Thursday, 27 October 2011

of Egos, Alter-Egos, and who you REALLY are.

There was recently a thread on central that got my brain spinning - and admittedly, my heart hurting. The thread itself was innocuous enough, about about people's egos and alter-egos, but it got me thinking about a path I've seen countless people on. Notice I don't say countless wizards. I'm not talking about wizards. Wizards are nothing but a bunch of pixels that a person controls, and it's the people behind the screen - the hearts, the minds, the souls of those people - that is on my mind today.

Compared to many of you, I've been in this game a short time - barely over a year. In this relatively short period of time, I have seen a lot of things. I have seen people start this game as shy, quiet, humble players and turn into loudmouth PvP bullies. In the real world, I have known happily married couples that are loving, moral, salt-of-the-earth type people where one person gets sucked into a game, withdraws from their real life, and even starts up a 'second family' including a 'spouse' in game. Even worse, they feel no remorse or see no problem with it. I have seen people on game boards - smart people, adults with marriage and children and very real lives - let their lives be torn apart by games and their egos within it. I've heard someone say (a few phrases combined together here, but this was actually wording taken right from the horse's mouth), "I am the greatest player this game has ever seen. The fact that you would think rules that apply to other people should apply to me is absolutely absurb to me."

At some point, you can invest too much of yourself  into your alter ego within a game. It's important for EVERY gamer, Wizard101 or not, PvPer or not, well known or not,  to have a strong sense of who you REALLY are outside of those pixels. If you don't have that sense of your real world self, you start to lose track of everything that matters.

I am not Katherine Light. Katherine Light is a set of pixels I control sometimes, for fun. I am SO much more than that. Pick any member of this community and the same should be true for them. If that line is blurry for anyone - if you are muddying the space between your real world self and a character on a screen - it's time to take a step back.

I think a lot of problems in the arena and the game in general are caused by that. People lose track of who they really are (or are unhappy with who they really are), and rather than work on those issues they start to think that their value as a person is tied up with how their character does in a game. We as people are worth infinitely more than that, and it's sad to see people give up a part of who they really are in favour of having a character on a screen with a big ego.

You are a person, not a character. You are worthy of being valued. Your pixels are just pixels. Never, ever forget what you, the person behind the screen, truly value and who you really are.


  1. Although I wont deal with PvP as I know how much drama is there. I do know about people seeing me as a pixel in a game. I am so much more.

    I will always be me, even if the me is not what people want. Hugs!!! There is a person behind my wizard and she cares so much.

  2. Coming from one who has admittedly blurred the lines of reality too much (me...) to escape real problems, this post is spot-on. Stepping back for a while does really help to find yourself back, and at the same time helps to dig through the muck of who you *thought* you were to realize just how different you really are.

    I write from two personas on my blog now for a couple of reasons. Reason 1 is to not immerse myself fully into that one character, or to literally step into his shoes. Reason 2 is that, while writing from the 2nd character's POV, I can poke fun at the 1st and realize that it's just a game. Having 2 perspectives helps keep reality in focus for me, at least.

    Wonderful post!

  3. I hate to even comment saying something like "Goodness, you're right, this is horrible, isn't it," because I'm likely guilty of many of those accusations. I always try to be sociable in PvP no matter what the situation with the classic "would anyone like to join me in some head rolls?"

    I like to think that no matter how perfected I or others may think my etiquette is, there's plenty of room for improvements. That's another place in which I am hoping to avoid hypocrisy.

    This is true, though for so many things outside of the game. Consider bullying... if everyone considered the person next to them as another person that goes through a day just like theirs, so many problems would be solved. Likewise, if you consider your opponent's standpoint, you know not only how much hurtful words do just that - hurt, but you also know how much a few encouraging words would lighten the mood. While some of it is a matter of interpretation, I always try to do my best.

    As always, good post! Thanks, Katherine!