Character Obsession


Many gamers, myself included, often invest dozens, and sometimes hundreds (or even thousands) of hours into our games.   So it is not surprising that some of us have grown to become quite attached to our saved games and online characters.   Recently my account was hacked, and I found myself reinstalling World of Warcraft, a game I have not been playing for over a year, just so I could go back and check on the restoration of my characters.

Friend of mine made the comment that if he were me, he would not have reinstalled the game just to check on a hacked account.  He claimed he would have deleted the characters, and cancelled the account altogether.  Now, I can appreciate the idea of a clean break, and I must admit the idea appeals to a part of me.   However, though I have no plans to return to the game, I simply cannot fathom the idea of a character deletion.

So what exactly is it that makes our characters so special, so unique, and so dear to our hearts?  What is it that makes some of us so attached, and so obsessed about our digital avatars?   Is it the characters themselves that we care about, these digital proves of our online existence; these trophies, of our online strengths and achievements?  Or are we attached to the memories associated with these characters; with the lands travelled, the friendships made, and the bonds created?

Being as attached to my gaming characters as I am, and having experienced the loss of characters first hand – through hacked accounts; loss of access to the host machines; and at times even the permanent shut down of the games themselves (may you rest in peace, Tabula Rasa).   I cannot help but wonder – just how attached, and how obsessed should we be about our ingame characters?   And indeed should we even care about something that is so immaterial, and so mercurial?   Something, that could be ripped from our embrace at a moments notice, leaving us cold and alone, and sobbing quietly over our keyboards?


About BC_Animus

I spend all of my non-work time pretty much on games, movies, and listening to music and podcasts. Gadget lover and gamer - own several major consoles, but mainly play MMOs on the PC nowadays. I am quiet & shy but hell of a nice guy. Consider my childhood days to be the golden age of gaming, with companies like Origin with their Ultimas and Privateers. For me MMOs are all about the people, and not about gear or loot. View all posts by BC_Animus

2 responses to “Character Obsession

  • Lil

    Hi Bc!! :) The memories, that’s what makes Lil so special to me. I’ve met a lot of very nice people on WoW, some bad persons too, of course, but i don’t want to remember them. Some players became “real life” friends, some have made a difference in my life, a huge difference sometimes. I’m a social player, what’s important to me is not the gear or the achievements a player has, it’s the player, the real person behind the character. I’ve had a lot of fun playing Lil and that’s why i’m still playing, always happy to meet my good friends!!

    • BC_Animus

      The memories attached to my chars, especially the memories associated with people I like, is definitely one of the things I love, and look back on the most. However, surely any real friendships made, and the bonds created, should and would survive beyond the characters themselves right? I would like to think that it is the “me” that matters, and not my characters. That, if I delete my toons, my “friends” would still be there, wanting to spend time with me.

      But if that is the case, then WHY, I wonder, should we care about our characters, at all?

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