I've been pondering the effects of showing characters "out of character." What do characters do when they step off camera, so to speak?
Internet memes, fan fiction, comics, book characters with social media accounts . . . does it raise our sympathy levels? Does it make us feel closer to the character? Or could it possibly break our suspension of disbelief? I tend to lean toward the former.
Out of character has a lot of meanings, but in the roleplay world, it means stepping off camera, so-to-speak. Either talking as yourself, or pretending the character is off screen, doing whatever they normally do when they're not having crazy adventures. I used to draw a comic of my old RP group, and the images were frequently of characters doing things "Out of Character."
I think it some ways it certainly makes the characters feel more full. They're allowed to say things they can't say in the book or the movie or what-have-you. For otherworld characters, we also have fun imagining how they would react to things as they are today, how they would get on in our modern world.
As a creative exercise, I love Out of Character for the simple reason that it's a challenge. How would Stigr react to Facebook? What would Hikaru think of Disneyland? It's a chance to experiment with characters in different environmets, to pit their personalities against new situations. I think that's another reason people enjoy crossovers so much.
What do you think? Do you laugh at out-of-character fan art, memes, and tweets? Or do you prefer to keep characters in their sacred space of Story, doing what they do best?
KICKSTATER UPDATE: I am launching this coming Saturday, March 26, at 12:00 noon Mountain time.