Her Name is Lola

Being isolated is boring. I’ve been playing a few more games than usual. My screen time is way up. I hate that. But there is a weird upside. I get to be people that I’m not.

When you don’t have Facebook you can’t login to games as yourself. So you get to be a guest and make up a person to be. In some games you get an avatar that dresses based on points you earn when you win the game. You make up a name and choose the persona. Then dress them based on your “budget”. It can get interesting.

Meet “Lola”. She’s me when I play Spades. She’s a quirky chick with glasses and a silly hat. She’s a risk taker in the game often making bets she can’t possibly win to frustrate the computer opponents. It didn’t take long to figure out that some nerd had made up characters to fill in the seats at the card table. They have given characters stupid names like: juicy_pirate and tinydancer and crazyCowboy. And girls are boys; some with beards. Anything goes.

It got me thinking, the whole anonymous character thing, how easy it is to slip into a fake persona. Be something other than your real self. I suspect that some may find it intriguing to take on an interesting new profile. But I can also see how this can be a dark and dangerous arena for nefariousness. The internet is, after all, a mostly “Wild West” playing field. Unsupervised and unchecked. I would hate to have to parent around it.

However, for the benign games I play I can be my alter ego(s). Lola is but one of a few gaming gals in my repertoire. Natalia is another cool cat who plays gin rummy like a fiend. I think I might be a boy next. Only on line. With strangers. Playing cards. Nothing crazy. Don’t worry.

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