I may be late to the party, but I am ready to rock! As usual, I am inspired to comment by the profound and honest, Navimie.
Let me start with an honest question: At what point did we ever get led to believe that WoW has ANY basis in reality? Fantasy is the big word here.
Fantasy (noun) – The faculty or activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable.
- Magic – Arcane, Divine, Fel
- Magical creatures – Dragons, living oozes, Qiraji/Nerubians/Mantids, Demons, Elementals
- Aliens – Draenei and Orcs
- Other Non-Humans – Tauren, Goblins, Elves. Pandaren, Trolls, Gnolls
- Gods – Titans and Old Gods
- Unrealistic world events – Exploding planets, Cataclysm, space travel, time travel, the dead coming back to life
So, with a stark reminder that WoW =/= reality, why should the machinations and relationships and even outfits of the characters in this fantasy world be any more realistic? Unrealistic worlds lead to unrealistic interactions and reactions we can only guess at.
I mean, to even try and truly empathize with a fantasy character is a delusion.
To empathize requires sharing the feelings of another. Because I can never put myself into the situation of watching the Burning Legion enslave my race and destroy my planet and chase my renegade family through the cosmos for thousands of years, I can only make guesses at what this would feel like. Therefore, I can sympathize, I can imagine, I can create fiction, but I cannot empathize.
Video game avatars are the face we present to others when we are in a gaming world. They can signify ourselves or they can signify an ideal we strive toward (a role model) or they can be complete fiction of a character that grows with us.
Avatar (noun) – An incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.
My favorite race is the Draenei. Not because they are sex-on-hooves, but because they are completely different from myself in real life. (And they are blue and have tails.) Effraeti, and her adopted daughter Ireenia, have become my projection of my fantasy-self, my avatars. Fantasy is a step away from ourselves, delving deeper not into what COULD be (that’s Sci Fi, ie. the possible future), but into what COULD NEVER be (Fantasy, ie. worlds and characters bore completely of imagination).
Heck, that is why Ireenia is a dragon – because I could never be a dragon (or even meet one – sigh) IRL. 🙂
So though I may project my own personality upon my characters, they are in no way 100% me. They are fantastical representations of myself. Not even an ideal, because I believe they still have flaws. Therefore, their outfits and actions are also fantastical.
Because even though I am a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers girl – Draenei don’t have feet, they cannot wear sneakers. 😉 Draenei “shoes” are more appropriately categorized as leg-warmers.
Female Role Models
Role Model (noun) – A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.
The other night, Navi asked me if I consider any WoW female story characters role models. Well, personally, even in real life I don’t really have any role models. Being that a role model is someone ideal to look up to and imitate – I have my own standards and ideals that I strive for, some even I cannot live up to. heh I could say my mom, because she is selfless and loving and has always been there for me, but there are things I would do differently and I have different goals than her. But my mom is probably the closest I would go to naming a role model.
So trying to name a role model in WoW is even more difficult for me, personally. But I will say there are some women in WoW I find fascinating and inspiring.
Like people in real life, or the personas I create in my WoW characters, WoW storyline characters have pros and cons, ideal characteristics and flaws.
Alexstrasza is a very powerful female character. She is the leader of a matriarchal society, being the both the leader of the red dragonflight and the Dragon Queen of all the dragonflights on Azeroth. She has faced many trials, certainly not limited to the defection of her friend and ally, Neltharion, the death of her mate, Korialstrasz, and the loss of her immortality and Titan-given powers. Despite all this, she is still a strong character with morals and actions that can be commended.
Ysera is another dragon and leader of the green dragonflight. She has long been the keeper and protector of the Emerald Dream, and led a powerful defense that drove out the corrupting forces tainting the Emerald Dream. She has also been through many trials, similar to her sister, Alexstrasza, and thought she is not as prominent a figure as her sister, she has stayed strong and true to herself.
Lorna Crowley is an important story character in the Worgen start zone. She is a Gilnean and daughter to Lord Darius Crowley. Your first encounter with her is her saving your life when you are bitten by a Worgen and infected. Throughout the rest of the storyline, she proves to be a strong and valuable ally to you, leading many attacks fearlessly in the defense of Gilneas.
Lady Liadrin is a Blood Elf and the leader of the Blood Knights. Originally, she was a character seeming to be driven by the same addictions that threatened to destroy her people. After the perversion and destruction of the Sunwell by Arthas and the Scourge, the Blood Elves were desperate to find an alternate source for feeding their magical addictions. Lady Liadrin was one of the driving forces in binding and leeching away the very life force of M’uru, a Naaru, to pervert the powers of the Light and create a group of Blood Knights, similar to the Paladins. It was after the betrayal of Kael’thas that she threw herself at the mercy of A’dal in Shattrath City, swore allegiance to the Shattered Sun Offensive, and became, with her Blood Knights, an integral player in the rekindling of the Sunwell.
Princess Moira was to be the heir of Ironforge and the Bronzebeard legacy. She defied her father and left Ironforge to marry Emperor Dagran Thaurissan of the Dark Iron, another powerful but rival dwarven clan. At first, Moira seems a fairly flat character, seeming more like a hapless prisoner of Emperor Dagran than anything else. But after his death and the unintentional petrification of her father Magni, Moira returns to Ironforge with Dagran’s son, seeking to claim the leadership of the Bronzbeard clan in addition to that of the Dark Irons. A period of civil unrest followed, and Moira settled for a joint leadership in the Council of Three Hammers. Most recently, Moira has proved she is more than just a tyrant and is most interested in gaining the approval of her people and the Alliance.
Who are your role models in WoW (female or male)?