Author Topic: Love and Fictional Characters (Also: Why I Wish My Life Was More Like Fiction)  (Read 5872 times)

CrystalDragonSpaceMarine

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This was brought up by a thread on another forum, where they were discussing their "top hottest anime girls".

Now, it's a given that on any big forum that has a topic like this, someone (whether an outright troll or just someone trying to look cool and make everyone else seem like a loser) will come along and say something to the effect of, "I prefer real women, to be honest". Which is what happened. And of course, people reply with the, "Well, yeah, no duh, me too" and "don't be hater".

Now, it got me thinking.

Is there anything wrong with being "in love" with a fictional character?

Is it really any different from obsessing over a celebrity? Realistically, you probably have just as much of a chance in either case.

Obviously, to obsess over them to the point where it interferes with your life, and being crazy enough to start believing you married Sephiroth on the astral plane (true example, btw) is obviously a bad thing, but that's the same with real people, isn't it?

What do you guys think? Have you ever had "character crushes"? On whom? To what intensity? Do you still have it?

Personally...my thoughts on the "do you prefer real women or fictional ones" my answer is "I'd prefer real women were more like the fictional ones". To be honest, thinking a fictional character is "hot" is a lot more than just the art style. I mean, art is so generic, pretty much any one looks good in the anime style. And a lot of times, fictional characters, by virtue of being created to inspire and entertain, simply have more vibrant personalities.

The only thing most real people have on fictional characters is that you can have actual contact with them. For for a lot of people...would you even want to? I'm not so sure anymore, really. Real people are boring. Most of the ones I've met pursue their dull hobbies and interests, sink themselves into pointless ambitions, and indulge in their own neuroses rather than, y'know, going off and doing cool stuff.

I've always wanted to be more like a fictional character. To be larger than life.
But it seems that life just drags me back down.

It's like that crab bucket thing. No one wants to break the limits...and the biggest limit of all is each other.


charles

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hmmm, I think it might be better said that the biggest limit of all is reality rather than each other.

Thats the danger with us Sci-Fi fans I guess.  We're constantly exposed to fictional universes and characters who's lives are summarised across their most interesting points able to be read in a single day.  Back to reality and we feel like life is dragging terribly slowly in comparison so we tend to watch more television, play more games, read more fiction books and do many other things to escape reality and experience the more exciting fictional universes while life passes us by.

But those dull hobbies and interests are often simple pleasures that bring those people some small joys and relaxation.  The pointless ambitions can easily be called goals and there's nothing wrong with having something to aim for, even if it's pointless or unobtainable, since it motivates them.  As for the other cool stuff they should be doing, obviously whats cool and awesome can be subjective but I'm guessing you don't think you're doing anything like that or you wouldn't want to be a fictional character.

I suppose that if you know which fictional characters you want to be or be with then it can give you an idea of the kind of things you want to do with your life.  The unfortunate reality is that those characters are often written into their abilities and roles, but if you were inspired by a real person who could do the same then you'd have their tale of how they came to be who they are to inspire and guide you.

If we take Maytag for instance, there's a girl who never needs to worry about money, she just does what she likes and then plays some poker to earn her some quick bucks to get by.  Reality is that you have to work much harder at your poker and keep at it to both earn enough and stay good enough to maintain the skill level.  She has skills with throwing knives that are completely beyond real possibilities considering a dart board champion would not have her accuracy and no-one could hope to throw and wield as many knives as she, but you could still buy yourself some throwing blades, practice and even learn to juggle them and such.

Truly we could all become a good deal like Maytag in reality if we desired, but reality would show us that there are a good many tedious tasks involved in achieving that goal.  Maybe patience is more the issue.  We want to be awesome and do awesome things now but reality is that we must endure many tedious things on the road to each of those things.

Back to the thread heading and I must confess I also prefer real women.  I can't really think of a fictional woman that I ever wanted to get with across books, cartoons, movies and television.  Its like there's a switch in my brain that simply doesn't even explore the possibility for meeting them.  I've never really considered it strange or wrong for people to desire or fantasize about fictional characters but for some reason I don't think I've ever really done it... Although I've imagined BEING a fictional character plenty *shrug*.

