Friday, March 4, 2011

Identity, in game and out

You may be wondering why I haven't been blogging much (or answering comments or paying attention to twitter). Well, there's been some interesting RL stuff going on....
I was diagnosed with ADD at age 3. By a pediatric neurologist, and this was a bit before they started handing out Ritalin like candy. I spent most of my childhood on a low dosage of an ADD med (not Ritalin), which certainly screwed up my hunger impulse, but never seemed to make much difference to me (others said they could tell a difference between my being on or off the med). I've been off meds since college, for various reasons, and I cope pretty well.

It's always just been part of my identity. I have blue eyes, I'm extremely smart, I have ADD. And now that part of my identity may be in question. I went through some exhaustive testing, and we'll see what they come up with.

But having part of my own identity in doubt made me start thinking about how my WoW identity changes in RL.

If asked, I play WoW. In fact, I generally volunteer this information. It's a hobby to me, just like my knitting or reading. No biggie. I play CRPGs, who cares? I also play D&D, have a physics degree, love fiddling with computers, and worked in IT. Heck, in high school I did Science Olympiad and Academic Bowl. I am a nerd/geek, and I honestly see nothing either wrong or odd about that. I spent large portions of my childhood and adolescence buried in books, and believe me, if the internet hadn't been invented I'd still be doing that.

But I realized something while thinking about all this. I play WoW pretty much exclusively. The only other hobby I spend anywhere near as much time on is knitting, and I do that while watching tv or movies. I occasionally get together with friends for a D&D session, but that hasn't happened in a while. So, am I still a reader if I don't read books rabidly anymore, or do I still count because I still read rabidly, it's just mostly digital. And am I still a gamer if all I play is WoW or should I just call myself a wower?

And while I'm at it, am I Alliance? My Alliance toons get played way more, in fact I don't think I've logged on to one of my Horde toons since the Shattering. But I don't really have any strong feelings for one side or the other, so it seems somehow wrong to call myself Alliance.

I don't really put myself into my toons, they're characters, not me. Lyllea and Garetia and all the rest are digital avatars in a manner of speaking, but how much do they really reflect me?

I'm going to keep thinking about this, and maybe I'll come up with something. Right now I just have questions. Oh well, I think, therefore I am confused, right?

1 comment:

  1. If you think of yourself as a gamer, then that's that. If others don't, but you do, then there's bound to be some miscommunication. That's the difficulty of culturally/personally set identities: they aren't perfectly consistent or agreed on. Contrast that with something like policeman which is pretty clearly and consistently defined (assuming we're not getting into continuum from military to civilian law enforcement).