Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

Identification

Posted by Nathan P. on November 17, 2006

So there’s this thing that happens with roleplaying, where you can have an awesome game session, but then if you retell the narrative, it’s flat or staid or not particularly interesting. And this is a dissonance, because you know that it was a really fun game, and you guys were all really into making that narrative through your audience-participation, so why is the “plot” so lame?

So there’s this thing that happens in literature and film where it’s creator gets you to identify with different characters in different ways. It”s really easy to see in film because it’s how film works as an emotional medium – the good guy has a set of attributes, and is presented to you in such a way, as to make you project your sense of self-identity into him. The villain is presented in such a way as for you to project things and people that you have experience with as being wrong or bad into him. And so on.

So there’s this thing in roleplay called “character creation,” where the process of creating your filter for interaction with the fiction is a process of straight-up, no-holds-barred, identification with that character.  And so, your game is full of characters that you start off the bat as identifying with in a way that nobody else can.

So I think that’s really interesting.

2 Responses to “Identification”

  1. I think character creation doesn’t, by its nature, encourage identification with a character. You can spend just as much time spending your leftover points or optimizing your feats as you do making up characteristics for the guy. I’d say that systems where that kind of thing happens are barring holds.

    What makes you identify with the character are the sympathetic features the character has. They can come from wherever; they might come up in play, and in fact, probably should.

  2. Uh…why does identification have to do with characteristics?

    What if I say that character creation invests you in your character in a way that movies get you invested in their protagonists?

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