Jump to content

Do you give your avatars backstories?


You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 977 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

Indeed, it was a lot of wasted effort, but not necessarily wasted time. Sometimes we have to do things to determine that it's not what we like. I tried it, it didn't work for me, I ended it. I'm not going to try to say I am 100% honest 100% of the time, but I tend toward honesty vs white lies and definitely try to avoid the big fat lies (other than my previously mentioned experiment). Lately, if there is something  don't want to tell or talk about, I just say so. 

That being said, I don't seem to care as much these days about whether or not someone is giving me the "real" story or a made up one (1st or 2nd) because I'll probably never meet them and unless we become very, very close friends in 1st life too, I'll never know the truth anyway. If I were, for example, using SL as a dating platform, I would care more about "the truth", but I'm not. 

Even inside of backstories that are role-play, made up, or whatever,  there will always, in my opinion, be aspects of the real. How can you create if it doesn't come within?

There is, I think, a difference between telling lies to help yourself and telling lies to help others. For me, the peril with either kind of lie is that I'm not terribly good at figuring out what will help.

Still, I take that risk and say things which may not be true, but will hopefully help. (ex. "Yes, you're cute as a button.")

Although most of us know big fat lies when we tell them, and so don't tell them, it's harder to know them when we hear them. And that casts at least a little doubt on "How can you create if it doesn't come within?"

Still, I take that risk and accept people as they present themselves, especially if they tell me I'm as cute as a button when asked.

;-).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Maddy's back story:

10 years old and still a kitten? I think this is my favorite part.  Second Life is ageless.

Over the past ten years, I've tinkered with my backstory a bit. I'm a sentient clockwork automation, created by Dr. Milton Mariner's Mechanical Manservants and Farm Machinery for The Great Exhibi

1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Still, I take that risk and accept people as they present themselves, especially if they tell me I'm as cute as a button when asked.

;-).

I think that's where I'm at now. I'll take you as you present yourself (I'm not as hung up on whether or not it is true, because what does it really matter inside of SL? If it works inside your own needs of SL and you are not purposefully hurting another, then these days I'm a lot more relaxed). Again, I think that is more regarding people that do NOT intend to bring Sl into RL. If there is an intention of deliberately mixing the two, then I think it is more important to be as honest as possible to avoid conflict - but, that's me. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As with tabletop roleplaying, I tend to not make a backstory for my character(s), since backstories are just something people have to read, are always written to conclusion, and thus don't affect anything. What I do instead is create a background. Who is the character? What are some details about them? And are there any past events (though loosely detailed) that affect them.

My main character background is that I'm in grade 5, am a little bit shy and sensitive, but am playful and a bit dorky, am a Pisces, and that my parents died in a car accident (the reason why I was adopted instead of having a family already). That's it. I didn't even have a specific age until I had to pick one, and the circumstances and details of the family death haven't be prescribed or explored. Everything else is based on what has happened in play (going to school, playing soccer, etc), though I don't leave those details in my profile as backstory.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I still was roleplaying (on Gor, at a Fantasy setting, and later at Highschool settings), I did create background stories for my designated RP-Accounts according to their RP - though I only wrote "Find it out during RP" in their profiles. :D

 

Yeah I know, some consider BDSM in SL to be nothing but RP as well, but I don't count it in. :ph34r:

 

Edited by sweetgem Clemenceau
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, HarrisonMcKenzie said:

As with tabletop roleplaying, I tend to not make a backstory for my character(s), since backstories are just something people have to read, are always written to conclusion, and thus don't affect anything. What I do instead is create a background. Who is the character? What are some details about them? And are there any past events (though loosely detailed) that affect them.

My main character background is that I'm in grade 5, am a little bit shy and sensitive, but am playful and a bit dorky, am a Pisces, and that my parents died in a car accident (the reason why I was adopted instead of having a family already). That's it. I didn't even have a specific age until I had to pick one, and the circumstances and details of the family death haven't be prescribed or explored. Everything else is based on what has happened in play (going to school, playing soccer, etc), though I don't leave those details in my profile as backstory.

I agree that our stories develop over time. Certainly, Ellie has her own story that has grown from SL experiences. When I was trying to create the persona I was experimenting with, I felt it required some backstory to help explain some quirks and such. I wanted to develop a character, much as one does in a novel. But, I tend to over analyze things and look at things from psychological perspectives - and with psychology, there is always a backstory. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

[ .... ]
Even inside of backstories that are role-play, made up, or whatever,  there will always, in my opinion, be aspects of the real. How can you create if it doesn't come within?

