The Portrayal of Male Characters in Video Games.

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How to fix male videogame characters: MAKE THEM HOTTER, because "buff wish fulfillment fantasy" doesn't always translate to "attractive".

I kid, I kid, that would be dumb. How you do it is the same way you fix female videogame characters, though: you give them interesting and realistic motivations ("the bad guys murdered everyone I ever loved" is NOT interesting; neither is "I want to save the pathetic damsel in distress who was dumb enough to get herself caught by the bad guys"), an engaging and likable personality (or no personality at all, a la Gordon Freeman, if you're good enough to pull it off), and character traits other than "communicates only in uber-manly grunts" and "angsts endlessly about shooting things but never thinks to take up an alternate career like flower arranging or something".

The problem is that the vast majority of characters these day are pretty poorly written, regardless of gender. I'd still argue women get the short end of the stick (as female videogame characters are almost always sexualized in addition to the usual pack of dumb stereotypes), but it's a sign of lazy writing overall.

I would like to say, that games take notes from movies! Look at your average leading man! They are all the stereotypical character you are talking about! Blame movies for this!

I do kind of feel like there is a lack of variety for both sets of characters.

For FPS/Action games I'd like to suggest a younger male or female protagonist, someone who isn't a grizzled veteran but is rather new to killing or dealing with those intense situations.

It's kind of why I am so interested in The Last of Us, because there is emotional variety in comparison to other games of that type.

Also seeing that there is a black female protagonist of the assassins creed series made me sit up and pay attention. It's an interesting idea and hopefully her personality might be something interesting to watch.

Personally I'd like to see a female soldier in a MW game, as someone who is tough in her own right. The stuff that was said about protecting the new Lara Croft was just insane, if you are trying to be immersed in a game and protect someone... it's going to be hard to do if you are that character in game...

Moonlight Butterfly:
stereotype rather than how women are often hyper-sexualised

These bits are the key to understanding this whole issue.

Hypersexualized? According to whose standards? The standards of most women? Or a few women who try to speak for all, who perhaps don't even understand themselves?

Women define themselves through their gender identity more than men. This is why women and feminist movements always associate themselves with flowers and the color pink. This is why women spend enormous time and effort in making themselves appear physically attractive - much more so than men.

In answer to your question, the issues with male role models is that they have been perverted by trying to force a false equality between men and women, and in doing so, completely lost touch with the reality of what either gender wants.

Women and men must be equally driven by drives for power, sex, social prestige, self-image, etc, and the result is characters that are cliche, unconvincing, unreal, and contribute to the shallow irrelevance that plagues modern video gaming.

Of course society plays a major role too, as young men and women are so out-of-touch with themselves and the general human experience that they don't even know who they are or what they want, something attributable to poor parenting, poor education, and the noise and omnipresence of contemporary media.

So in effect, we have a vicious cycle that can be described most simply as bad taste. This "bad taste" (to answer the OP directly) means male characters who lack manly qualities such as courage, honor, and decency. Characters that appeal to boys and girls who have no idea nor respect for what a real man is - something directly attributable to the factors described above.

swenson:
you give them interesting and realistic motivations ("the bad guys murdered everyone I ever loved" is NOT interesting; neither is "I want to save the pathetic damsel in distress who was dumb enough to get herself caught by the bad guys")

This is a really good example of what I was describing above.

Those ARE interesting and realistic motivations.
That IS the reality of what men and women want.

You can't make an realistic unreality. You try to do that and it leads us right back here to this thread.

aestu:
Women define themselves through their gender identity more than men.

Citation needed.

This is why women and feminist movements always associate themselves with flowers and the color pink.

Citation needed.

aestu:

swenson:
you give them interesting and realistic motivations ("the bad guys murdered everyone I ever loved" is NOT interesting; neither is "I want to save the pathetic damsel in distress who was dumb enough to get herself caught by the bad guys")

This is a really good example of what I was describing above.

Those ARE interesting and realistic motivations.

Shit that happens to someone is never as interesting as how the characters feel about. This is a basic rule of writing.

DrVornoff:

aestu:
Women define themselves through their gender identity more than men.

Citation needed.

This is why women and feminist movements always associate themselves with flowers and the color pink.

Citation needed.

I need a citation for neither any more than I need a citation to say the sky is blue or that humans have two hands and two feet.

Conversely, "sayin don't make it so", no matter how many toilet paper degrees someone has.

