Identity Crisis

Every child I’ve ever encountered plays imaginary games and I was no different. Much rarer however, is someone who continues playing imaginary games into young adulthood. But such imaginary games are a relatively healthy way of coping with anxiety. But I digress. Anyway, back in Grade 8 (or around then anyway) Mom insisted that my counselor analyze my imaginary games since she and Dad were getting worried that I played them so regularly even though I was a teenager. The session mainly involved the counselor talking with me about them and observing them (her conclusion: as long as they were beneficial I should keep using them as a tool so of course I have). But one of the things that I said during the talk with the counselor has stuck with me: at that time imaginary games were the only way I could experience what it was like to be popular and skilled. While that isn’t exactly true now (I do have several close friends and many more friends and acquaintances) the imaginary games do give me a way to experience an increased inner strength. In fact, I have found that the characters almost fit the purpose of archetypes in a way. In elementary school, my behavior was often informed by identifying with a character of my imaginary games; to this day I often gain strength and confidence by identifying with a character from an imaginary game. As I grow, of course, the characters grow, adapt, and evolve with me and I’m constantly re-working their history and setting, but some things remain the same: the sure confidence, the quiet authority, the ability to follow their feelings with dramatic results. There are four main characters that I’m pretty sure are here to stay: D’vin the dragonrider, Devin the Jedi, Devin the Starfleet officer, and Devin the Pokemon trainer. Now these are the four that inform most, if not all of my behavior. Now, Devin the Pokemon trainer was the first one I identified with, though he was a much different person than he is now. Young, inexperienced and naive (much like I was come to think of it). From around age 12 to second year university D’vin the dragonrider has been the one I most closely identified with. Now, however, I am in a crisis–I am no longer sure which I most closely identify with. It seems that if D’vin the dragonrider lasted so long it is curious he would suddenly fall short, isn’t it? However, I suspect D’vin the dragonrider in his current form no longer rings true to me because he’s from Pern. It’s hard to identify with someone who would have been quite sexually experienced by now if you yourself are not sexually experienced at, right? But there has been advantages to D’vin as the most meaningful: he could be my actual age and still have an effect on the world around him. For that purpose Devin the Pokemon trainer is quite useful as well, and I DO like the way that character has evolved. I do know that when I went through periods of trying to quit Pokemon altogether I would, without fail, eventually have a dream regarding Pokemon which I quickly realized was a message to bring Devin the Pokemon trainer out again–thus, after about the fifth time that happened I realized that Devin the Pokemon trainer is here to stay. Devin the Jedi and Devin the Starfleet officer have the disadvantage of having to be considerably older–though this is growing less of a problem as I grow older and could prove useful in giving me a point to aim for. That said, I don’t really think I’ll ever feel the closest to Devin the Jedi. For one thing, he’s almost too powerful (the whole Force thing, you see) and I think a large part of my love for Star Wars is the romanticism of the lightsaber. Now, I’d say I either have to re-imagine D’vin the dragonrider and indeed I already have some ideas (going from wingsecond to Wingsecond for instance and fast-forwarding a few years might do the trick) but the problem I have with D’vin the dragonrider is that there’s not really enough combat to keep it entertaining and the technology is almost too antiquated. So I think it might be time to identify more closely with either Devin the Pokemon trainer or Devin the Starfleet officer. Devin the Pokemon trainer has been re-imagined and has a nice balance between combat and character development. He can also be around my age, and I’ve already thought of an adult job for him to make the character adaptable into full adulthood. Devin the Starfleet officer likewise has a nice balance between combat and character development, has the opportunity for both advanced weapons (like phasers), romanticized weapons (like swords) and some good old-fashioned brawling. He also gives me more off a goal to aim for. I suspect I’ll figure it out soon enough and I’ll keep you updated when I do resolve the conflict.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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