A self-insert is a type of character where the player either wants to be them or has injected significant level of detail of themselves into that character. (Things like their personality, a glorified version of their appearance, traits they have, etc…) If playbys are used they may want to use their own face too.

The term “Wish fulfillment” character may also be used here if the character in question is being used to make the player feel better or act out something the player desires. (Commonly used for a relationship to a canon character.)

Problems with Self-Inserts

Blurs OOC/IC

Self insert characters very easily blur the line between out of character (OOC) and in character (IC) so players who play self-inserts tend to get more upset over negative things that happen to their character(s). They tend to take things very personally (because essentially this character is them). This also means that offering any sort of criticism is very often met with hostility. (Because in a sense you aren't just criticizing their character, but them too.) And this means they are more prone to lashing out at others for relatively minor or otherwise innocuous comments. (Like: “I think this scene was silly because <situation> would never happen.” may cause a self-insert player to get angry.)

Difficulty with other players

Other players who see a deliberate self-insert may be extremely wary to play with them. Simply because they don't want to create an issue, they don't want to set them off and cause issues for the staff. So these players wouldn't get much roleplay at all with these players and can very easily isolate them from the site. (Which, in and of itself, tends to cause them to feel rejected and makes situations worse since they feel both their character and themselves are rejected.)

Alternatively there may be players who are insensitive, clueless (or even deliberately inflammatory) that may have no issue setting these members off. Actively causing them to get upset and make matters worse.

Avoiding Self-Inserts

Putting some aspects of yourself into a character is a normal aspect of playing them. You cannot always know how they may react to every situation and so some of your own thoughts may bleed in. But this is fine… The trick is to not put too much of yourself in. To remember that this character is not you and you can't be them. To remember that they're going to be in situations with other characters where that character may be deliberately mean, insulting or offensive and that whatever happens is solely going on to that character. (That it bears no reflection on you, nor does it carry the thoughts of the other player.)

And to never attempt to use your own image for a playby. (That almost never ends well because any comment on the playby's appearance is a direct comment on yours. And people may not know/care it is you. Some people can have their characters be cold/cruel to others, which may include making remarks on their appearance. )


There are no exceptions.