DrVornoff:

aestu:

swenson:
you give them interesting and realistic motivations ("the bad guys murdered everyone I ever loved" is NOT interesting; neither is "I want to save the pathetic damsel in distress who was dumb enough to get herself caught by the bad guys")

This is a really good example of what I was describing above.

Those ARE interesting and realistic motivations.

Shit that happens to someone is never as interesting as how the characters feel about. This is a basic rule of writing.

Nonsense. That sort of thing happens every day. It's called white knighting, or opening the door for women, or paying for the date, etc. The realities of male, female, and human nature as they play out on a day-to-day basis.

By contrast, would you argue that a man (or woman) putting on the spandex and saving the world, or fighting dragons, is useless as a plot because that never happens either? Where do you make the distinction?

Matthew94:
I'll post this so no one else has to.

image

Yep, there is hardly much variety when it comes to guys in games, it's a shame. At least Mario is fat, he has that going for him.

The problem with this poster is that several of the examples are cherry-picked, slightly off, or just plain wrong.

For example, Commander Shepard is 28 to 29 in the first Mass Effect (which is the one shown), and Shepard can be customized to be nearly any race and either male or female. Additionally, Alec Mason from Red Faction: Guerrilla is 28, and Resistance's Nathan Hale is 28 in the first game. Snake is shown (Naked Snake from Snake Eater, to be exact), but Naked Snake was 29 in Snake Eater. Solid Snake was 23 in his first game appearance, and chronologically 42 (physically, even older) in his most recent.

Nathan Drake's year of birth has never been stated in canon, and while he was described as "in his 30s" in at least one interview, the two birth years put forward in non-canon works (1982 and 1980) put him at, respectively, 25 or 27 in the first game. Cole MacGrath's age has also never been explicitly stated, but late 20s is a reasonable guess. Michael Thorton's (Alpha Protocol) age is also never given - each of the backgrounds available implies a different age range; most suggest that Thorton is somewhere in his 20s. Jason Flemming's age is, again, never stated.

Sam Fisher is 47 in his first game appearance, and only gets older from there. Max Payne was in his 30s in the first games, but in the most recent one he's in his 40s, most likely late 40s.

Starkiller the first is about 17, and cannot possibly be older than mid-20s; Starkiller the clone, while artificially aged, looks the same age as, if not slightly younger than, the original.

Tomas Sevchenko is 25 in Killzone 2. Chris Redfield is 36 in Resident Evil 5 (the image shown), but he was 26 in the first game.

Silent Hill: Homecoming's Alex Shepherd is 22.

Of the 20 "brown-haired 30-something white males" shown I recognize 18. Of those 18, only 6 - Chris Redfield, Norman Jayden, Max Payne, Alan Wake, Niko Bellic, and Frank West - are definitely in their 30s in the chosen picture, 4 are definitely in their late 20s (of whom 3 are in their 30s in another game), and 3 are probably in their late 20s. 3 of the characters shown are not only well outside their 30s, but have never been playable in their 30s.

"Brown" seems to cover the entire black-brown-chestnut-auburn spectrum, by which definition "brown-haired" describes some 75% or so of "white people" (i.e. Europeans) and about 95% of humanity. The range of skin colors shown encompasses something like 70% or 80% of all people. The faces show a fairly wide variety in structure as well, hinting at a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds (excepting the ones who come from settings in which our notions of ethnicity are meaningless), so apparently "white" in this context means "lighter-skinned and not overwhelmingly asian."

But I guess "darker-haired lighter-skinned adult men" isn't as catchy, is it?

Matthew94:
I would be ok with the character being a naive 20-something who is not used to what is happening, it would be fresh. Seeing them grow and adapt to the hardships would be interesting.

So... the overwhelming majority of JRPG protagonists, then?

Also, Leon Kennedy was 21 in Resident Evil 2 - there are no doubt many other examples (see also the above-mentioned Alex Shepherd, and Michael Thorton with the recruit background pretty much has to be in his early 20s as well), this was just the first one that came to mind.

aestu:
I need a citation for neither any more than I need a citation to say the sky is blue or that humans have two hands and two feet.

You made a claim. If you don't want to back it up, then you shouldn't have said it. I don't think I'm being unreasonable by saying so.

Conversely, "sayin don't make it so", no matter how many toilet paper degrees someone has.

And yet... here you are.

Nonsense. That sort of thing happens every day. It's called white knighting, or opening the door for women, or paying for the date, etc. The realities of male, female, and human nature as they play out on a day-to-day basis.

