If you’re big on social media, chances are that you have seen this cute website floating around; in anticipation of The Peanuts Movie in November, you can create a Peanuts version of yourself. When it comes to making characters, I cannot help myself. In most cases, I find making characters more fun than actually doing anything with them (this is a problem). But I also love imagining myself in alternate universes, in different scenarios and living spaces. It is impossible not to do this during long-term brain trips to a book series or season of anime episodes. Who would I be, and what would I do? Would I fight bravely alongside the heroes, or struggle in the sidelines?
This is a really interesting (and addictive) way of finding out more about yourself; it can help you discover some strengths and weaknesses you didn’t realize you had, or some qualities about yourself that you don’t always like. And that’s okay. We all have flaws – no one is perfect. It’s those little chips and flaws in a character that make them so unique. As someone who has roleplayed on numerous online forums, let me reassure you: character biographies not only have sections for strengths and talents, but for weaknesses, too. Without them, your character would seem generic, or unnatural. And so would you!
When I joined a new Dragonriders of Pern forum last year, my first character was largely based on myself. Evidently, I had written up the character for another forum in another time; I found the biography saved in one of my Google Drive folders. Figures, right? I altered the biography to fit the site and setting, and Telar was born. Her appearance, personality, history, strengths and weaknesses all had little pieces of me mixed in. Because of that, I found I could connect with her more easily. When a flood occurred in her universe and she ended up right in the middle of it, she panicked … because I realized I, a terrible swimmer, would also panic.
Sometimes we and our friends will have that superhero discussion; if you were a superhero or mutant, what powers would you have? Games like that can tell you a lot about yourself. My answer is usually shape-shifting into other creatures, so I could swim, fly, and be able to handle everything. Sometimes I want supernatural abilities, such as reading minds or traveling through other dimensions. It always seems to have to do with adaptability and change. It’s like a character study of yourself. Though I sometimes wonder how much is too much!
Am I the only one who imagines themselves in another story-line or universe? And what superpowers would you want?