Living in Volda gives you some different perspective on mortality and the influence of nature. I have been putting off going to visit a tailor - the road to where she lives has been closed due to avalances! A colleague of mine who moved up here from Oslo, lived in Austefjorden, the bottom of the fjord I live by. "Look out for avalances" I told him when he moved there. He thought I was kidding. Three days later a huge rock just missed his car as he was driving to work.
These very physical reminders that I live in a world where I am flesh, soft vulnerable flesh at that, carry into the games I play. It's interesting to observe others playing, there are those who choose to let their virtual bodies be virtually invulnerable. The pleasure of having control, of being invincible and powerful is very seductive, particularly to new players. Older and more experienced players discover the pleasure of being vulnerable - their characters have flaws, and their plots sometimes fail or give bad backlash. Do we as humans need the thrill of mortality? That's actually a valid topic for discussion in MUD-world. What does longevity do to the mindset of elves? What does having short lives do to orcs and humans? Aarinfel discusses these topics seriously, to use the views to further roleplay - players are writing long essays exploring the consequences of longevity on world-views, on racism, on sex (busy topic), just to pick some of what's discussed there.
Right now I am sulking because I don't have the energy to push a plot I got involved in through... I comfort myself that I am up against the immortals, and what mortal can win in a case like that? But I fear for my darling elf... And so I am staying out of the game, mudding when I am too tired or not feeling well makes me blur the borders between IC and OOC - In Character and Out Of Character.
I feel like mastering something today, succeeding in something - and because I know what I am up against in the game, I know there's no other end than tragedy. Although tragedy might be a hundred elfin years off *smiles*. Losing sight of the difference between IC and OOC is one of the worst sins a mudder can do - forgetting that it's just a game after all.
Too many take their losses, their depressions, their weaknesses into the gameworld and hope to be the beautiful princess where they are just average people in the flesh-worlds. Little is as painful as the realisation that the character is just a part of you, although it might be a remote one. It might be a part you don't use in other occasions, it might be a flirt where you are normally shy, it can be wicked where you are kind, but it can't be anything beyond your own potential. That reminds me I have to go back to my interviews... Jodi Nevins has some great thoughts on the roleplayer subject, but the world will never know unless I publish.