Forums » General Gaming

What we love about who we play

    • 700 posts
    December 19, 2015 5:31 PM EST

    It has given me a chance to be a hero, an observer, a friend and the chance to be something better then what I am. I have saved people, vanquished villains and tamed the mightiest of creatures. I've assassinated the corrupt, purged the land of evil, explored planets far beyond my reach and become something I could never even DREAM to become. What has gaming given me then?

    Hope. Hope that I will become something more than I am now.

    The quote above was given by Tae Rai in my recent thread, What has gaming done for you?, and it got the wheels turning in the heads of me and my fellow blogger Edana, which gave birth to the pair of threads you see on the front page now. Edana got to thinking about how people could use powers from the ES universe for good in real life, and I started thinking about the characters in video games we relate and look up to.

    In the interest of keeping things neat, we each took our respective questions into different threads. Edana’s thread can be found here.

    But since you’re in my thread, you get a different set of questions. So that’s fun.


    • What characters in video games do you most relate to? (Note that this refers to PCs and NPCs)  

    • If it is a character of your own creation, what are the traits you seek to embody?

    • Are there any characters that you look up to?

    • If so, what qualities do you most admire in these characters and have you tried integrating these qualities into your own personality?

    Not a 100% honest answer

    • 288 posts
    December 19, 2015 5:35 PM EST

    Well, that depends on the game, really.

    • 700 posts
    December 19, 2015 5:36 PM EST

    Pick a few.

    • 288 posts
    December 19, 2015 5:52 PM EST

    For example, in Mass Effect I enjoyed playing Renegade; Paragon somehow didn't feel right for the universe (for me).

    In other universes I enjoy playing more Paladin-ish characters.

    How can I say it - there are games, that provoke you to be good and others, that provoke you to kill at will. It's all in the writing.

    • 700 posts
    December 19, 2015 6:04 PM EST

    Any NPCs that reminded you of yourself or anyone with qualities that you personally admire? 

    • 393 posts
    December 19, 2015 6:04 PM EST

    1. Saadia. With the whole of her story.

    3. At least one, and that would be Elenwen. Throw the rocks at me, lol)

    4. She is a smart bitch who knows how to achieve her goal and can smile in the faces of people who hate her. I'd definitely want to be like that.

    • 288 posts
    December 19, 2015 6:10 PM EST

    Nah, I don't admire NPC's. I am the god of my playthroughs, NPC's are my servants and, occasionally, meatshields if needed

    To admire a NPC means to admire the game designer/writer that created it and to accept that this person, whoever he is, is somehow more than you in the creative department. This is something I can never do.

    • 700 posts
    December 19, 2015 6:18 PM EST

    Saadia is an interesting choice. What is it about her story that you relate to?

    As for Elenwen, that takes some guts to say but she's a solid choice! Definitely someone not to cross. 

    • 393 posts
    December 19, 2015 6:42 PM EST

    Saadia is a person who runs and hides. We don't know whether she really betrayed her own people, but if she did, it would mean that she also runs from the consequences of her actions. I know perfectly well how that feels.

    ))) I tend to try and imagine a story behind every character, and every story for me begins with that character's view of the world and themselves in it. And I really like what I can imagine of Elenwen's POV))

    • 1 posts
    December 19, 2015 10:08 PM EST
    In my case, it's not a specific character bit a caracteristic i like to find in characters that i wish i could have them, which is the will to make everything that it's necessary to accomplish their goals, for example, my character is a mage who is willing to spend hours studying and practicing in order to become the strongest mage in history. That is what i think is the key to a full life.
    • 558 posts
    December 19, 2015 11:07 PM EST

    I look up to the old orcs you find throughout Skyrim. They are the most satisfying kills in the game, because by killing them, you are helping them. Martyrs are always usually inspiring. I haven't integrated many qualities from the old orcs into my personality because I don't have faith in much, although I will probably be fighting in the end.

    • 694 posts
    December 21, 2015 3:47 PM EST

    Personally, I look up to characters who have overcome some form of either adversity or source of inner conflict, and still make the "good" call in the end, despite it all. I think most characters we're meant to look up to have some element of this written in, but not always. The all good, all the time with little to no source of conflict seems flat to me. I think it's why I struggle with lawful good types a lot. Good for the sake of good isn't interesting to me. Living a regular, every day kind of life is hard enough, let alone being burdened with some seemingly inexhaustible sense of glorious purpose and righteousness. No part of me is buying it. As such, when I'm creating a character, I seek to mimic the roleplay in a similar way. Some element of conflict, inner struggle, or vice is what I usually settle on. Those are the things that make the characters come alive to me in a way more real and meaningful way. 

    In truth I don't know that I can say a single character has made me integrate these qualities of bravery or courage into my life. A character hasn't inspired me to do more or be a better person, even the best-written ones. But I can say that in regard to what I've said above, the kind of person who has struggled with something real, and is able to accomplish things in every day life with a sense of determination... that does inspire me to be a better person in a lot of ways. It doesn't have to be fighting crime or saving the world; just the ability to meet the world head-on and take on the challenges every day living brings, that's what really inspires me and drives me to be better.

