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Glitter Vampires

What is a vampire supposed to be? This is a question posed to many writers, movie makers, and even game designers. Bram Stoker has his stereotypical vampire, but many modern vampire characters have been created differently, some with more success than others. Naturally there are many factors that come into play, and in my opinion, the most important one is whether the vampire in question is a protagonist or antagonist.

Antagonistic vampires always need a weakness to exploit- they must be slayable. Typically this would be garlic, crucifixes, holy water, fire, stakes, and good old sunlight, but modern vampire depictions tend to stray away from this. Apart from the new 'Glitter Vampires' in the books and movie Twilight, and a special cross-breed in Underworld, most vampires still can't stand sunlight. This is handled in two definitive ways. Firstly, and most commonly, the vampires just hide in shadows to keep out of the sun's devastating rays. This makes me wonder why they just couldn't keep an umbrella with them during the day. Anne Rice's vampires (Interview with a Vampire, Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, etc), on the other hand, go into a sort of coma during daylight hours. They have no control over it. Their sleeping bodies are still protected by a sort of killer-instinct; they sometimes wake up with a strangled human who happened to stumble upon their sleeping body- that human possibly still clutching a wooden stake and a vile of holy water.

In the computer game "Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines" there are a whole range of vampire species. As a player you can choose your own, depending on different strengths and weaknesses that certain clans posses. There even is an oriental breed of vampires, who themselves claim to be something completely different. The fangs and bloodlust they have in common, but the means of becoming one varies greatly.

The way to become a vampire is important to defining a vampire species. In many cases it's simply surviving a vampire's bite that will turn you into one, which is deceptively easy. You'll notice that this is often associated with vampires who are also killed easily; vampire over-population is something that has to be avoided by script writers. The second means by which a human may join the undead is that the vampire must nearly drain the human of his blood, and then feed the human vampire blood in return (as seen in Anne Rice's vampires and Vampire Masquerade). The latter provides a kind of security for the vampires, knowing that they'll not accidentally make hundreds more vampires.

Vampire secrecy is always very important. Vampires are significantly superior to people in strength, speed, and sometimes supernatural abilities. Nevertheless, they prefer to keep their identities secret because they are vulnerable during the day. In most cases, humans still outnumber vampires greatly, and vampires have managed to stay out of the way, picking off loners, and blending in with goths or upper-class society (what's the real difference anyway?).

Playing, reading, and watching vampire related media, I've started forming my own idea of vampires. I'm not saying they are real, but in my imagination, there has to be a uniform kind of way a vampire is made, feeds, lives, and is killed. I generally dislike movies where vampires are the bad guys, portraying them as weak and animalistic. Vampires have a certain vibe, something that makes them super-humans in a dark, mysterious kind of way. They treasure humanity- not only as food- but as something they once were, and envy. Plus, immortality is a pretty good part if you ask me.

What's your favorite kind of vampire? How do you see them? Would you be a vampire or a slayer?



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