By contrast, would you argue that a man (or woman) putting on the spandex and saving the world, or fighting dragons, is useless as a plot because that never happens either? Where do you make the distinction?

Let me answer that with another question: What does that have to do with what I just said?

If you think men and women are functionally identical then you need to go outside.

And if you want to argue that's a "social construct" then you need to read more history and less political nonsense. Human nature is what it is in all places and times. It's called sexual dimorphism.

Dude... I have no idea why you're going off like this. What does this have to do with anything that's been said in this thread?

I asked you why you went off on a rant about sex when I was talking about a maxim of good writing and characterization. And your response was to go on another rant. You can understand why I'm confused.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

That's nice. What does that have to do with anything? I was talking about writing. Why did you respond by asking me questions about things that had nothing to do with what I said? Dude, it's a simple question. If you don't know why you did that and it was just a weird little... episode, then say so, apologize, and we'll all laugh about it later.

That list is stupid. People like 30 something year old brown haired heroes? Their appearance has nothing to do with how good or bad their character traits are, Big Boss for example from the Metal Gear Solid series (2nd on the first row) is an extremely dynamic character that goes through a ton of character development. Sure Big Boss is a 30-something brown haired character but that is superficial and says nothing about the quality of his character. In the Metal Gear games we learn about Big Boss's thoughts and feelings through many character conversations and many meaningful Political-Military themes are delved into during his character arc. The way a character looks says very little about how they are inside.

Also I don't care about any of that nonsense where people say that a character being too macho or powerful just invokes a power fantasy. It doesn't matter if a character is powerful and capable of defeating enemies in ways that a real human being would find difficult or even impossible, so long as that character is well-written and understandable to the audience then that is all I care about.

The only problem we are actually seeing in our games is that we don't have enough characters and too many avatars, too many of these character models we are playing as in our games have very little personality and aren't written well making them lifeless and not true characters in a story. We should be seeking better writing in order to create better characters.

That male design isn't sexist, it just boring and lazy. If it was sexist it would be Edward for twilight

Grygor:
snip
So... the overwhelming majority of JRPG protagonists, then?

Also, Leon Kennedy was 21 in Resident Evil 2 - there are no doubt many other examples (see also the above-mentioned Alex Shepherd, and Michael Thorton with the recruit background pretty much has to be in his early 20s as well), this was just the first one that came to mind.

That's right, it's like a big factory.

If the protagonist is produced at a young age they ship him to Japan for Angst training but if he is in his late 20's he must be a shooty soldier man.

Yes, that is how it works.

Also, it is true. There is only 1 kind of naive and it's shit-tons of angst. There is no spectrum.

Boy am I learning a lot.

Matthew94:

Grygor:
snip
So... the overwhelming majority of JRPG protagonists, then?

Also, Leon Kennedy was 21 in Resident Evil 2 - there are no doubt many other examples (see also the above-mentioned Alex Shepherd, and Michael Thorton with the recruit background pretty much has to be in his early 20s as well), this was just the first one that came to mind.

That's right, it's like a big factory.

If the protagonist is produced at a young age they ship him to Japan for Angst training but if he is in his late 20's he must be a shooty soldier man.

Yes, that is how it works.

Also, it is true. There is only 1 kind of naive and it's shit-tons of angst. There is no spectrum.

Boy am I learning a lot.

You said nothing of genre or nation of origin. You simply stated a desire for younger, more naive protagonists. You don't get to complain for any reason when I point out that they exist in droves.

But hey, you did succeed in providing another piece of evidence for the argument that young people should just be ignored, so there's that.

Grygor:

Matthew94:

Grygor:
snip
So... the overwhelming majority of JRPG protagonists, then?

Also, Leon Kennedy was 21 in Resident Evil 2 - there are no doubt many other examples (see also the above-mentioned Alex Shepherd, and Michael Thorton with the recruit background pretty much has to be in his early 20s as well), this was just the first one that came to mind.

That's right, it's like a big factory.

If the protagonist is produced at a young age they ship him to Japan for Angst training but if he is in his late 20's he must be a shooty soldier man.

Yes, that is how it works.

Also, it is true. There is only 1 kind of naive and it's shit-tons of angst. There is no spectrum.

Boy am I learning a lot.

You said nothing of genre or nation of origin. You simply stated a desire for younger, more naive protagonists. You don't get to complain for any reason when I point out that they exist in droves.

But hey, you did succeed in providing another piece of evidence for the argument that young people should just be ignored, so there's that.

Yeah, saying I am ok with something is a desire. Yep.