The only thing I can think that might be wrong with a strong desire for almost anyone we don't or can't get together with is that we might always see shortcomings in the person/people we do get together with and wish them to be someone they're not.  I guess you could imagine it like getting with a girl who is always wishing that she could get with Brad Pit and constantly going on about him or putting you down in comparison to him.  In the end the partner would be constantly made to feel like they're a poor second choice to some unobtainable or imaginary being.  Like a jumbo-jet pilot who's never happy with his job because he wishes to be flying space ships or fighter craft.  But then I guess that could go straight to the problem if someone aims to constantly be disappointed by life and grumble about it to the end of their days 'cos it's not like fiction.
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CrystalDragonSpaceMarine

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hmmm, I think it might be better said that the biggest limit of all is reality rather than each other.

As far as physics go. I'm talking about social things though. People limit themselves and each other too much. Look up the crab bucket syndrome.

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Thats the danger with us Sci-Fi fans I guess.  We're constantly exposed to fictional universes and characters who's lives are summarised across their most interesting points able to be read in a single day.  Back to reality and we feel like life is dragging terribly slowly in comparison so we tend to watch more television, play more games, read more fiction books and do many other things to escape reality and experience the more exciting fictional universes while life passes us by.

Quote
But those dull hobbies and interests are often simple pleasures that bring those people some small joys and relaxation.  The pointless ambitions can easily be called goals and there's nothing wrong with having something to aim for, even if it's pointless or unobtainable, since it motivates them.  As for the other cool stuff they should be doing, obviously whats cool and awesome can be subjective but I'm guessing you don't think you're doing anything like that or you wouldn't want to be a fictional character.

But I'm talking about people who pursue those things and don't even *get* joy or relaxation. They sit around and complain how much their life sucks and it's dull, but they don't ever want to go along with fun ideas when someone suggests them. I call their ambitions pointless because for those people they *are* pointless...they aren't doing what they really want to.

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I suppose that if you know which fictional characters you want to be or be with then it can give you an idea of the kind of things you want to do with your life.  The unfortunate reality is that those characters are often written into their abilities and roles, but if you were inspired by a real person who could do the same then you'd have their tale of how they came to be who they are to inspire and guide you.

If we take Maytag for instance, there's a girl who never needs to worry about money, she just does what she likes and then plays some poker to earn her some quick bucks to get by.  Reality is that you have to work much harder at your poker and keep at it to both earn enough and stay good enough to maintain the skill level.  She has skills with throwing knives that are completely beyond real possibilities considering a dart board champion would not have her accuracy and no-one could hope to throw and wield as many knives as she, but you could still buy yourself some throwing blades, practice and even learn to juggle them and such.

Truly we could all become a good deal like Maytag in reality if we desired, but reality would show us that there are a good many tedious tasks involved in achieving that goal.  Maybe patience is more the issue.  We want to be awesome and do awesome things now but reality is that we must endure many tedious things on the road to each of those things.

That's just a matter of degree, though. There are impossible degrees, and then there are possible degrees that few people even try for.

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Back to the thread heading and I must confess I also prefer real women.  I can't really think of a fictional woman that I ever wanted to get with across books, cartoons, movies and television.  Its like there's a switch in my brain that simply doesn't even explore the possibility for meeting them.  I've never really considered it strange or wrong for people to desire or fantasize about fictional characters but for some reason I don't think I've ever really done it... Although I've imagined BEING a fictional character plenty *shrug*.

Well, maybe it's just because I'm picky and have only met two or three people I really considered interesting enough. I'm not looking for Level 20 Ninja snipers with impossibly big boobs. I don't fantasize about fictional characters, but that's because I don't fictional much period. Maybe it's just the place where I live, but this part of the country is home to a lot of dull people, and everybody knows it (but do they try to change it, no). Back in my hometown I tried to start all sorts of fun stuff, but would anyone go with it? No. They just want to hang out in their parking lot all day. There wasn't even booze or girls in the parking lot! Or music!

