What does someone mean when they say “I kin that character?”
Types and attributes of connections to fictional characters
The verb form of kin (to kin, kinning, etc) has become popular as a colloquial and nonspecific word that people sometimes use to describe a variety of different types of connections they may have to fiction characters.
Because “kin” has become such a casual, nonspecific verb that can refer to many different things, it can be hard to tell just what kind of actual connection a person who says “I kin that character” means that they have. Therefore, it’s best not to make an assumption about what type of connection to a character someone means when they say that they “kin” them.
Below is a list of more detailed and specific terminology for types of connections to fictional characters that a person might be casually referring to when they say that they “kin” a character.
🔸 Face claim: This is the most casual type of voluntary connection someone might be referring to when they say they “kin” someone. “Face claim” refers to any time you make the decision to deliberately portray yourself as a fictional character in a casual way, for instance, using their face for your icons, or asking people to refer to you as the character’s name. This is a casual, for fun association because you like the character and want to be thought of as them. Think of it like putting on a mask or a costume, and then hanging around in it. There is nothing wrong with having faceclaims, however this type of connection is also sometimes referred to as “kin for fun” when talking about someone who doesn’t understand the serious distinction between a face claim and a kintype.
Face Claim Attributes: voluntary, casual, for fun, play, self-identity, does not involve plurality
🔸Comfort Character: A comfort character is a character that you are attached to, who brings you joy, comfort, or peace to think about and spend time with their media. A comfort character is like a favorite teddy bear, or doll that you play with, but instead of a physical toy, it’s the concept of a particular fictional character.
Attributes: voluntary or involuntary, for fun or serious, for mental health, play, casual or intense, psychological, not a self-identity, does not involve plurality
🔸Fictional Other: (also written as F/O) A fictional other is any character that you consider yourself to be in a romantic relationship with. This relationship can be more serious, or more for fun depending on the individual. Some people have Fictional Others who are also soulbonds or other fictives, but most are not, and are closer to a specific type of comfort character. A person who has a fictional other or multiple fictional others is called a “self shipper”.
Attributes: voluntary, casual or intense, for fun or serious, psychological or spiritual, not a self-identity, sometimes involves plurality
🔸Copinglink: A copinglink is a serious personal identity as a specific fictional character or member of a fictional species established and maintained deliberately for the purpose of personal mental health, self improvement or self-esteem. A person intentionally considers themselves to literally psychologically be and exist as their copinglink character for the purpose of coping with trauma or other negative emotions. The way this identity is expressed is similar to a kintype, but is voluntary rather than involuntary.
Attributes: voluntary, intense, serious, psychological, for mental health, self-identity, does not involve plurality
🔸Hearttype: A character that you identify strongly with, but do not identify as. A character you feel like you have a lot internally, emotionally, psychologically, or situationally with. A character you intensely feel personal commonality of some kind with.
Attributes: intense, voluntary or involuntary, serious or casual, psychological or spiritual, not a self-identity, does not involve plurality
🔸Fictive: Any member of a type of plural system who identifies as/believes themselves to be/shares a personal identity with a specific character.
Attributes: intense, voluntary or involuntary, serious, part of a plural identity, psychological or spiritual
🔸Fictional Introject: A fictive member specifically of a DID (dissociative identity disorder) based system.
Attributes: intense, involuntary, serious, part of a plural identity, psychological, mental health related
🔸Soulbond: A specific type of spiritually oriented fictive, believed to involve a metaphysical and emotional bond between the soulbonder and the soulbond.
Attributes: intense, voluntary or involuntary, serious, spiritual, can be part of a plural identity
🔸Kintype (general): A kintype is an involuntary, deeply rooted core self-identity, typically questioned deduced through self-reflection. A serious personal identity that you have discovered yourself to be in some way. You literally are, or share this identity with the character. That’s you in some real and meaningful way, whether spiritually or psychologically.
Attributes: intense, involuntary, serious, spiritual or psychological, does not involve plurality, self-identity
🔸Kintype (psychological): A kintype you believe you have due to personal psychological reasons. A kintype you believe originates in your brain and internal psychological development, rather than on exterior magical or spiritual forces.
Attributes: intense, involuntary, serious, psychological, self-identity, does not involve plurality
🔸Kintype (spiritual/metaphysical): A kintype you believe originates through some magical or spiritual process, often involving reincarnation or parallel lives in other universes.
Attributes: intense, involuntary, serious, spiritual, self-identity, does not involve plurality