My mind works in a never-ending parade of fascinations and borderline-obsessions: for several months I’ll be fixated on my miniature painting, then I’ll switch over to being engrossed with fiction writing, after a half year of that I’ll surround myself with gaming as the thing I cannot stop thinking about, et alia. I’ve been like this pretty well my whole life, and I’m not entirely certain if it’s a by-product of my ADD, or just a peculiar quirk I personally possess.
Up until quite recently, anime had been my mind-engrossing obsession, as anyone who’s been reading this blog for the past few months can attest as at least half my material has been anime centric in some way, shape or form. And while anime is still a focused point of my life these days, my mind has been priming itself for my new fixation: the world of Live Action Role-Play. To anyone not familiar: Google it. I’m sure you’ll turn up something that’ll explain it succinctly in some way, shape or form.
For myself, LARP has always been a degree of freedom and/or challenges that has forced my own psyche to change, for better or worse. I’ve been LARPing now some ought seven years this coming summer, and at least six and a half of that has been in the realm of playing my particular character: “the Grinning Fox, Yuurri, the World’s Most Dashing Rogue (in Training, of Course)”.
Normally, I wouldn’t spend much time reminiscing about the ebb and flow of this character’s interactions in game, since he’s been an oddly stabilizing, if erratic, presence within my particular LARP chapter’s world. He’s outlasted wars between infernal and celestial hosts, a conspiracy of lycanthropes and the crown, the rise and fall of entire noble houses, as well as skirted the fringes of not one, but two wars.
For anyone whose LARPed themselves before, it’s actually a pretty standard resume for the average adventurer, (in the classic Fantasy-genre sense, at least). But due to recent events, Yuurri’s ambitions have lead him to stand opposed to those he used to stand shoulder to shoulder with, and it’s been cause for some reflection on my part.
Most predominantly on my mind has become the mortality and life this character I’ve come to be associated with. In its own surreal way, the character has become just as real and alive as I, myself, am. Within particular circles, my character has a lasting impression that I could never hope to possess myself, due entirely to his actions, choices and, most notably, personality. Yuurri would be able to handle himself in situations I could never confidently navigate, whereas the opposite is just as true.
But, the very real possibility is that this character, this alter-ego of mine, might very well find himself put to the executioner’s axe and his story to come to a close. That looming sense of finality is oddly compelling: what awaits beyond in my own life without that personality I’ve come to be known as, and similarly, what will become of the world he’d be leaving behind in his death?
While there are entire branches of philosophy dedicated to such questions, yet it’s quite difficult to explore in the world surrounding since, pending either very elaborate social experiments or research methods actually involving someone’s death, there are few ways to explore this possibility on a personal level. And despite not being able to call this a perfect analogy, it still bears enough similarities to operate as a jump-off point for further mental musings.
After all, this character, persona even, has been a part of my life for just shy of a quarter of my existence on this mortal coil. Anyone thinking on it might be able to draw parallels to similar occasions where something, or someone, who had been a part of their life for just as long and was removed from contact by one means or another: the missing piece is notable to say the least. I’ve been through a lot of changing experiences with this persona as a fall-back point, almost a grounding point, to keep some form of continuity in my own life.
It’ll be interesting to see what transpires next: whether by choices I make or consequences outside of my control that this character, this part of me, comes to a conclusion. And more importantly, it’ll be interesting to see how it affects not only myself, but those around. How often, after all, does one get to attend their own funeral?