    • 393 posts
    December 21, 2015 5:02 PM EST

    The everyday situations is there you fight woth yourself. It's a fight no superpowers would ever help you win. That's what inspires you, isn't it?

    And with the lawful good characters, the most interesting things begin as they realize, that what they consider good might be evil for someone else. That creates an inner conflict, wich is a fight with one's self too.

    • 45 posts
    December 21, 2015 5:40 PM EST

    I find I can always relate the most to the characters with flaws. To give characters flaws is to further humanize them because we are all flawed ourselves. This is why when I roleplay, I always create at least a few flaws for my characters and try to embody both those traits and the character's good traits. The characters whom I most admire are those who can acknowledge these flaws and overcome them, as the recognizing and overcoming of flaws, rather than the ignoring of them is what we must do in order to become better individuals.

    • 1595 posts
    January 3, 2016 3:37 AM EST

    This thread needs more love.

    • 1595 posts
    January 3, 2016 2:55 PM EST

    What characters in video games do you most relate to? (Note that this refers to PCs and NPCs) 

    I'm not sure there exists a concept of type in regard to NPCs. In most cases I can relate to any character if they are well presented and conceived. In Mass Effect, for example, it is easier to say who you don't relate to because each member of the crew or character you meet you can empathise with. This is largely thanks to the incredible voice acting of that series though.

    For a game like Skyrim where the dialogue is stripped back and rudimentary in comparison it is harder to say so I tend to revert to type a lot more. My favourite character is Delphine but if that says anything about me then I don't know what it is.

    If it is a character of your own creation, what are the traits you seek to embody?

    I'm a roleplayer and so like to create many different characters and see the world through their eyes for a while. I do tend towards those who, like Garrus from ME, are on single minded crusades and who are driven to make a difference. Does that mean I have issues with my own significance in real life, or just the kinds of stories I like? Whatever is going on psychologically, I don't enjoy the dark side for extended periods. I can have fun with a vampire character or enjoy assassins at times but there needs to be more to them than that to stay with me after I put the controller down.

    Are there any characters that you look up to?

    Too many to list. It's hard in something like TES games because the world and everything in it is there for you, the player. The fact this is also born out in deep lore too means there is a certain detachment at times. However there are a few characters in Skyrim and Oblivion I look up to.

    If so, what qualities do you most admire in these characters and have you tried integrating these qualities into your own personality?

    That's tough. Is a personality a modular construct that can be added to at will? Can we look at another person or character and recognise in them the very traits we are missing, modify our personalities to reflect this new knowledge?

    I am very cynical. I think if it were that easy many of the world's problems would have been solved long ago if humanity as a whole really was capable of this level of self-awareness. Trying to change one person or get that person to admit they may be wrong or unjustifiably prejudiced through education is hard work. Waiting for that person to come to that conclusion on their own is an exercise in futility.

    Despite all that, I think roleplayers can be quite an empathetic bunch. Our desire to experience different characters may indicate that we have a greater affinity for self-reflection and so we find it easier to modify our personalities based on other's experiences.

    But what about you Legion? Your questions right back at you.

    • 1483 posts
    January 3, 2016 3:26 PM EST

    What characters in video games do you most relate to? (Note that this refers to PCs and NPCs)  

    The most? Definitely the PC character. Not in short amount due to the fact that in every game that allows character customization, I tend to play a character based on myself in real life. What actions I would take, what decisions I would made etc.

    If it is a character of your own creation, what are the traits you seek to embody?

    Well, as I've mentioned in the previous comment, everything I can get away with within gameplay limitations.

    Are there any characters that you look up to? If so, what qualities do you most admire in these characters and have you tried integrating these qualities into your own personality?

    My "canon" Shepard. That character embodies the traits I try to cultivate in myself in real life (and barely have any success in doing so) - decisiveness, leadership ability, physique. And dancing 

    • 1595 posts
    January 3, 2016 3:29 PM EST

    Dude's got moves, cannot be denied.

    • 168 posts
    January 3, 2016 3:55 PM EST

    If it is a character of your own creation, what are the traits you seek to embody?

    My Archmage Khajiit Shinderu spends hours studying and practicing in order to overcome Shalindor. Most people thinks she will never make it because it's an impossible dream, but Shinderu shuts up the oppositions saying "My Nord father once told me that only those who have given up their lives believe their dreams are impossible. If you have a dream and you fight for it, your dream will come true, however you must have courage to fight for your dream". It's her sheer determination that gives me the strength to fight for my dreams.

    • 404 posts
    January 3, 2016 3:56 PM EST

    will this is difficult to say for me personally.

    Jarvurak/Jake the Orc. he is the most member able character I ever played as.

    he is a Honorable Orc that fights against the Vampires as both a Companion and a DawnGuard member, he is a savage as a Werewolf and he is a great guy to be around.

