[I’ve talked about how I often create a personal narrative for my characters in any game that will let me. I describe their backstory, their daily life and how they feel about things in their fictional world. I recently started playing Dragon Age: Origins and thought I would share my creation process and major choices as I go.]
The ability to create a new person is one of the most profound abilities that players have. You have to consider what this person will be like, both visually and mentally. While most people will accept the defaults and start playing the game, I take time to make the character as I see them in my head. After all, I have to live this person’s virtual life. I need to know how they look because that will influence how they act.
I stopped to read all the choice before moving on to class and specializations. Each race and class has their own story and I read them all. After looking through all the options, I chose to be female elf rogue (ranger) who lived in the city. Having chosen all that, I stepped back from the game and typed out the personal story of this character. It is as follows:
You don’t lust after the things the humans have. You know that your place in the world is in the slums and you have come to accept that. When you were little you had dreamed of the castles and nobility but, being an elf, you know that that life is not for you. Grown out of that fantasy, and having become a quiet but known member of your little area of the city, you prepare for your wedding.
You do not love the man. Not now anyway. Maybe, with time, you will begin to but today it is about joining his family and making a home. You wish to have children one day. Even if this husband never loves you, you will love any children you have. Unlike your own parents.
They were cruel. Wanting so much to be like the human that enslaved them, your parents thumbed their noses at the people around them and tried to act human. They were not. In a tragic accident at his job as blacksmith, your father died. Your mother, never one to be overly sentimental, married up. You have not heard from her since then.
Today it is all about you. Your life and this wedding. You just hope nothing goes wrong.
Then I started playing. After hearing, via voice-over, that evil magic created evil things, I was placed in the body of my character. The game started.
[Part two will describe my adventure in town as I looked for my husband, learned about a child’s game and had to kill a bunch of guards who wanted to rape me.]