Do you self insert?

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Yeah, sounds dirty no matter how I type it :D

After today's Jimquisition, I got to thinking on my relationship with video game protagonists.

I very rarely self insert (still dirty) myself in the position of the protagonist.

When I'm playing The Walking Dead, I'm not Lee Everett, I'm making decisions I think he'd make.

When I'm playing Fallout New Vegas, it isn't me who's wandering the Mojave, it's Lilith Valentine, revolver wielding bounty hunter of fortune.

Hell, even in Half Life 2, I don't really play the game as if it's me fighting the Combine, it's Gordon Freeman, mute scientist.

Am I in a minority then, when it comes to gaming, that I see protagonists as their own person, not simply an avatar for me to project onto?

I get the impression that most gamers do project themselves into games as the protagonist, seeing as how only around 18% of Mass Effect 3 players used Femshep :D

... I'd say that, for the most part, I do not. Probably the only times I've self inserted (still still dirty) were Oblivion and strategy games.

I can't do it.

And believe me, I've tried, but no matter how hard I attempt to "be" the person I'm playing as I can't overcome the feeling that my character is just some dude who I command from a couch for entertainment. Like my very own immortal slave!

I've given up trying anyway. I don't need that level of escapism to enjoy games to their fullest potential. Just thought I'd give it a shot for the hell of it, and it didn't work. :/

I think the only time I projected myself into a game was with Pokemon (Blue/Gold) at about 10 years of age. It helped a lot that I detested Ash and the anime, and saw the games as an opportunity to get things done properly (ie. don't go around befriending Pokemon, fucking catch them!).

Otherwise I'm very comfortable playing WITH the protagonist rather than AS him/her. Overtime it develops into a nice comedy act, I think, in which I can talk to myself without really talking to myself, if you get what I'm saying.

I do. In the games that allow me to, anyway.

It depends on the game and my current mood. Sometimes I see the character as an independent being, sometimes I project myself into the character, and sometimes I imagine myself being the character whom I made up, who could have a very different personality to my own.

For example, if I play Batman: Arkham City, I can't project myself into Batman. It's Batman, and he'll stay Batman no matter what I do. But when I play an Elder Scrolls game, I'd either play as myself (A High-Elf Battlemage version of myself), or I'll make up a character who's not like me and imagine how he would act in different scenarios.

At the end, does it really matter? Just play the way you enjoy.

What's the difference between inserting myself into a character and inmersion? Just wondering .

OT: no i don't insert myself into characters . I couldn't insert myself into femshep no matter how hard i tried . But i wasn't immersed in the world either , if that's different .

As a side note : best thread name ever .

Depends on the game. If the protagonist isn't defined at all, yes I'll project myself. But if the protagonist is defined, then I'll listen to his story rather than make my own.

When I play Garald the Bloodbrother in The Dark Eye I play him as his own entity. Though he was created by me I made him a fightseeking priest of Kor who remembers only one thing: That fierce warrior who took a sword through half his chest and yet managed to defeat the whole group fighting him (as well as the bearer of said sword). He doesn't care about many things, only the contracts he has with him are of value due to the priests of Kor being mercenaries who seek gold or fight. Not even his heritage is of any importance (he grew up as a Thorwaler in the city of mere normal midlanders, he has no parents and thus no second name. There are many Garald someonessons but there is only one Garald.) He never had to do anything else besides talking and fighting so he excells in those things. If he needs something done he can't do he'll admit it and he'll talk someone into doing it.

Right now he decided that it'll be fun travelling the world for a bet and even though he won't remember the reasons for why he is travelling with this captain besides the money he promised him by the time I'm writing this he'll sharpen his Dragon Claw for the next fight that is going to occur. Because a day without spelt blood is a day wasted.

His decisions and his goal are based around finding this warrior and killing him mano-a-mano.

During the time my mage, Kaspar Berathas, was alive (same RPG) his decisions were based on deceiving his comrades and abusing their powers without revealing more of him than his increadible healer skills (aquired through excessive studies of necromancy and workings with the dead, both forbidden arts). It really did help that he was open and capable of even talking and hiding his presence to the best hunters of Necromancers and Demonologists.

It did not help though that he revealed the location of his master to said people (both for personal gain for him as for me).

Same goes for games I play. In Portal I play Chell, not Glados. In Fallout: New Vegas my Elira decided on her own to overtake the whole Wasteland and fuck everyone else over. In Bastion the Kid decides the end decides the end decides the end *cough*. And in TF2 it is not me who runs around as a Scout, it is the Scout running around and being the Scout.