    NPC I really like, is Kodlak. Besides having the name of a Bear. he is the most Honorable guy and most respected character I could think of. he is a great Father figure and great leader to follow into battle. he speaks his mind.

    • 1483 posts
    January 3, 2016 4:00 PM EST

    A shame he forgot them in ME2  The first version is close to my dancing skills in real life 

    • 1595 posts
    January 3, 2016 4:26 PM EST


    • 700 posts
    January 7, 2016 11:37 PM EST

    First, let me apologize for the late ass response. I’ve had my emails off for some time now since after I was reinstated here, my email settings have been glitched. I will get inundated with 100+ emails a day because Ning seems to think I authored nearly every topic on the site. I’ll fiddle with them some more, but if I seem inconsistent, that’s why. Anyway! You asked me to answer my own thread, so here it is.

    What characters in video games do you most relate to? (Note that this refers to PCs and NPCs)

    I think you hit the nail on the head here when you said, “In most cases I can relate to any character if they are well presented and conceived” which is something I missed when posting this. It makes sense that just from a game design standpoint, characters are going to be made to be relatable to the player. Sometimes it's done well like in Mass Effect and sometimes it's done a more caricature fashion.

    The first game like that to come to mind is Gears of War just because I've spent so much time playing it and so much time on their forums, observing people drawing comparisons between themselves and the characters. For Gears' protagonists, you have the brooding and strong silent type, the outspoken smartass, the jock, and the sensitive best friend to the brooding fellow. It's easier to then say, "Hey, I like that character because he shares a quality I do!", because that quality is his entire character.

    Personally, I tend to relate to the soft spoken, loyal characters who get thrown headfirst into something they want no part of. Alistair of Dragon Age, Isaac Clarke of Dead Space, Terrence Sweetwater of Battlefield: Bad Company (this game also has the caricature characters).

    Also, can I ask why Delphine is your favorite character?

    If it is a character of your own creation, what are the traits you seek to embody?

    Hmm. I try to create characters that are grey, characters that, while they may weight to one side of the morality scale, don’t tip it over. Which is why I’m glad you brought up that point about playing assassins and vampires, the dark kinds of characters who can tend to be a bit bland. The MURDERDEATHKILL types are last on my list of characters I enjoy playing, but that’s just me.

    Are there any characters you look up to?

    This is a hard question! Perhaps I should answer my own questions before asking others. I keep coming back to Isaac from Dead Space which is…an uncommon answer? I just admire his resolve despite being silent in the first game. He was an engineer that repurposed mining tools in a life or death situation. I respect that. A nerd that got thrown into a situation more fit for the typical Shepard/Master Chief survived with his smarts and will to live.

    If so, what qualities do you most admire in these characters and have you tried integrating these qualities into your own personality?

    I think I just accidentally answered this in part in the above question, but it’s fine because I’ve tried to integrate facets of other characters into my own personality. I think it’s important to note that I’ve done this because for a very long time, I lacked a solid sense of self. My social intelligence, though far better now, was very minimal for most of my life. Only in this last year have I really improved in that respect. So I would mimic parts of these characters that represented who I wanted to be. Basically trying on different hats to see what fit and felt right. 

    I adopted Niko Bellic’s loyalty, which to be fair was always part of who I was though I never really identified with it before seeing it exemplified in someone else.

    I adopted Jack’s (Mass Effect) no-bullshit attitude for a little bit, which didn’t end up sticking so well since I’m a soft spoken dude. The vulgarity stayed, however. You just can’t tell here because I do try to keep it in check.

    Let’s see…one thing that stuck with me was Mordin’s lighthearted everything. I absolutely adore Mordin and I wanted so much to just allow myself to be like him, to take everything in stride and take care of my business when the situation demanded it. I’m not as quick or as articulate as Mordin but he was definitely an inspiration for me moving in that direction.

    This generally extends to IRL too, where I will adopt qualities that I admire in others. It might not be to the same extent, but I do constantly try to improve myself. It's possible that the qualities I've adopted are qualities that were already in me or that exist in all people, but simply weren't nurtured until I gave them the proper attention. Things like rational discourse, genuine empathy, charitability, organizational skills, and even my sense of humor. Things that I observed, admired, and adopted. 

    Edit: Oh thank the gods, I thought I might have exceeded Ning's character limit. 

    • 700 posts
    January 7, 2016 11:43 PM EST

    I definitely relate to that. Every game that I can customize the PC in, I play myself the first time, every time. Large parts who I am tend to sneak their way into my other characters too, regardless of sex, race, or moral disposition. There's always that little kernel of Legion. 

    I love that the one thing Shepard cannot do is dance. He can do everything up to saving the galaxy, but the dude cannot dance for shit. It always tickles me.

    • 700 posts
    January 7, 2016 11:47 PM EST

    I respect that sort of determination. It's not a fun place to be when you envision your goals and all that you can think about is how impossible they seem. So I'm glad you found that strength somewhere.