Is this a thing that a lot of people do and/or enjoy? What is the draw exactly? I'm reasonably certain no one in my gaming groups, or anyone I've gamed with recently would have any real desire to do this - are we the exception or the rule? Do people have experiences with this where the fact that you were playing yourself was integral/necessary to the enjoyment?
I've heard-of / thought-about this sort of thing before, but never really came up with a compelling reason to do it. It doesn't seem scratch any itch one couldn't embody more fully by creating a non-self PC.
It strikes me that playing myself as I am wouldn't be that interesting or fun. I'm pretty average by most measures. I'm not really capable of doing a lot of things that are fun to do in games and/or that make interesting stories.
First off, while I do have a bit of an explorer's nature, I'm not a fighter at all, and I have more of a jack-of-some-trades, master-of-none sort of skill set. There's not much game-worthy I can do that can't just as easily be done by many other people.
Secondly, I don't really WANT to play true-to-life - I do that everyday - nor do I want to have to "defend" every action or stat choice, etc. I have a feeling that, in most games, the question "what would you do?" would generally be answered with "probably something boring and pragmatic".
To be honest, I don't really find the "what would I really do?" question all that interesting to explore. Maybe because, in many cases, I would have to simply concede that the truth of it is unknowable - and, in some cases, I would find it distressing. Maybe that's just me. Never been a fan of the Would You Rather type games, either. In any case, it's not why I come to RPGs.
If you had my kids die in a game, PARTICULARLY if it was the result of a bad die roll and/or something the mechanical "me" failed to do, I would be out - and possibly questioning why you would do that and/or evaluating our friendship. Not doing that. And don't give me any "But, realism!" BS - I am not here for that. Same reason we avoid other crap in games. This is a hobby, and it's supposed to be fun. You don't torment people.
So yeah, I don't really get it. If my whole gaming group wanted to, would I give it a try? Yeah, probably (with concessions), but during the discussion i'd be the naysayer and it would be a hard sell.
I'm not one to insist on character advancement in most games, but I think in order make a game where I play myself really appealing to me, you'd have to pitch that I could become more/different than I am. E.g., Dan talking about the Shadowrun Awakening, Kimi talking about skill shifts 5 years after the apocalypse, or somesuch.
And I'm going to be pushing hard for that turning point until it happens.
And, at that point, I'm really not "me" anymore, am I? Probably not any more than any of my other characters are (like) me. I might have used "me" as a mechanical template, but the character that comes from that is something else.
So, I guess I got what I wanted.
If you all enjoy this sort of thing, by all means, you do your thing. I just don't see this being my cup of tea - at least, not as I've envisioned it so far. Maybe a concept I would really like exists out there somewhere.
"One Penguin to Rule Them All..."