My question now is not about ways to interact as a non-character, rather about ways to play as a character that is not an individual. It’s about the subjective feeling of playing a “character”, despite it not being a person. It’s subjective, so I don’t expect something that works for everybody.
I’ll focus on a case I know best: in Svart av kval Vit av lust, when I play the Beast, I don’t feel like I am playing a character. I’m playing something, alright, but it’s more like “a voice” or “a discourse”, without a center core of being. I have a purpose, like a dramatic character, but I don’t feel I have consistency like I do when I am playing an NPC. In a nutshell, the Beast is a device, but doesn’t feel like a character to me. I believe the same can be said about Settings in Dream Askew. They don’t feel like characters, more “dramatic devices”. Did you experience The Beast or Settings as characters? If so, how do you inhabit their (to me void and fleeting) core to make them a character? Or do you simply have different expectations set for what a character feels like in play?
I’ll get back to my Quiet Year’s experience: I felt like I played certain characters among the community (alright, nothing special), and soon I found myself playing a collective portion of the community. In about one hour, my character “evolved” from that into becoming socio-political trends that would “migrate” to other characters and collectives, inside and outside of the community. And it had consistency, undoubtedly so. Same happened playing genes in a Microscope game or words in a Dialect game. It’s a strange experience, a bit abstract, but nothing too out there. It’s just the scale these games are set to.
Thinking about it, I think memory is the “consistency” I look for. The character can persist in a body and mind, or as a body of knowledge and practices, a culture. And evolution is an expectation I set for a dramatic character to be “full”. So in a way I’m beginning to discern ways to recreate this “feeling of character”, with or without an individual to embody it. Thank you for thinking outloud with me, it is working great!