When customizing a game character, do you "role play" or do you tend to model them after yourself? Why?
Tamara: The first time around, my self image plays into customization quite a bit. I throw my points into intelligence and stamina while neglecting speed and charisma. I think playing the game within my comfort zone helps make it a more immersive experience because my character IS me (or how I see myself).
Scott: In video games, I do the role-play bit. I customize to get a look I like and fits the approach I want to take. After all, I'm playing the games for escapism, why would I want to be me?
In tabletop RPGs, I either go the role-play route or create the character around an interesting mechanic I've found in the game and then build the personality around the type of person who would use the ability in-game.
Ewen: I have a couple of characters I've created that I particularly like and tend to recreate in video games. Notably, Octavia, my human warlord from D&D, shows up in lots of video games I play, in part because she's fairly easy to make in most fantasy type games. I don't tend to do anything like "role-playing" when I play video games though. I play tabletop RPGs when I want to be social and video games when I want to be unsocial, so I actually tend to find the artificial social interaction in games like Dragon Age kind of irritating.
Steve: It tends to vary with the game and what I feel like doing. However I very much like having a "sense of character" - I even find myself customizing characters in games like Dungeon Defenders to fit a perceived personality.
Ellen: With a video game, I tend to start with me because its easy, and then replay with every single persona I can dream up, to make sure I'm finding every last Easter egg the programmers hid for my entertainment. With a tabletop role play game, I am never myself. I find it more of a challenge that way to not only find out what the DM has planned, but to get through it in a way that's out of my comfort zone. A better exercise in perspective than one might think.
Lauren: Whenever possible, I play as a female character. It's my expression of gratitude to game developers for thinking of me.
In Skyrim, actually, I've even been playing a character in a way that I think would make sense for my own physical form. Skyrim Lauren the Wood Elf wears light armor, levels up on range attacks (since I don't think I'd be very strong in close combat), and reads a lot of books. Sure, I don't kick nearly as much ass as my avatar, but I feel a distinct personal connection to her.