Look, this is probably going to be cheesy, alright? I’d like to tell you that’s not normally to my taste, but truth is I’m still a bit of a romantic. And not just in the rose petals and candlelit dinner sort of way; I love John Cusack blaring Peter Gabriel from a 1980s boom box as much as the next guy, but that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about the idealist, the visionary, the person who wishes the adventurous nature of fantasy was reality. We’re talking Don Quixote fighting windmills style romanticism.
That’s what I see in this screen shot from Guild Wars 2. I hardly ever play the game anymore and yet this picture has become the one I use on Twitter, forums, and here at WordPress as my self-portrait. This picture of my ranger invokes hopefulness, an adventurer peering out at the next leg of his journey. He is eager, anticipating adventure and either blind to or undeterred by the prospect of danger.
Or perhaps his gaze is one of hesitation and uncertainty. He’s older now and has lost much of the recklessness of youth. Wiser, sure, but also cautious to a fault. He’s experienced enough failure to be a realist despite his propensity toward being a romantic. Nevertheless, the horizon calls, the promise of another adventure on the other side of that massive, stony divide.
That is why I love this screen shot, it evokes so many possible dispositions for the gazing Sylvari, all of which I can sympathize with. Whether his mindset is one of fear or expectation, he looks outward regardless. Signs of growth sprout from his head, green shoots that promise maturation with time. Eventually he will leave this vista and step back on the path of exploration. The only question that remains, how long will he linger and what will his hesitation cost him?