As Maddy points out, Mark Twain had excellent advice on this point:  "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."  On the other hand, he was also the person who said, "Reality can be beaten with enough imagination."  Pick your favorite perspective. o.O

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

As Maddy points out, Mark Twain had excellent advice on this point:  "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."  On the other hand, he was also the person who said, "Reality can be beaten with enough imagination."  Pick your favorite perspective. o.O

 

I'll stick with the first. My memory sucks anyway lol. Plus, the truth is just easier. What others do, well, that's up to them. I'm probably not going to let someone get close enough to me again to be concerned about their absolute truth. I know that sounds really cynical. 

Edited by EllieAnne Silverfall
Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

As Maddy points out, Mark Twain had excellent advice on this point:  "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."  On the other hand, he was also the person who said, "Reality can be beaten with enough imagination."  Pick your favorite perspective. o.O

 

A few years ago, I listened to a radio program (TED radio hour or Radiolab probably) about memory. It was fascinating and I've been having great fun with what I learned in that show. As it happens, we don't just recall things. Every time we access a memory, we re-write it. And we re-write it with any additional information that surfaces during our recollection, regardless whether that information comes from within or without. The researcher in the program mentioned an experiment in which families were recruited to recall old stories of shared experiences. In each case, one member was pulled aside and instructed to "recall" something that didn't happen. Each time the members shared the story, the "plant" would gently interject the fake recollection. It would go something like this...

First visit:
Researcher: "Tell me a family story".
Sister: "I remember we all went to the county fair when I was little."
Brother: "Yep, you dropped your ice cream cone on the sidewalk and started crying".
Sister: "I was really upset!"
Brother: "Especially when that dog licked it off the pavement."
Sister: "I don't remember that."

Second visit:
Researcher: "Tell me more about the county fair."
Brother: "To take her mind off the dog eating her ice-cream, Dad took her on the Ferris wheel."
Sister: "That was so much fun!".

Third visit:
Researcher: "What kind of dog ate your ice-cream at the county fair?".
Sister: "I don't remember, but I sure was upset at him."

This is a very condensed version of what actually happened, but you get the idea. These experiments were also conducted on animals (different method of course) who'd been given drugs to suppress short term memory. Those animals who were drugged did not have their recollections modified by the introduction of false memories. I may be misremembering, but I think they actually gave memory suppressing drugs to the human subjects as well, and were unable to plant false recollections in those who'd taken it.

So that got me experimenting. Over the last few years, I have inserted things into the recollections of a few friends and family members. Sometimes it's as simple as introducing something small into my recollection of an experience I shared with them, but I've also been able to insert myself into recollections I've only heard from others. I've a friend who now backs me up when I recall things from a lunch we shared a dozen years ago, even though I wasn't there. She'd told me stories of that lunch and I was able to recall enough of it in subsequent conversations that she eventually apologized for forgetting I was there.

That our memories are malleable should come as no surprise to us. That I'm now actively and purposely playing with this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well. And it should also come as no surprise that I'm doing it to myself. It works, and I have every confidence that, with sufficient practice, I'll be able to tell some pretty whopping lies and never get caught... because I'll believe I'm telling the truth.

Try it, I know you can do it.

;-).

ETA: I should add that Mom heard the same radio program. And that's why, every now and then she looks at me and says "Stop doing that." What I find so amusing about this is that I'm not doing it when she tells me to stop. And therein lies the peril of declaring oneself the "Nefarious One".

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the past ten years, I've tinkered with my backstory a bit.

I'm a sentient clockwork automation, created by Dr. Milton Mariner's Mechanical Manservants and Farm Machinery for The Great Exhibition of 1851. My creator cut his hand on my chassis as he wound me up, and I mistook the first word I heard as my name.

He and his family died in a house fire. I was blamed for their deaths, and I fled.

Since then, I've gotten into a few scrapes and had a few upgrades. Parkes, Edison, Tesla, Marie Curie, Oppenheimer, Turing, Whitby, Shockley, Hopper... all have had a hand in my evolution.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have any..I joined with a bunch of friends and we just enjoyed winging it every day..

I never had seen a world like this before and I think I was just way too excited about all the new things that I kept learning about..

That first place we rezzed at felt like it was going to be like the movie The Island..

Everyone walking around in lines, while this voice coming from somewhere spoke to us as we went from point to point..

