, I remember people would make celebrities in the game and record it for YouTube so that other people could do the same, because it was such a cool feature within the game. When I think of Guild Wars 2, I think that people create their characters as individuals, and they see themselves being within the game.

I’ll use myself as an example. I chose an Asura, the smallest character in Guild Wars 2, and gave him sneaky attributes, because I feel like that’s how I would be if I were a character in the large world of Guild Wars 2. This may not be the road for most, but I firmly believe each character mirrors the gamer him/herself because once again the connection to the character is big for the gamer.


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