I honestly don't think there is anything else at work here than advancing technology and narrow past experiences that lead one to thinking everybody did it that way. It's a natural process of growing up/older. Just recently I keep finding myself asking my slightly older friends whether there was always one big teenie-bopper craze based on a book that was immediately made into a movie or whether that started with Harry Potter too. Our field of vision grows and and so our past experiences seem like they would have to be as wide as they are now but they weren't. Lots of stuff went on that we weren't aware of. And then there is the growing technology. I really really miss those old videogames, super low graphic and less visual realism but it's obvious why they don't exist anymore - or not in that way. I personally think a pb has always been and will always be a personal choice. I see enough people around here who violently oppose the use of real person pbs even now. I have always liked them, way before I rp'ed I used real person faces to describe the way people looked. I find it difficult to describe something out of thin air without going the route of literary clichés. When I have a picture in front of me or better yet a moving picture, I know exactly what happens in that face and I can describe it better than just a "crooked smile" that could encompass any number of things. I like a pb because it helps my writing and my imagination. I understand that to some people it does the opposite - that's why we have the choice of boards we have here. I personally can't deal with artwork pbs because I can't take the character seriously when they have a comic book face - also a personal preference. And just as a side - that super creative team of amazingly talented writers who scrutenized every app sounds like my worst rp nightmare lol. In what kind of scenario is it impossible for people/characters to have similar features, a similar hobby, a similar job -- what do people talk about when all similarities are picked apart for fear of "copying"? What fun is in it when you constantly have to be afraid that people judge you against their own ideal of creativity? I am all for some criteria or standards but this sounds like a job. And I love writing and being serious about it, that's I put that attitude to my writing and not to rp-ing which is mountains of text that just disappears into the ether of the internet.