Character creation pages are always the hardest part of any virtual endeavor. I admired people who hit “Randomize” and enjoyed marching their franken-player from one end of the Sim house to the other, through chatrooms, Azeroth, post-apocalyptic wastelands; they delighted in creative combinations of the worst hair, crazy colors, bad outfits, names like “Pickledick” or “Farfegnugen.”
I would play around with the options but always ended up with myself, an avatar with basement-dweller-pale skin and shoulder-length hair in the darkest color that isn’t black. Boring and normal, but better, with smooth skin, proportional features and body, hair frozen in a perfect coif that never frizzed with humidity. The exception was the eyes—I would always pick deep green. My real eyes are sort of hazel, which is more wishful thinking than a real color, brown aspiring to green or blue.
This better version of me could do things I couldn’t—have jobs, make strangers into friends, remove the ladder from the pool to drown an enemy. But every mistake became mine too—death or dismemberment, resources misspent, conversations that turned creepy or uncomfortable. I’ve lived many lives, none of them perfect, all of them a mess.