Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Killing Your Avatar Self

There have been some who thought it brave that this typist killed off her character in a roleplay in Deadwood in October, and some who thought it sad. There were others who kept their thoughts and feelings to themselves. I can only assume some thought it was an improvement, some just shrugged it off, and most of course barely knew Mrs. Marrant Vita.

I never bothered to explain a good deal about the sudden death by fire of the orphanage director, who expired holding an orphan infant in her arms. Fellow roleplayers determined that four more infants also died before the fire was put out.

Our town funeral director was excited about the opportunity to manage a funeral, complete with a day long viewing followed by a service at the funeral home and then a few graveside songs and words. The whole event offered a chance for regulars and newcomers to participate in an ensemble event, and it was well played by many
It was very odd to be present at one's own funeral, odder still to be reacting to it as another player because I was there, as the same avatar who plays Marrant also plays her 11 year old niece, Elizabeth.

Nobody has asked Why, probably because I explained it to friends though typically of me, it was not a well thought out rational plan, but rather following some kind of ethereal leading. Things in Deadwood had been .. well, dead for a while. Behind the scenes there'd been some upheavals brought about by major dramas among some of our players. I'd been roleplaying infrequently, having taken a long break from my admin duties. The character of Marrant had been absent due to long migraines; when I roleplayed, it was as Elizabeth, a depressed child avatar with a dark history of losing family members and taking the guilt on herself.

The fire in the orphanage came about while Elizabeth and other regulars were up on the hills, celebrating a great Halloween event co-sponsored by Miss Salissa Wilder, owner of the Bella Union Saloon and (ironically) the orphanage.

This typist came back down into town and saw a few players about and wondered how long it would take for someone to notice the orphanage was on fire. People came and went and walked by, the doors of the orphanage were wide open, flames were flickering. Nothing happened. Another fire was added. Still nothing. The flames were moved up so they peeked out of the top of the orphanage. It took about an hour, but eventually the fire was noticed, and I have to say, the roleplay was incredibly good... I was going to say fun, but that's not quite right, given the deaths and reactions. There was definitely humor in there.. dark tragi-humor... but also some tragi-drama.

There were three parts at least to it

Why why why? Well, I was a bit depressed about the goings on in the sim. The orphanage really needed to be burned down so it could be rebuilt. Marrant is fun to play == in the worst case, I could dig up (so to speak) a twin sister and drag her back in. But Marrant really is my builder and shopkeeper, so when she's in Deadwood, I prefer that she is the dark 11 year old Elizabeth. Also, I wanted to be an admin again and Elizabeth's role is minor which makes admining much easier. Finally, someday Deadwood will be burning down (as it did in 1879) and going back to 1876, when Marrant can be reborn.

I miss playing her sometimes -- in roleplay, she's been the part of me who still believes in Happily Ever After and positive endings, in fairy tales and Santa Claus, a comical innocent I've loved playing. And strangely, it's my child avatar, Elizabeth, who doubts all of that and is more concerned with gloom and doom and darkness that I-the-typist see as more like real life. She reveals a lot about me - I look forward to the day when I can bring Marrant (French for oddly amusing) back to life in Deadwood.

Being dead is not so bad, at least in these circumstances.


  1. S'funny old thing - I've been RPing with my main av, HeadBurro Antfarm, and it felt odd. At first it was just a tale I was telling of how he came to be half-gazelle from a full human but as the RP bit this year I found that I needed to kill him. But I couldn't. He is me and I and he. But something had to give. Either he went or I did.

    He won: http://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/backpacking-burro-the-truth/

  2. I'm still RPing with HBA since the disconnect, but so far I've tried to kill him off with torture, sacrifice, nuclear explosion, fire and now serial killer. I've wiped his memory and removed all trace of his background - he's only just got his name back. Oh, and I have several unknown groups out to kill him.

    I dare say I'd keep a shrink in new shoes for a while ;-D

  3. Haha, well notice I haven't been able to let go of myself...Marrant R Me.

  4. Marrant,

    I was so sorry to have missed the funeral, but couldn't for the life of me think of a way to rp Merry back in and out of DW on the same day.
    I did read everything posted, though, and it was incredibly moving.
    Very nicely done.

  5. I can never get rid of HBA - he is me. But when it comes to RP he is not and I think I find that disconnect hard to deal with. I may give him a break soon, once he moves into Steelhead St Helens :)

  6. All sensible reasons, Miss Vita (even giving the funeral director some excitement!). Still, it must have taken courage.