Friday, January 20, 2012

The Puppeteers: Brenna Ce'Dria

I was inspired by a photography project done by Robbie Cooper where he took pictures of gamers and matched them with their in-game Avatars called "Alter Ego: Avatars and their creators". I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I decided to start a similar project. I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at the people behind the Avatars, the puppeteers if you will, and why they designed their Avatars the way they did. If you are interested in participating, feel free to email me for details! 

Brenna in all her pirate glory!
Elissa of Dragon Age: Origins

Name: Brenna Ce'Dria

Why did you choose the Avatar(s) you did and what game is it from?

Elissa is the female human warrior- or rogue-option from Dragon Age: Origins. She wasn't my first character in the game, but the interactions I got between her and the NPCs was just... the perfect fairy tale in some ways. My original character was much more logical than Elissa--even to the point of being willing to kill a small child to prevent the demon possessing it from destroying a city. Not Elissa. It was idiotic, but she still took a risk and ended up saving everyone's life involved--the possessed child, his family, and the city itself.

How do you feel when you play this Avatar? Does it elicit any special emotions, or is it just there to reflect your style?

My Elissa play-throughs of DA:O are always all about hope, and about saving "the spider and the butterfly" as I came to realize after a very, very passionate bout of nerdrage over Dragon Age II's ending. All of my other characters in that universe came to understand that life wasn't fair, and they were forced to accept the bad with the good. Elissa simply never stops to consider that there's any possible result than helping everyone successfully, and since no one obviously stopped to tell her that's not how things really work, she hasn't failed yet.

Why do you think you need/like/want to feel that way?

As much as I adore playing bad guys in Star Wars games, and characters of... questionable... morals in everything else, who doesn't want to save the world every now and again? Elissa is my link to that fantasy.

Did you try to create your Avatar to look like you actually look or did you make one that looks how you want to look? Why?

A little of both. I adore having pale skin and dark hair, and almost all of the characters I've ever identified with have shared those two traits. When I get to customize a character I kind of make her "skinny me" and I normally give her either green or violet eyes, but other than that, I don't have a set goal of making her look like any other character I've used. Basically, a character that I could cosplay convincingly if I really wanted to, but not one that's a mirror image of myself.

If you could change one thing about Avatar customizations in video games, what would it be?

My complaints always change game to game. Oblivion had too many options. Skyrim has too few. SWTOR could do with a few more options than it has, but it also has a much more defined universe it needs to remain consistent with. Probably the best customization option I've come across is in DA2, though: you have to get certain DLC to get access to it, but you can change your character's appearance after the game starts. Sure, people tend to get into a routine and don't stray too far from it, but by god let me change my hair style every now and again!


  1. Haha, I wish I could have found a decent pic of that costume where I had my sword. My sword made that costume. :p