Saturday, 9 August 2014

I Was A Teenage Player Character

A bit of a follow-up to Batman Week, as Comics Alliance discusses the importance of Spider-Man and the teen or otherwise just-starting-out hero standing up to adult worlds they are not quite ready for.

Remember when you were the weirdest person in the world?
Of course you do.
You were strange and a stranger, a misfit hoping to pass until adulthood set in. Everything about you was wrong - your looks, your attitude, your parents, your skin, your strength, the gaping glowing fiery hole in your face where your mouth and lower jaw used to be.
During this period, your inner thoughts were shaped by two fierce hopes. One was that somewhere, someone would appreciate your uniqueness. The other was that this uniqueness would one day cause everyone to admire you or at least take you seriously.
What you were, of course, was a teenager.
Warren Ellis, pitch for Generation X

When I was a teen coughty-cough years ago, I often played youngish adult characters, somewhere around Batman’s perennial age of 28. I didn’t really want to identify that directly with my characters, I wanted to play a grownup - much like Spider-Man does. I wanted to play a character who had his act together and knew what he was doing. I’m still waiting for that part of my life to start.

I went back to late teens and early twenties for an ongoing Buffy game starting when I was... 28. And quite a few of my players were also contemporaries of mine, although some were actual freshers playing freshers.

There’s a lot of adolescence to new Kindred in Vampire (especially early Masquerade) as they are brought in to a stagnant world and encouraged by the game to stick it to The Man. I’d consider a high school game now - it would very much be about the ups and downs of youth.

It basically says “Everybody who made it through adolescence is a hero.”
Joss Whedon on the mythologising of Buffy

Playing a character just starting out and making their first mistakes may need the benefit of hindsight.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure what character's I played when I was a teenager. I seemed to spend a lot more time GMing then rather than playing. I get the feeling the few I played in my late teens were all world-weary cynics. For some reason I saw that as a good thing to be.