Beguiling New Identities

Part of the previously mentioned cultural shackles involves submitting to a personality lock-down.

At the Renaissance Faire, there was one young woman who played the Queen of England, year after year, at Faire after Faire. As she was carried aloft in her traveling palanquin[2] by a dozen young men, all others at the Faire would fall silent and bow when she passed by.

[2] A palanquin is seat or throne set on two poles. The throne and the poles are conveyed aloft, parallel to the ground, on the shoulders of a group of carriers.

I remember observing this one day, as I stood alongside a cynical news reporter. He leaned over to me and said, "How sad that this woman feels she has to pretend to be a queen."

I can still remember my response. "How sad that she lives in a society that doesn't see she has the nobility of a queen."

A role that allows a person to take on a beguiling new identity is a role the player will assume quite willingly, of course modified by individual taste. Even at the Renaissance Faire, those who enjoyed playing nobility wouldn't dream of playing a peasant, and visa versa.

In a game, we can escape our cultural shackles and become:

  • A dark and mysterious hero

  • The most feared man or woman in the county

  • A benevolent god or the ruthless dictator of an entire community

  • Mario

  • An alien

  • A superhero

  • The leader of a fearless band of space militia

  • The world's best thief

  • A dancer in Britney Spears' stage troupe

  • A noir detective

  • A funny but slightly insane animal

Or we can choose hundreds of other roles that normally aren't available to us.



Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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