"young people should just be ignored"

Let me guess, I should get off your lawn too?

aestu:
snip

I don't want to derail this thread with women's issues frankly but I would be more than glad to take it to PM if you would like :)

So the main theme is that male characters are bland. Is that because dev's think that men like to project onto blank canvases perhaps.

Are they maybe just not getting what some guys want with that? I'd be interested to hear.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I don't want to derail this thread with women's issues frankly but I would be more than glad to take it to PM if you would like :)

Just so you know, he posted a conspiracy theory about how feminists are terrorists in another thread.

Moonlight Butterfly:
So the main theme is that male characters are bland. Is that because dev's think that men like to project onto blank canvases perhaps.

Are they maybe just not getting what some guys want with that? I'd be interested to hear.

Define what you mean by "blank canvas" and "project onto" more specifically, please.

aestu:

Moonlight Butterfly:
stereotype rather than how women are often hyper-sexualised

These bits are the key to understanding this whole issue.

Hypersexualized? According to whose standards? The standards of most women? Or a few women who try to speak for all, who perhaps don't even understand themselves?

Women define themselves through their gender identity more than men. This is why women and feminist movements always associate themselves with flowers and the color pink. This is why women spend enormous time and effort in making themselves appear physically attractive - much more so than men.

In answer to your question, the issues with male role models is that they have been perverted by trying to force a false equality between men and women, and in doing so, completely lost touch with the reality of what either gender wants.

Women and men must be equally driven by drives for power, sex, social prestige, self-image, etc, and the result is characters that are cliche, unconvincing, unreal, and contribute to the shallow irrelevance that plagues modern video gaming.

Of course society plays a major role too, as young men and women are so out-of-touch with themselves and the general human experience that they don't even know who they are or what they want, something attributable to poor parenting, poor education, and the noise and omnipresence of contemporary media.

So in effect, we have a vicious cycle that can be described most simply as bad taste. This "bad taste" (to answer the OP directly) means male characters who lack manly qualities such as courage, honor, and decency. Characters that appeal to boys and girls who have no idea nor respect for what a real man is - something directly attributable to the factors described above.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I don't want to derail this thread with women's issues frankly

It's not a derailment. I have established that those issues are relevant to this topic and to dismiss my argument without engaging it is disrespectful.

If you think my argument is in some way faulty, then go ahead - point out the faults - but you don't get to dismiss an argument "just cuz".

aestu:

aestu:

Moonlight Butterfly:
stereotype rather than how women are often hyper-sexualised

These bits are the key to understanding this whole issue.

Hypersexualized? According to whose standards? The standards of most women? Or a few women who try to speak for all, who perhaps don't even understand themselves?

Women define themselves through their gender identity more than men. This is why women and feminist movements always associate themselves with flowers and the color pink. This is why women spend enormous time and effort in making themselves appear physically attractive - much more so than men.

In answer to your question, the issues with male role models is that they have been perverted by trying to force a false equality between men and women, and in doing so, completely lost touch with the reality of what either gender wants.

Women and men must be equally driven by drives for power, sex, social prestige, self-image, etc, and the result is characters that are cliche, unconvincing, unreal, and contribute to the shallow irrelevance that plagues modern video gaming.

Of course society plays a major role too, as young men and women are so out-of-touch with themselves and the general human experience that they don't even know who they are or what they want, something attributable to poor parenting, poor education, and the noise and omnipresence of contemporary media.

So in effect, we have a vicious cycle that can be described most simply as bad taste. This "bad taste" (to answer the OP directly) means male characters who lack manly qualities such as courage, honor, and decency. Characters that appeal to boys and girls who have no idea nor respect for what a real man is - something directly attributable to the factors described above.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I don't want to derail this thread with women's issues frankly

It's not a derailment. I have established that those issues are relevant to this topic and to dismiss my argument without engaging it is disrespectful.

If you think my argument is in some way faulty, then go ahead - point out the faults - but you don't get to dismiss an argument "just cuz".

I'm not dismissing it.. I simply want this thread to be about male issues. Like I said we can take it to PM if you like :)

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Moonlight Butterfly:
So the main theme is that male characters are bland. Is that because dev's think that men like to project onto blank canvases perhaps.

Are they maybe just not getting what some guys want with that? I'd be interested to hear.

Define what you mean by "blank canvas" and "project onto" more specifically, please.

Well a lot of guys in this thread are saying that the male protagonist is almost a bland copy paste (please correct me if I'm mistaken). You yourself pointed out the fact that they try and spray him with bursts of emotion to make him more real.

