You might think that in an Gates of Andaron with a small number of typical classes, you will end up with a whole lot of the same characters. Right? Not at all! Because even if you have the same two warriors with the same equipment and even the same face and hairstyle, they are both still an expression of individuality. This is because the reasons behind the choice of class, look, even gender are as varied as the people behind them.
For example - do you always choose the same class, no matter what MMO you play? I'm almost always a mage. My husband - a warrior. The reasons behind these choices can vary from simple to psychological. A friend of mine always chooses the class that has the coolest looking equipment and weapons. I prefer the game so I can attack from far away because I panic if my character's health reaches less than half. My husband... well, in real life, he has an assertive personality. He is always the first one in, first ti help, always in the lead. The choice to be a warrior in MMOs is intuitive for him - its just who he is.
Even something as seemingly arbitrary as hairstyle can say a lot about you. A number of MMOs make it possible to customize your character to the smallest detail. But do you model your character after yourself? Or do you create a completely different avatar? The decision you make here might depend on why you play MMOs - are you looking to extend your reality, or create a completely new one? Maybe you even make your character look like your favorite artist/character/celebrity. The players around you might not know that your blue-haired avatar is supposed to represent your favorite character from some obscure anime... but you do. And it's enough to give you a sense that you're doing your duty as a fan.
And what about gender? It's an old joke now that MMORPG really stands for "Many Men Online Role Playing Girls." But why? I sometimes play as a male just because it's interesting to me to see how differently people treat me. On the other hand, when I play as a girl, many times people don't believe that I really am a girl. And guys, why do you play as girls? Is it because you're like me and want to see if people will treat you differently? Or is it simply because - let's face it - watching a female's behind all day is a lot more pleasing than watching a guy's behind?
MMOs are different from other games because they allow us to create alternate realities among many other Gates of Andaron Gold ... each in a reality of their own. How we choose to shape our realities can offer us an insight into the kind of person we are (or wish we were). Or maybe we just like shiny things and make our decisions based on that... but even that's a personality trait, you know.