2010-04-24

Players At The Game Of People

Originally posted by Najwalaylah

I don't prefer, and I don't despise Human for a Race in an RPG.


The capital H and R are used deliberately because this kind of creature in most MMORPGs is (according to whatever The Story may be) as fantastical, as different from the mundane, as alien in its way as all the myriad of Elf kinds, Dwarves and other Shorties, Big Uglies, and Other are when compared to the RL species to which all players belong. The baked-in differences are only, at best, more subtle. If nothing else, I look around and the heroic Human-oid type that is the standard avatar for the Race in most games is notably rare in Real Life.
Clichéd but true and overheard IRL:

  • Normally-Dressed to Oddly-Dressed Person: "Why are you wearing this costume?"
  • Oddly-Dressed Person to Normally-Dressed Person: "Why are you pretending you're not wearing one?"
Insightful guildmates past have commented truthfully (and played out the best examples of which I know, to prove it) that to adopt a "human" persona not your own and roleplay it, or to try to simulate a human but alien society and belief system can be more of a challenge to the imagination than it is to play pretend at being something else entirely. Often, after all, everyone knows how a ____ (fill in name of non-Human Race) is supposed to act.
  • Corollary: and the majority of those who play Whatever It Is will play it against type-- in other words, be a .

If the differences are only in pixels, then it hardly matters, and can be more of a challenge (and therefore, in some sense, more fun) to build a useful, powerful (and possibly colourful) character out of vanilla humanity.
  • But... but... I like seeing myself in tusks. In the past, I've even had a sneaking fondness for long ears or lekku. It's all equally good and equally silly.

If the lore, setting, rationale, plot, theme, possibilities and potential victory conditions are a lot different than real life, then to assume the rôle of or pretend to be a Human from some other kind of world is as much a stretch, in a slightly different set of directions, as it is to really, really get into playing a Troll.

Be a simple
Kind of man
Be something
You love and understand...

-- Lynyrd Skynyrd
On the other hand, I really enjoyed this take:

I only pick Human if there are no other interesting (to me) ones to choose. I play a Human everyday so when I MMO game I tend to step away from that.
-- Khalathwyr, who with no blame uses a picture of Drizzt as his avatar.


  • Title taken from the name of a book.

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