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Escapism has been a component of video gaming from the beginning. After all, few of have the opportunity to slay dragons, singlehandedly win a war, or play professional sports. I’ve seen what happens when someone jumps on a turtle shell in real life, and the video game version is much better. As much as I enjoy escapism, I have a difficult time completely shedding my real-world persona when I play games. Here are some of the dumb ways I inject my own reality into virtual worlds.
1. Names!I always get giddy when a character in an RPG asks “What is your name?” That’s my cue to type in “Jeffy,” which does a fantastic job of ruining any dramatic tension throughout the story. If there’s enough space, I’ll spice things up by entering Lord Jeffy. Don’t ask why I get that honorific. OK, fine. It’s for my immersion.
2. Character creationIf a game has any kind of character-creation system, the first thing I’m going to do is try to replicate myself. You’d think I’d have given up by now, because it never works out well. The best I ever come up with is a guy with dark hair and glasses that’s in dire need of a decent shave. Also, hazel-colored eyes. That is as good as it gets. I will spend 30 minutes moving sliders and clicking boxes before finally giving up and making an old, bald creep. Sometimes he will be super fat.
3. Dumb housesI really love The Sims, because not only does it let me fail miserably at putting my face in the game, it also allows me to screw up my house. I’ve followed the same pattern since the first game came out. Once I’ve exited out of the character creation (usually in a huff), I move on to playing amateur architect. Here, I’ll agonize over scale, floor plans, and furniture placement before realizing that I don’t really know what I’m doing. Also, in-game materials are too expensive and I refuse to use money cheats. Best case scenario? I’ll end up with a few close-enough rooms devoid of furniture. Then my Sims wet their pants because I couldn’t afford a toilet.
4. My crappy carsWhy race around a course in a ridiculously expensive Formula One car when you could do it in style? Or in a 1996 Toyota Corolla? At least, that’s how my primitive mind operates. Whenever I play a racing game, the first thing I check is whether my current or past cars are featured. Surprisingly enough, El Caminos, Volkswagen Beetles, Buick Regals, and Toyota Corollas are rarely represented. If they are, the designers usually include particularly interesting models. Maybe I need to start driving better cars.
Also, I like writing features about myself.
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Haha I surprisingly only use my name and avoid the other things on this list.
Don't knock the El Camino, man. Those things are freaking awesome.
It's alright, I try doing that too. Usually with the same results.
I'm definitely with you on the name and character creation. It may affect the "dramatic tension" as you put it, but it makes the game more personal if I'm a part of it. I also do this when I read books, picturing myself as the main character, or the first lead young-adult-male role I come across. It makes it fun, whether you end up the hero, the love interest, or even the bad guy.
I always thought Jeff looks like an older Gordon Freeman, so by proxy all his created characters must look like older Gordon Freeman's.
I just name everything Harry, that's why I don't have any cool user names.
This was hilarious. Thanks for the great read.
When I create a character, I usually go for my own style hair, but past that I make him look like a hero, which I do not lol.
House wise, I usually try and build my dream home, so I'm probably in the same boat as you on that one.
Cars. I love corvettes and will probably never own one so...make what you will of that.
Names? I always...ALWAYS put Spartacus. Unless you count Legend of Zelda...in which I proceeded to place "..." into the box...oh and Skyrim...where I accidently pressed enter and ended up with my name being prisoner...
My look? I make my character have awesome facial hair, and the best hair that they have available...
I can identify with the names and character creation. Always try to create myself in sports games.
I do the same things. Ford Focuses are usually in sim racing games though. And a Grand National is close enough to a Regal, right?
YOU HAD AN EL CAMINO????
"I’ve seen what happens when someone jumps on a turtle shell in real life, and the video game version is much better."
I've given up on trying to make my face in RPGs, but I still do the name, which I occasionally regret (flying around in Evochron Mercenary as "Davy" when everyone else is "Striker" and "Scorpion" feels silly), but as for building houses in Sims, I am thrifty as sh*t. Most of my houses are one big windowless room and all beds on the walls, I do put the TV, toilet, fridge next to each other.
LOL awesome stuff. BTW try the PS Home character creation tool. I was able to make a pretty uncanny avatar, though my wife said it had a Jeffrey Dahmer look to it. Dunno what that says about me. Guess old, creepy is my look haha.
I gave up trying to imitate myself. I think I just create facets of who I want to be. Although I'll always name my character in MegaTen Persona "George Hiroshi".
Hahaha. I usually don't include my own name or how I look in character creations, and I definitely use money cheats in The sims and Make huge houses. But I really enjoyed this feature and a look into your mind.
I'm the exact opposite. I always go with default names, and if there isn't one, I'll check other media to see if they were given one elsewhere. In games like Skyrim, I generally just try my best to make up a cool sounding name.
As far as character models go, occasionally I'll try and make myself, but as you've stated, that just doesn't work. Usually I'll throw my hair on an average person and call it good enough.
Can't say I've really messed around with home creation outside of PS Home, and that kind of forced me into it's layout. I threw a chair around for a bit, but it neither looks like where I live, nor where I want to live.
Cars! I actually do find some small joy in riding around in old crap cars in racing games, but I quickly move on after I finish last in enough races. The only car I've ever owned is a Grand Prix, so... I usually end up picking the fastest, coolest looking vehicle available. Although, I do actually like to tune up some older cars and try to make them viable for racing. It's uh... tough work.
I literally do my best to replicate myself. I'm playing Skyrim again on PC and created a Dark haired, tan skin Nord. I guess I created a Filipinord.