A recurring theme for me in the last couple of months has been identity. Both how I view myself and how I present myself to the outside world. As a general rule, I tend to avoid speaking about the former. Mostly because I consider myself the foremost authority on myself and figure anyone offering suggestions is on thin ice. Not always, I realize sometimes it can be difficult to see myself accurately, but I do try.
The second, however, is an interesting topic in its own right. I can remember many times, across forums, chat programs, and online games, many now defunct, where I presented myself with a specific persona. Not just a specific name, but a distinct identity. Thorough enough to cause some degree of identity confusion in myself once or twice. That’s probably a bit on the extreme end though. What’s on my mind is something more subtle.
Let’s take this blog for example. There are certain aspects of life that I typically avoid talking about. Certain tones and voices that I aim to use. In a way, when writing a post I fall into a certain sort of persona that is unique to the blog, and possibly the activity of blogging itself.
When I visit certain social media platforms and forums I have noticed something similar. Some of them have a unique voice, some don’t, and some are recent enough that I can kinda tell how and when it developed. In one or two cases I can actually identify several different voices that depend on mood and context.
Ironically, outside of a couple of instances, I don’t tend to do this while gaming. I may use the name associated with one of the personas occasionally, but I don’t tend to play role, as it were. I don’t tend think of different characters as having a specific or unique voices, though I’m sure there is a general one that they have in common. Likewise I have always struggled with this to some extent within tabletop gaming as well. At a glance there seems to be something about the activity of gaming in general that puts me within a specific mindset with a specific voice.
That’s just an off the cuff assessment, though. How to use or test that idea is a bit tricky. For all the words and thoughts I share here, I don’t tend to play games in an overly social manner. More of a detached efficiency. I’ll have to think about that.
It may simply be the non-social nature of my gaming habits. If I’m not taking the time to talk or interact with people, there is no opportunity to develop a voice. If I’m doing all my group content with friends and family that I already know, then those interactions already have an established voice to fall into.
The few games that did have a voice or persona were, unsurprisingly, heavily social. I also have no idea where I was going with this idea. It’s an interesting line of thought I need to archive for another time.
Y’all take care. Hope you found this interesting.