I was chatting to a dog on Facebook and I have to say, she was amazingly eloquent. Her typing skills were a little rusty, with a few spelling mistakes, but her overall conversation was in fact pretty interesting.
And therein lies a tale. In this world of digital social media and the ability to hide ourselves behind anyone we like, we have become a nation of pretenders. Now there is nothing wrong with this. I ‘pretend’ myself on many occasions and it’s one helluva lot of fun. Ooh la la, it can get quite salacious in there, let me tell you.
The definition of ‘pretend ‘ is – Imaginary, make-believe, made-up, invented, false, sham, fictitious . And with the advent of role play games online on Xbox and PlayStation, and computer games, where you can be exactly what you’re not- a beautiful, arse kicking babe assassin, a hunky, muscled hit man, a dwarf, a blob, a vampire, a Commander Shepherd or a Vincent Valentine – this whole Facebook thing takes the game of pretend to yet another new level.
For authors it’s no different. We can create characters based on our books on the likes of Facebook, Twitter. We can role play till the cows come home and get away with saying things we’d never have dreamed of had we been our real selves.
The dog I was chatting to obviously had a person behind it and I didn’t realise the Facebook page was for her. She’s apparently a model (the dog) and needs her own page. Sure the profile picture showed a dog but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve seen some strange profile pictures and you simply can’t rely on them to be the likeness of the person you’re friends with. Or I’d be friends with a lot of really strange looking, fantastical creatures or some real sexy stunners with no clothes on. I’d prefer the latter personally (as anyone watching my Facebook page can tell.)
Until I created Facebook profiles for Shane Templar and Matthew Langer from ‘Stripped Bare’, I’d never have been offered to role play and join an orgy with a lion, a very horny bloke, an angel, a vampire and God knows who else. It was set in a barn somewhere and involved swings, restraints, cameras and a lot of male on male action. Role playing as Shane I can send his boyfriend Matthew some fairly racy pictures and sayings without anyone batting an eyelid.
And Toby Prentiss and Rain Engel from Waiting for Rain are just starting out in this world and are still developing their feet through the quagmire that is role playing. But once Rain gets started, he’s hard to hold back if you’ll pardon the pun. And Toby will give as good as he gets, I can promise you. He’s no shrinking violet. Rain posts male pole dancing on Toby’s timeline as a taster to what Toby can expect when he gets home. Rain can be a bit of a tart when it comes to dancing and he just loves the pole.
The one thing that does frustrate me though is that I don’t know who actually is real. A poet in Beijing messaged me the other day and asked the plaintive question,
‘Is Susan a real person at the end of the green dot?’
‘Yes indeed as far as I know I’m a real human being J’
‘In that case, it’s a pleasure to meet a fellow human. I was starting to doubt. Good to meet people with a sense of humour. Was starting to think I was going crazy.’
I know how Benjamin felt. Of course there’s always a ‘real’ human being behind the profile but it’s nice to know when you’re talking to the real entity behind the persona. I’ve only recently found out that someone I thought was a man for the past year and was chatting to him/her as such, is actually a woman. Some characters are pretty obvious- others, not so much. I don’t know any more if I’m conversing with a man or a woman. I might have a vague idea of where they live but again, you can’t always tell.
I had a gorgeous male model message me the other day and strike up a conversation and although I can see his web page on the internet, and his photos and videos of his modelling shoots, I still don’t know whether he’s real or just a figment of my imagination. Some things were said in the conversation that made me wonder if he too is simply someone’s creation. Yet he seems to exist. And here I thought I was about to get lucky J
If you’re interested, here’s a couple of links to the top RPG characters as determined by –someone-somewhere out there in NeverNeverEtherLand.
Top RPG characters