Following on from the recent Chat Bubble in which we discussed character gender, I’m now wondering if your character is an extension of you, or something else?
In a recent chat bubble we had some great discussion about character gender, and several commenters made the excellent point, as I mention in the video, that part of the answer to that previous question is decided by how you see your characters in games.
Like I mention, the way I see it is that people, in general, fall into one or several of approximately three camps. I hope I make it sufficiently clear that this is not absolute, it’s all just opinion, and therefore highly subjective!
If you see your character as an extension of your self, you likely want to identify with it. As I mention in the video, this is largely how I play, in MMORPGs at least. I feel like my character is an extension of me, I place myself in her – because I almost always play girls – shoes. I don’t view my characters like third person entities, or protagonists in a novel I’m creating, largely, not in World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2, anyhow. In those games, as I suppose is the nature of roleplaying games, I find myself stepping into the game with my character.
But in some, specific cases, my characters become those third person entities, as I describe in the video and as was mentioned by several people in the comments of the last Chat Bubble. In Borderlands 2, while I still insist on only playing female characters, I don’t step into their shoes, nor do I make any effort to make them look like me, or name them like me. They are third parties, and I am most similar to a puppet-master, pulling the strings as they travel through Sanctuary and beyond.
Lastly, the notion that characters are nothing but tools through which to experience content. I thought I never did this, but on consideration while filming the video above, I found myself surprised by the revelation that, in some games, I actually do!
What about you? Do you fall into one or several of these categories? Are your characters extensions of you? Or third parties, puppets whose strings you’re pulling? Or perhaps you don’t identify with them at all, and they are nothing more than tools to experience content with. Do let me know in the comments below!