If a virtual world is a cockpit capable of holding, say, the "vasty fields of France," what of the cockpit that is you represented by your avatar and mediated by pixels, keyboard, and mouse? Do the constraints of the interface as they then become folded into the design of the game encourage us to view the avatar as a machine of components and of verbs reified into icons arrayed into trays...
A long time ago in a galaxy before us, there was a fine space empire computer strategy game called Master of Orion (MOO). It was a single player game. Noteable was the ability of players to design new spacecraft based on the limits of their technology and treasury. It is a pattern we have seen elsewhere, but MOO did a nice job of it and fitting it into the strategic mosaic of the larger game.
Similarly, AD&D (and derivations afterwords, to our beloved MMORPG now) uses a similar albeit first person variant: characters become in large part the "sum of the parts" - from armor to skill points to potions and reagents. We have then the freedom (subject to game world constraints) to become what we build. Lego man. Building block woman.
In online worlds where our avatars signify machine (Eve-Online, combat simulations, ...) there appears a stronger intellectual affinity between us and the aggregated components of our presence. We imagine ourselves at the helm, in the cockpit, in command - pushing buttons, executing proper order sequences, command and control. Do the bonds between function keys and iconic trays of spells and moves mentally sequenced feel most real when our avatars are planes, ship, craft?
In many game worlds players find pleasure as well as seek to differentiate themselves by perfecting the key-mappings and the push-button icons to optimize play. So for example, a warrior in WoW might have sets of keys (conveniently lumped into nice trays) corresponding to "when playing solo with 1H weapon+shield; when playing in a group, etc." My priest utilizes all 6 trays littered with itty-bitty icons to nuance my actions to different scenarios. A great deal of thought has gone into what to put where and how to lay them out.
A long time ago when I played on the Everquest teams PvP servers (when they had the item loot rule for death), there was a classic "power down" sequence of undress we'd go through when we started to lose a PvP fight... we'd start "bagging" our clothing where they couldn't be looted. Clothing was just another component of you, and you had to hurry. Perhaps not too unlike another power-down sequence: Eve-Online allows you to blow yourself up (a spaceship) when facing capture.
The gymnastics of the verbs and nouns of ourselves in these first person RPG worlds can sound weird. Yet it is also one of the interesting details in these places. But I also think this aspect of our presence invites us to think of ourselves as assets or units built of constituent parts which can be min-maxed and too there must be Spock, Kirk and Scotty somewhere in our heads perhaps: "Captain, she's giving all she's got..."