At first I was like,this looks really boring guys, like logins run or something.. Then one of my friends said,no this is just orientation..Just wait till we get out of here..

 

Soon as we went to the mainland and I seen stores and free everywhere..I hit the ground running..

still to this day or the last time I was in anyways,trying to get all that free crap out of my inventory..

hehehehe

ETA: There is one item from my freebie days that I swore I would never get rid of,because it just impressed me so much that someone actually thought to make this thing..

My worlds largest flying pancake.

Edited by Ceka Cianci
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Madelaine McMasters

That must be how gas lighting works on people. I've always wondered about that. I'm pretty stubborn about what I remember when someone tells me I have it wrong. I even irritate my mom because I am always correcting her embellished stories. I'm sure everyone is susceptible to a certain degree, but I wonder if some people show resistance to planted memories. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EllieAnne Silverfall said:

@Madelaine McMasters

That must be how gas lighting works on people. I've always wondered about that. I'm pretty stubborn about what I remember when someone tells me I have it wrong. I even irritate my mom because I am always correcting her embellished stories. I'm sure everyone is susceptible to a certain degree, but I wonder if some people show resistance to planted memories. 

Yep, we're all susceptible, @EllieAnne Silverfall.

Has your recollection of an event ever differed from that of someone else who was there? I think we've all had that happen. Our memories are imperfect. Whether we come to the conclusion that our memory was in error, or the other person's was, will depend on the circumstances. But in all circumstances, both parties memories of the event will be altered at least a little. If you decide that the other person's account of the event is credible, you'll concede that you may have missed or misremembered something. And their recollection will now be appended (with some varying degree of strength) to your own. Remember, you can't recall anything without re-writing the memory. It would be rare indeed for that memory to be rewritten exactly as it was recalled. The only unblemished memories are those not yet recalled.

It's unlikely that people in your life are consciously trying to insert false recollections in your head, so there's little to worry about. Or is there? We're all misperceiving and misremembering, all the time. And so it's impossible to get us all together without errors or embellishments propagating. We know this. Normal Rockwell celebrated it in his famous "The Gossips"...

Gossips_web.jpg

My niece cousin (That "error" demonstrates what we're discussing. I have no nieces!) is a budding criminal lawyer. She and I have had several lengthy discussions about the fallibility and malleabilty of perception and memory. When I asked her if there would come a day that eyewitness testimony would hold no weight in court, she replied "That day can't come soon enough!"

Do you remember the line "Play it again, Sam" from Casablanca? Many people do. It was never uttered. I could cite countless examples like this.

Remember once again, every time your brain recalls something, that thing must be rewritten. And it's rewritten in the current context of the recollection. Something that reminds you of another thing might well be stored away as having greater correlation to that thing than it deserves. You don't need someone else to plant false memories in your head, you're doing it to yourself every day. I could go on and on about the various ways in which our memories degrade over time. If it's so easy for that to happen absent malice, why should we think we're malice proof?

As a lover of stories, I'm naturally attracted to the idea that "We are the stories we tell." That radio program and my subsequent little experiments have showed me just how much I'd underestimated the truth of that idea.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As I get older, I am comforted to find that brain researchers are paying attention to this retention/accessibility issue.  Ten years ago, I started worrying about my short term memory -- I often can't remember a name that I heard 15 minutes ago -- until I read that research tells us that our brains simply have more things to remember as we age.  It's harder to find room in short term memory for all the new things we hear because our brains are busy replaying old memories, stuffing them temporarily into short-term registers.  Of course, that also means that old memories get reinforced all the time and -- as you point out, Maddy -- amended.  So, now that I am teetering on the edge of being old, I understand why I remember some scenes from grade school better than the list of things I was supposed to get at the grocery store today.  Or, I think I do ......

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

As I get older, I am comforted to find that brain researchers are paying attention to this retention/accessibility issue.  Ten years ago, I started worrying about my short term memory -- I often can't remember a name that I heard 15 minutes ago -- until I read that research tells us that our brains simply have more things to remember as we age.  It's harder to find room in short term memory for all the new things we hear because our brains are busy replaying old memories, stuffing them temporarily into short-term registers.  Of course, that also means that old memories get reinforced all the time and -- as you point out, Maddy -- amended.  So, now that I am teetering on the edge of being old, I understand why I remember some scenes from grade school better than the list of things I was supposed to get at the grocery store today.  Or, I think I do ......