So yeah. I live in a fail place, I guess. That's probably the main problem.

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The only thing I can think that might be wrong with a strong desire for almost anyone we don't or can't get together with is that we might always see shortcomings in the person/people we do get together with and wish them to be someone they're not.  I guess you could imagine it like getting with a girl who is always wishing that she could get with Brad Pit and constantly going on about him or putting you down in comparison to him.  In the end the partner would be constantly made to feel like they're a poor second choice to some unobtainable or imaginary being.  Like a jumbo-jet pilot who's never happy with his job because he wishes to be flying space ships or fighter craft.  But then I guess that could go straight to the problem if someone aims to constantly be disappointed by life and grumble about it to the end of their days 'cos it's not like fiction.

Like I said, sometimes it's just about attitude. I'm surrounded by people that have dull or negative views on even the mundane things around them, and it's really affecting my worldviews, and I don't like it.
It's just really hard to sail a ship by yourself.

I think there's a lot of cool stuff in this world...it's just...everybody I know in person doesn't seem to care much.

charles

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*lol* So you're developing dull or negative views about the people around you and will spend your days constantly disappointed by them?  Ahhh but I jest.

But seriously, there are a lot of wet blankets in this world of varying degrees.  Sarcasm, satire and pessimism has replaced much of the positive thinking motivation that those from the 60's through to the 80's seemed to have.  That generation really stamped it's foot on the world and there is rarely one who can't talk of how they attended woodstock, protested the Vietnam War, sat and watched television as the first man set foot on the moon or did something to make themselves a positive part of the world.

Today we focus on tragedy and  hide in our homes from terrorists and live in fear that our children will be kidnapped by pedophiles.  The freedoms fought so hard for by our parents and grandparents who knew the dangers of a government with too much power and control aren't simply handed over but nearly forced into the government's hands as we demand them to keep us safe.  The happy dancing, flower power hippies strewn across the park lands, singing songs of peace, joy and brotherhood are replaced by drunken mobs on the streets at night, hurling abuse among each other and empty bottles into the roads.  Drugs and alcohol are consumed to get drunk, stoned or buzzed rather than more casually to socialise.  The hard work to fight sexual, racial and religious prejudice has all but ground to a halt until those opposing it now match the passion of those fighting for it.

The end result is there's little you can do for the wet blankets who won't get up and join you to create awesome in their life.  You will continue to try and drag them forward but while they might not be fighting awesomely hard to drag you back, their combined might will do it and the effort will wear down your spirit.  The only real choice is to find those who won't simply join you but, if anything, drag you forward.  Not easy to find and certainly difficult to leave behind those you know well for those you only hope to know but it's either that or sit around and grumble all your life that they won't follow or help you sail the ship.
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tbeean

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I always used to get this feeling, like when I watched films with fictional storys/worlds, if they were truly inspiring stories, I used to end up feeling useless and wishing I could meet these characters, help them ect. It was almost like reality wasn't good enough. And I guess that has roots in having 'love' for the characters themselves. The characters that appear so perfect.

But it's not just a passing feeling, its pretty strong, and still affects me today for certain films/books. The celebrity area is a good point too, I've panicked more than enough times over someone I don't even know.


This goes off the whole 'crush' thing, but I think it has the same point. When I was younger, I remember watching Animal Farm (based on the George Orwell book). And as I watched, I grew very attached to the horse character, sobbing my eyes out at parts where he got hit ect. Then part way through, he's taken away to a glue factory. I couldn't stop crying, it felt like I'd lost my own pet or something. My mum had to turn the video off. I've still never finished watching the film. It still makes me a little sick remembering it.

