Thursday, October 14, 2010

Into the Mysts

So, I was catching up with some webcomics and ran across this Penny Arcade strip about the possibility of a Myst movie being made. For those of you who haven't heard of this game, it was a puzzle game from the mid 90's the was quite popular. The player character is nameless, genderless and only referred to as 'stranger'. The comic strip depicts a man as the main character. My first thought was, "They would change the character to a man for the movie." Then I remembered about the character not having any identifying traits during gameplay and yet I had a very strong feeling that the character 'I' had played was a woman.

These days if I'm given a choice between playing a man or woman in a game I play the woman. It feels more right and comfortable. I played Fallout 3 as a woman. My first character in Dragon Age: Origins was a woman.

Myst had no character selection screen. You never see any part of your character and as I said the few characters you do meet call you 'stranger'. So why did I think I was playing a woman? Not having a predetermined character I, as many others who played the game did also, inserted themselves into the character.

I find this very interesting because as I said the game came out in the mid 90's and I played it either in 1999 or 2000. This is at least four maybe five years before I realized I was transgender. Even before I could consciously think of such a thing as being transgender, I projected a female personality onto a blank slate.

On one hand this is mildly validating but on the other it's just another point of data letting me know just how clueless I was back then.


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