A Character Description ideally tells people what your character looks like physically, including any sounds, scents or mannerisms. This goes back to Tabletop/Pen and Paper gaming, like Dungeons and Dragons.
The DM would give a short description of a NPC (non-player character) if a player asked, or if there was a prominent person nearby. It also helped get a feel for what each player looked like – especially since we didn’t dress the part.
Here’s a simple Character Description we might get:
The attractive young woman nearby has with short blond hair and blue eyes. Her skin is a light tan, and her blue dress seems to be common, but well kept.
From there, we got a basic idea of what she looked like. If a player spoke to her, the DM would give further information, such as how she speaks, mannerisms and anything else relevant during the NPC conversation.
To get an idea, take a RL perspective:
How would someone describe you if they saw you across the room?
Now… picture your character. How would he/she be seen?
- Outward appearance
- Items, such as weapons, jewelry, clothing details.
- Sensory details (smell, sounds)
- Vibes or auras
That’s how Character Descriptions can be important in certain games. MMORPGs and LARPS have an advantage due to gear/costuming and props that can be used to aid in what another player will see physically.
Role-playing fills in the other information.
Note: Some MMORPGs have game addons or features that allow you to add extra information to the character for others to read. First/Last names, a character description – some even more. You may see a full character backstory in place of a description. While this can be informative, it can lead to metagaming. It also takes the “fun” out of interactions ICly and getting to “know” another character in my opinion.