It's pretty amazing how strong the feelings we get for fictional characters is. Even though everyone else can be saying 'it's just a stupid horse' or 'it's just a drawing' it still digs at you :|

CrystalDragonSpaceMarine

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I always used to get this feeling, like when I watched films with fictional storys/worlds, if they were truly inspiring stories, I used to end up feeling useless and wishing I could meet these characters, help them ect. It was almost like reality wasn't good enough. And I guess that has roots in having 'love' for the characters themselves. The characters that appear so perfect.

But it's not just a passing feeling, its pretty strong, and still affects me today for certain films/books. The celebrity area is a good point too, I've panicked more than enough times over someone I don't even know.

Some people got this over Avatar. They saw how pretty it was and were like "Real life sucks in comparison" and apparently got all depressed because of this.

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This goes off the whole 'crush' thing, but I think it has the same point. When I was younger, I remember watching Animal Farm (based on the George Orwell book). And as I watched, I grew very attached to the horse character, sobbing my eyes out at parts where he got hit ect. Then part way through, he's taken away to a glue factory. I couldn't stop crying, it felt like I'd lost my own pet or something. My mum had to turn the video off. I've still never finished watching the film. It still makes me a little sick remembering it.

Lol...that's why Animal Farm ain't for kids...

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It's pretty amazing how strong the feelings we get for fictional characters is. Even though everyone else can be saying 'it's just a stupid horse' or 'it's just a drawing' it still digs at you :|

Part of it is I think the characterization resonates with you. Would it make any difference if the person was real, and you got to view their life? You could say "it's just a bag of meat" and be dismissive. Doesn't mean you can't assign it meaning.

Especially if the character is something you can admire or aspire to. For me, all my heroes are fictional. Real people just bring me down.

parameciumkid

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I've been a little distant lately but am still not motivated enough to read through this whole page, so I'm just going to say that I agree with the title. :P
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I've been out for two years, so warn me if I act like I missed something obvious. ^^;

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CrystalDragonSpaceMarine

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I've been a little distant lately but am still not motivated enough to read through this whole page, so I'm just going to say that I agree with the title. :P

The title is merely a statement of purpose and subject, it does not make any claims with which you could agree (although my initial post does give reasons and issue personal statements addressing the subject stated in the title, and therefore are available for you to give agreement).

charles

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If only he was a fictional character who could speed-read *lol*
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Emp_Dragon

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I have a tendency to fall for strong willed female characters... even if they are blue with tails, ten feet tall and have the wrong number of limbs compared to other local fauna... XD

BeethroBudkin

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Interesting topic, I have never been attracted to anime/CGI character, but I don't think it would be too much of a problem as long as you didn't obsess over said character. Everything in moderation is the way to go.

Regular society would look down upon this simply because it is different from the "norm". Very similar to racism in past generations where it was frowned upon for a black person to get married a white person, or any strange fetishes people have. Reminds me of "The Chrysalids"...  :P

So even though you probably have the same chances with some anime character as a supermodel, being attracted to a supermodel is accepted by society because the majority of people are attracted to some famous person, while there is a far smaller crowd who are attracted to anime characters. People would be just as weirded out if you said "I love Sailor Moon" as if you said "I love armpits".

This may sound strange, but I typically don't fanatize over either. My brain does not see celebrities as any more real then a anime character.

Kanazaka

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I agree with you that fictional characters are often more interesting, and fictional worlds are often more interesting that the world in which you reside.  For much of my childhood, I was very solitary, and only had one to a few close friends (or even close acquaintances at a time).  In my junior year of high school, I decided to make an effort to get involved in extracurricular activities to meet new people.  I did, enjoyed it, and have tried to be involved in some group or club ever since.  It takes a lot of effort, but it's worth it.  And though it might mean seeing less of the friends I've made since college, I would like to move away from the Midwest when I begin to seriously pursue a career as a marine biologist.  I feel like I need a change of scenery, and need to see the rest of the country and (someday) the rest of the world.  So, there's a way to make your life more exciting, but I think you have to have the motivation and the means.  To do what I want to do, I know I need a high-paying, stable job that offers opportunities for travel, so I will do my best to find that.