Are You Attached To Your Gaming Avatar?

I am, and I’m starting to wonder why I’m attached to this one particular look for a main character across MMOs and RPGs. There’s definitely a psychological explanation, which I will try to decipher.

Lotro: Haffleheim's appearance started it all.

Lotro: Haffleheim’s appearance started it all.

Many who play Lotro with me, especially back on my old Riddermark server, has often said that I am instantly recognizable. When I first created Haffleheim, my Lotro Captain back in 2011, I paid more attention towards his appearance. My main at the time was a Champion, who looked younger, avatar-wise, so I wanted a second character that represented a wiser figure, someone who looked like he’s been through a lot in the war against Mordor. Someone who looked like a leader, that I felt would ease my immersion into my character and his progression, especially when playing the Captain.  Now I don’t claim to be a hardcore RP-er, but I do enjoy giving my characters internal back stories.

Dragon Age: Inquisition's version of Haffle is a more defined, and aged iteration.

Dragon Age: Inquisition”s version of Haffle is a more defined, and aged iteration.

Hence, the grey haired, long bearded Haffleheim was created. In no way was I thinking of replicating that Gandalf look. That was never my intention. Nothing really changed until I started doing more socially interactive content in game, such as dungeons and PvMP, over the following couple of years. I had put a lot of time and effort into the Captain to ensure that I was contributing effectively in my kin and in end-game groups with other players, who expected it. It paid off, and I was somewhat proud of what I had achieved, and was able to do with my Captain.


SWTOR: A version that is grittier and sinister, while maintaining the elements of what defines the Haffle look – color and facial hair.

The keyword here I think would be recognition and gratification. I thrived on that recognition, staying humble, hungry, and always willing to learn from other Captains. Without realizing, I had built a brand that I was consciously looking after, inwards and outwards.

Guild Wars 2's Haffle

Guild Wars 2’s Haffle

I guess that’s why I’m attached to Haffleheim’s avatar appearance, because of all that we – the virtual representations of myself – have been through; memories, emotion, highs and lows. I now replicate that look across most games I play, perhaps to make it easier to own the character, regardless of the game’s plot lines and narrative universe. Because in my head, I know him so well. The appearance helps me import the feelings, attributes and the personality.

Wow, this is deep. I wonder if any of this makes sense to you, dear reader. So my question for you then, is are you attached to your gaming avatar, or a certain aspect of it? Why do you keep using that color? Why do you opt for that same logo on your site? What’s your story?

One response to “Are You Attached To Your Gaming Avatar?

  1. Rae is the game version of the real me. Or more, the me I would be if I lived in Middle Earth. A bald wizard. Dressed in black because then I don’t have to worry about color combinations (very difficult for a colorblind). Irl I don’t wear that many black, but here I have a partner that isn’t colorblind 😉

    I noticed when I tried some other games, didn’t last btw, not only did I name them Raebidus, but also copied the look.

    So yes Haff, I get you!! 🙂

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