Do you think that the devs want the protagonist to be a 'non person' to be able to almost replace the protagonist with themselves? Do you think that's effective or that it just makes the character worse?

Moonlight Butterfly:
I'm not dismissing it.. I simply want this thread to be about male issues.

And so it is. Feminism and its nefarious influence on media and education is a male issue. If you aren't willing to engage all relevant aspects of topic then don't post.

You are being disrespectful by loudly expressing your own views and interpretations as valid while making a point of dismissing others.

Devaluing the validity of others' views is bigotry and you are proving my point by doing so.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Moonlight Butterfly:
So the main theme is that male characters are bland. Is that because dev's think that men like to project onto blank canvases perhaps.

Are they maybe just not getting what some guys want with that? I'd be interested to hear.

Define what you mean by "blank canvas" and "project onto" more specifically, please.

Well a lot of guys in this thread are saying that the male protagonist is almost a bland copy paste (please correct me if I'm mistaken). You yourself pointed out the fact that they try and spray him with bursts of emotion to make him more real.

Do you think that the devs want the protagonist to be a 'non person' to be able to almost replace the protagonist with themselves? Do you think that's effective or that it just makes the character worse?

None of this is relevant. Clearly you do not understand the issue.

If you believe that you do, then establish the basis for your understanding.

aestu:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Define what you mean by "blank canvas" and "project onto" more specifically, please.

Well a lot of guys in this thread are saying that the male protagonist is almost a bland copy paste (please correct me if I'm mistaken). You yourself pointed out the fact that they try and spray him with bursts of emotion to make him more real.

Do you think that the devs want the protagonist to be a 'non person' to be able to almost replace the protagonist with themselves? Do you think that's effective or that it just makes the character worse?

None of this is relevant. Clearly you do not understand the issue.

If you believe that you do, then establish the basis for your understanding.

I am taking it from what people have said in this thread. If I have misunderstood then please enlighten me.

I have no intention of devaluing other peoples statements I made this thread to find out what the issues are in the first place and I have read every post.

Moonlight Butterfly:
Well a lot of guys in this thread are saying that the male protagonist is almost a bland copy paste (please correct me if I'm mistaken). You yourself pointed out the fact that they try and spray him with bursts of emotion to make him more real.

Do you think that the devs want the protagonist to be a 'non person' to be able to almost replace the protagonist with themselves? Do you think that's effective or that it just makes the character worse?

It could seen as one those "safe bets", yes. Its effectiveness is more often than not questionable though. Thinking a bit more my "bursts of emotion" comment, I wonder if this sort of thing isn't an attempt by the developers at making the protagonist seem more human (and therefore more interesting), but that instead ends up being a mere caricature. This leads to a scenario where a caricature is acting out things that are intended to seen as human, but falls very flat or even rubs the player wrong way.

It is also important to point out that in a lot of cases it will more or less be near impossible project yourself into the story, given the extrordinary, fantastical, and oftentimes absurd situations you would find yourself in a lot of video games.

I would like to point out again that a character being intersting to watch often trumps being a blank slate to project yourself onto. I have made this point earlier in this thread, but in case you have missed it I will quote it right here:

Hjalmar Fryklund:
On the other hand I would also question the need to actually relate to a character. I know I sure didn't really care or relate much about most main characters I have played as, but I am also not convinced that I would necessairly hold it against them.

I know he keeps popping up in these debates from time to time, but let's use Kratos as an example (again) here. Now I haven't played the God of War games so I am very much speaking from a position of ignorance here, but in any case, Kratos is very, very often described as a typical male power fantasy. And I would actually challenge that idea, to a degree a least. There may very well be kids and man-children who would really like to be him, but for myself (and what little I know of him) I could only really bring myself to care about playing further out of some kind of morbid curiosity to see what new brutality he is going to perform next.

It is for the same reason I kept reading on in Therèse Raquin. I didn't relate at all to the two main characters nor did I care about them as people (in both cases same as how I'd likely see Kratos), but because I wanted to see what boundaries they were going to overstep next. They were just simply fascinating to watch. Same with the Boss in Saints Row 2. In both these cases what the characters do is far more interesting to watch or perform.

Sidenote: While recently playing Dragon VI´s remake on the DS I am kind of starting to wonder if silent protagonists aren't a blessing in disguise, when I consider my own point about pandering main characters.

