BouncyMischa (bouncymischa) wrote,

Further Reflections on Self-Insertion, Character Discrepancy, and the Character-Artist Divide

I've done some more thinking about the topic that I wrote about earlier... specifically, the discrepancies between genie-Mischa and rl Mischa. :3

Back when I first started playing in the Napping Cat's Dream, Kasumi Murasaki was my primary (and, for a while, only) character. As such, I'd often find myself called 'Kasumi' in other situations with people from the NCD. For example, I'd go on AIM or into the chat and people would go "Hi Kasumi!". I found it rather uncomfortable, since in my mind Kasumi is a very distinct person. All of my characters reflect portions of myself, but at the same time Kasumi has her own history, her own family, her own friends, her own enemies, her own job, her own goals and aspirations... and so on. She is so vividly her own person that I cannot see myself as her, or vice versa.

I tried creating Chad Robertson, another character, as a reflection of myself. His name was a slight distortion on my own, but that small gap proved to be enough to make it hard to identify him as myself. In the end, he became his own character as well... similar to me, but not a perfect reflection. Thus, in the end, I created Mischa as my 'player-god' avatar. She's still gone on to be very different, but I still identify her as 'myself'.

The issue I had before largely related to the discrepancy between how I depict Mischa online, and how I am myself -- not the variation between Mischas in different worlds, other than rl vs. fantasy. For example, how would someone who'd only perceived genie-Mischa react when they encountered the real Mischa? Most people that I know who use characters as avatars have avatars with different names, so there's a divide between themselves and the avatar. Thus, you expect the real person to be different. But in this case, by associating myself so closely with my alter-ego -- particularly one radically different from myself -- I wonder how it might affect people.

The main issue that I was considering today, then, is the matter of [i]name[/i]. After all, Kasumi and Chad felt unique because their names differed, while Mischa still feels like me because her name doesn't. Other people's avatars differ in name and thus are distinct from the artist or writer. Names are always important identifiers, especially in an online environment. So it makes some sense.

My quandary, then, is that if I change Mischa's name she won't be the reflection of me that I want her to be. And yet I'm also worried it'll cause people to develop a false impression of me! Ahhhh, paradox...

One idea came to mind, though. At first I thought genie-Mischa could use a nickname (like Mi-chan, or something) that could be derived from 'Mischa'... but I couldn't think of much that worked off-hand. But then I realized I had another option available to me.

I'm Mischa. She's Bouncy Mischa.

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