And this leads me to ask you how you're handling the separation of SL memories and RL ones? I suspect this amended recollection mechanism is responsible for the gradual blending of my RL and SL experiences. This hasn't risen to the level of worry for me, but I've no doubt this will be an issue for many in the future.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Madelaine McMasters said:

And this leads me to ask you how you're handling the separation of SL memories with RL ones? I suspect this amended recollection mechanism is responsible for gradual blending of my RL and SL experiences. This hasn't risen to the level of worry for me, but I've no doubt this will be an issue for many in the future.

My grasp on reality is fungible.  Although I have made efforts over the last decade to keep RL and SL apart -- no one in either world knows me in the other, for example -- the two are quite intermeshed in my own head.  Like many SL residents, I have found myself looking at things in RL and wondering how much land impact they have.  I find that I am as likely to dream about SL settings and people as I am to re-live episodes from my RL in the 1950s.  My SL and RL alts are firmly in control of their identities, but they do talk to each other.  I'd worry about split personality, except that I like each of mine too much to worry.  Besides, they keep me company.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

My grasp on reality is fungible.  Although I have made efforts over the last decade to keep RL and SL apart -- no one in either world knows me in the other, for example -- the two are quite intermeshed in my own head.  Like many SL residents, I have found myself looking at things in RL and wondering how much land impact they have.  I find that I am as likely to dream about SL settings and people as I am to re-live episodes from my RL in the 1950s.  My SL and RL alts are firmly in control of their identities, but they do talk to each other.  I'd worry about split personality, except that I like each of mine too much to worry.  Besides, they keep me company.

I'd been in SL only two years when one of Iceland's volcanos erupted in April of 2010. As I watched the news, I flashed back to recollections of hiking on the real Mauna Loa in 2007, and SL's mount G'al in 2008/9. It took a few seconds of conscious effort on my part to re-establish a firewall between those two recollections. They remain separate to this day, but who knows what other mixed recollections will be triggered in the future.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we are confessing cross over memories....

I once spent at least half an hour going through my boots and shoes folder trying to find the right pair of cute, mid-height ankle boots with buttons on the side before I remembered that I had them in my closet. :o

And then there was the time a few years ago when my husband admitted he was looking for the auto-follow button while we were driving home.  Same phenomenon; different game.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only confusion I've ever had with SL/RL have been romantic entanglements. I have a dear friend in SL that is now also a RL friend, but that's different somehow. Like, we can talk about SL as SL and RL as RL. We can keep them separate with each other. But an intense romantic entanglement in the past had me severely blurring the lines between real and fantasy, which is why now (and I just realized  may be repeating myself) I don't want to see someone's RL picture and I don't want to show mine. I want to keep things as separate as possible in my mind. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2017 at 3:26 PM, Madelaine McMasters said:

And this leads me to ask you how you're handling the separation of SL memories and RL ones? I suspect this amended recollection mechanism is responsible for the gradual blending of my RL and SL experiences. This hasn't risen to the level of worry for me, but I've no doubt this will be an issue for many in the future.

Heh, as I have Real Life, Second Life and events in a Second Life Roleplay to keep track of.....I end up taking notes on the important stuff :-)  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally when I started Second Life, I was just an explorer and not really active in the roleplay community. When I wanted a horse to ride on, I created an alt that was just a horse (I loved how the horse avatars moved with the riding systems), and got into the Equestrian RP community. My alt horse avatar has a backstory, and now my main (this one) has a backstory for the Equestrian RP community. That backstory, however stays within the Equestrian Roleplays that I partake in if that makes sense. You can say that Ash is somewhat an extension of me, in that I tried to make her look similar to my RL self and she loves horses (although she owns my alt and I partake in riding lessons.) :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are 3 separated worlds. 1st life, 2nd life and some roleplays inside of SL. I don't have connected them, just in my dreams things mix up because the firewall is down there. I don't see that as a problem as long as I still know who I am when I wake up. :D

But a background story for SL as a whole? I don't need that. Well, in case that one of the poor people that can not separate RL and SL wants to know everything about my RL then I can quickly draw out a background story and point them to my RL profile picture. That will make them run fast. :D

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I first read this as "Do you give your avatars backsides" after that any attempt at a serious answer faded for some time.  :$

For me, yes my avatar has a backstory but that is only one aspect it which is fused with the real me.
It is difficult to know where one starts and one ends at times.

Related questions: Do you find your SL avatar behaviours bleed over into RL? and do you ever dream of being your SL avatar in RL?

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 977 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...