19 May 2009

Here and WoW...

Pics of me real and imaginary.
World of Warcraft is a two dimensional world where two-dimensional characters live and interact with other two-dimensional characters. We create them from a stock number of possibilities that expand with time to include new hair colors and styles but that never really become less stock. These two-dimensional constructs are manned/peopled by real, living and breathing people who are very three-dimensional and real outside of the game. We have needs, biases, desires and lives that become entwined with these die-cut paper dolls we play in our made up World of Warcraft.
This is the most addictive part of the game for me. I’ve played very little in the way of video games, even less of the MMOPRG types of games like WoW. In fact, World of Warcraft is the ONLY game of its sort I have ever played.
Interacting in real time with a pre-formatted and pre-existent cartoon world full of pre-destined situations at the same time that I meet other people in the same world who are as real as I am was instantly and amazingly addictive.
From the start I was confused by the way that some people seemed naturally warmer to Syn than to Julienne or vice versa, and how people could love them, or create fixations on them and not have any real grasp that a real woman was behind them.
There are no fat or misshapen or damaged characters in WoW. The programming doesn’t allow for them to be. There will never be a body that represents me in WoW.
My girl warriors are my flagships in the magnificent World of Warcraft where I spend so many of my real life hours. I have so many other characters I’ve created, and these two are the favorites.
Syn is a spoiled beautiful girl created with the features and details of what I think of as a spoiled and overindulged girl… Julienne however, as the first character I ever created, probably most truly represents me.
In every way that Syn has been protected or neglected by her “brothers in arms” in Circle of Swords, Julienne has worked her way up often alone and confused and making mistakes to get where she’s gotten. Syn was taken through things but not expected to learn them, Julienne was taught things so that she would know them and could use them later without the help she had in the moment. Over and over the two characters became so different in how they were treated and perceived that I got to a place where I was confused about the girl on the other side who supposedly “controlled” them both.
They are different, my girls. Because I made them that way.
Julienne fishes in overalls barefoot because it was something I wanted her to do. It’s something I would do. She flies on a black-winged griffin that is visually stunning in his less than perfect coloring. She will own a motorcycle to ride in game and a drake when she flies, but will spend very little on extraneous additional mounts. Julienne’s one sentimentality is in the pets she has gotten for herself or been given as gifts until she has a virtual zoo of creatures and critters to enjoy.
Syn was to be my spoiled girl. On a PvP server where life is hard, I wanted her to be a kept child, imagining in my mind when I made her the perfect sexy girl raised in a monastery by loving and celibate men sworn to her protection or something. She became a pet, or sorts, for one player who didn’t expect or even want one… and that relationship took on all the developing story of a real world epic affair with none of the real world support for it.
It’s been sort of an understood silent joke between us that Syn was his diversion, a pretty little thing who needed him in a way he is unneeded in his real world. It culminated in a photo shoot of her many wardrobe options in different places and didn’t really become poignant for me until I stepped Syn off a floating island by mistake and she was dead in a pretty white dress in the green fields of Nagrand that a story was telling itself in the pictures we were taking, but it wasn’t the story we were playing at telling about a rendezvous or even an affair…
Neither of these girls is me. Not really. They are flat, made from my mind. The last thing the girl I am could be called is flat or two-dimensional.
And both of them are me. Together. A picture can be glimpsed of the real girl by stepping back and away and studying the two-dimensional me’s in the game. Very few have found her, I’m only just beginning to see where she is and am sad, because now the two girls I thought were so different are in fact very much the same.
And I’ve never been an “other woman”… not in the real world or otherwise.
But Syn has… in a very painfully and shockingly real way.
Not to the friend in the pictures, mind you, but to me.
Syn was an attempt at an escape for me. Created to be something I’m not that sadly has now become just who I am anyway, no matter how hard I tried to make her something different. Even her name stood her apart from the others… not named to define a character like Skadi and Venal were or named like a real girl like Julienne, but SweetAsSyn… a girl so sweet she should be outlawed and warned about. An addiction but always supposed to be out of reach. And now she has become known as Syn… a girl. Because try as I might, I just couldn’t make her something I didn’t want to be. Even in a game.
And for one bored and indulgent friend and myself one night we accidentally found that place where the sad or tired or frustrated “here” where we live transcends magically into the vivid and comically perfect place called WoW for a few minutes playing that had nothing to do with quests, or rep grinding or even exploring the game.
Not romance. Not even sexy. Just funny and sad and a whole lot thoughtful… and it all started with a request for a sexy vixen outfit for the spoiled girl named Syn…
I found a new best friend. Someone silly and thoughtful and injured and equally beautiful and different from his two-dimensional selves.
Here first... and then WoW.

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