Finally, I will say one more thing about relating to characters. I do not see why men can only really relate to men or women can only really relate to women. There are some things that only men will experience and something only women will experience, but in most other cases, we share the experiences and feelings. To think that you can only truly relate to someone of your own gender seems like a very pointless, artifical wall between the sexes, and I think everyone needs to take a long hard look at themselves to if there is something they can do to tear that wall down as much as possible.

Hoo boy, that was long. Time to eat!

Well, that is all for now. Hopefully I have made some sense of this. By the way, did you catch my analysis of Kyle Hyde, one of my favorite male characters?

Matthew94:
Yep, there is hardly much variety when it comes to guys in games, it's a shame. At least Mario is fat, he has that going for him.

He's also got a bitching mustache. Pretty hot <3

Clearing the Eye:

Matthew94:
Yep, there is hardly much variety when it comes to guys in games, it's a shame. At least Mario is fat, he has that going for him.

He's also got a bitching mustache. Pretty hot <3

It would be awesome if he had a huge heard...

OF BEES!!

image

Matthew94:

Clearing the Eye:

Matthew94:
Yep, there is hardly much variety when it comes to guys in games, it's a shame. At least Mario is fat, he has that going for him.

He's also got a bitching mustache. Pretty hot <3

It would be awesome if he had a huge heard...

OF BEES!!

image

Whoever made that gif is a genius!

Hjalmar Fryklund:

It could seen as one those "safe bets", yes. Its effectiveness is more often than not questionable though. Thinking a bit more my "bursts of emotion" comment, I wonder if this sort of thing isn't an attempt by the developers at making the protagonist seem more human (and therefore more interesting), but that instead ends up being a mere caricature. This leads to a scenario where a caricature is acting out things that are intended to seen as human, but falls very flat or even rubs the player wrong way.

It is also important to point out that in a lot of cases it will more or less be near impossible project yourself into the story, given the extrordinary, fantastical, and oftentimes absurd situations you would find yourself in a lot of video games.

I would like to point out again that a character being intersting to watch often trumps being a blank slate to project yourself onto. I have made this point earlier in this thread, but in case you have missed it I will quote it right here:

This is a pretty interesting point actually, if you compare it with modern cinema. Why is Driver, from the movie with the same name, and Bateman from American Psycho (yes, technically a book originally) such interesting and memorable characters? I'd argue that it is because they are very alien to the viewer and thus present us with interesting new views. It is supposedly also why so many people keep on reading thousands of pages of A Song of Ice and Fire, because the characters in that series might not be all that relatable, but they and their scheming is very interesting to follow.

The thing is, even if you go for relatable (which Heavy Rain did with Ethan Mars, pretty much embodying the worst fears of fathers all over the world) you still need to keep the character interesting. Just putting in a cardboard doll with a limited range of emotions and hoping it will pass of as a "blank slate" doesn't cut it, because the character still needs a full range of emotions, motivations and traits (like a certain Mr. Mars...).

So basically, the problem I think is not as much with the fact that the writers wanted relatable characters. The problem is that they just don't know how to create relatable characters and mistake homogenity and lack of character for "blank slate". Look at Adam Jensen as a good example of the blank slate done right, even if the player control his every action and can decide what Adam thinks about augmentations and other topics that pop up in the game, the character is still written well enough that he seems to be an actual character besides being the player vehicle.

Gethsemani:
So basically, the problem I think is not as much with the fact that the writers wanted relatable characters. The problem is that they just don't know how to create relatable characters and mistake homogenity and lack of character for "blank slate".

I agree with the rest of your post (though I am unfamiliar with your examples), but I don't quite see what you are getting at in this particular segment. Could you please elaborate?

Moonlight Butterfly:
Marcus Fenixs' (Fenixi? Fenixises?) of gaming.

Fenixes.

Fenixes' would also be correct but the apostrophe would make it a possessive plural. As in, there are lots of Fenixes that possess something. Like that well known Fenix Family sitcom episode; 'The Fenixes' New Cat.'

I'd personally like to see more everman characters like Arthur Dent and more thoughtful characters whose range is greater than grim stoicness through random violence.

Well, I do think they base video game men after some of the actors in real. I mean, don't alot of women find men with cropped hair and a stubble attractive? (I'm not going to lie and say I don't, because I do) But sometimes the different does pop up and it's great. But you would mostly find those in comics, in my honest opinion.

Some characters the are /diff/ characters being Garcia Hotspur from Shadows of The Damned, Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes, Raiden from Metal Gear 3. Also Simon from Cry of Fear, because you actually start to sympthize and feel for him.

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