What's the difference between inserting myself into a character and inmersion? Just wondering .

OT: no i don't insert myself into characters . I couldn't insert myself into femshep no matter how hard i tried . But i wasn't immersed in the world either , if that's different .

As a side note : best thread name ever .

Immersion would be just that, immersed in the game world.

Self inserting (still rude) is essentially taking over the protagonist and essentially making it you. Like if you made a Skyrim character and pretended it was you

If it's an FPS, silent prog or RPG then yes, if not then no and I certainly can't do that playing a woman.

However I don't want to role play every game, infact I'm more inclined to buy a game with a female lead as there's often more substance to them in action games, especially script writing.

Depends on the game. I can do it quite easily as long as it's involved enough. So yeah, when I played DX:HR, I was not like "What would Adam jensen do", I was like "What would I do".

Then again I did use to roleplay often back in the days when I still had a lot of time for it, and I had no problems playing male, female, alien, AI, whathaveyou characters.

Not really.

For games that allow the player to choose responses or actions, I'll make the ones that I believe I would pick were I in the same situation, but I treat the player character as their own entity. They're not really me, they're the Jedi Exile, or Geralt of Rivia, or Commander Shepard, etc. But I suppose in a way they could actually be considered an extension of me. Just in the choices, though, it doesn't matter to me if the character is male, female, human, elf, alien, robot, etc.

I suppose for characters that are practically complete blank slates with little personality, like the Warden in Dragon Age, I probably project onto the character, but those situations are few and far between.

I do. In the games that allow me to, anyway.

Yes, this is what I was thinking. I honestly don't like games as much if they don't allow me to either be me or create a character. It seems like a lot of games are all like "Ok, so you are ____ and this is your story line! Raargh! Be excited!" and I'm like "I just want to be me, can I?" and then they say "No!!! You don't know what you want you are a just a consumer!"

Yeah, that's a little over the top but should at least convey what I am talking about.

Eh... depends on the game, but for the most part, I don't...

I have 'placeholder' names for most of my RPG characters. They, on the other hand, act in a very similar way, but it's generally not in keeping with how I'd be, certainly.


I insert my personality, but I do try to see the game through the character's point of view. I'm not just DVS
I'm DVS the Elf Rouge
DVS Soldier Colonial Shepard
DVS Saint's Boss.

Depends on the game. If I get to create a character I usually do. I play as "myself", in the first playthrough at least.

In a game where I'm playing a defined character in a story, I don't. I am not Faith or Bayonetta, although I love playing as them.

When it's a blank slate type character, it's kind of in the middle. It's like the character isn't really a character. But I don't feel like I am Link when I play Zelda. It's hard to explain. I guess I somewhat feel like I am being inserted in to the role, but not completely. I don't really feel anything or feel like I'm part of a story, but I don't feel like it's just me living in the game's world either. Not totally anyway.

I try to, it's easy in games like Batman etc. but when I try to role play a character in Dragon Age Origins or TES or something, I always end up being a goodie two shoes because I feel horrible being mean to people.

i do it to an extent but it really does depend on the game

like lets say in an rpg where i have a blank slate, such as DA:O, i will self insert myself into that character as much as possible (.... ok now i hear it). or if its something really immersive (i know i know) like say STALKER, i can also do it

but most other times i wont but il still make decisions based off of what i would do (or think i would do) in that situation, at least the first time round, the second time i will try to see the other option

Not usually, I vastly prefer projecting personality into my silent characters, I self inserted (you're right, does sound dirty) when I played Pokemon, but that stopped after a while.

Usually. I accidentally did it in Spec Ops and got confused. But yeah, I love self-inserting, just slipping in. It's all me baby.

I'm not sure if I self insert, but I definitely have archetypes that I prefer. For example I almost always play a human male of average size who is either built around stealth or a mage style character who loves throwing fire. I like to think that this could be me if I could do magic or live in a post apocalyptic waste land, rather than this is me.

It's a pretty technical line, but anytime I can name my character, that's ME.
It's not a character, that's ME in there.
And when the protagonist is silent, a la Samus, Chell, so on. At least while I'm in the game, outside of the game, I recognize their characters and personalities.

The Walking Dead I totally self-inserted myself since I wanted to do what I thought was best if I were in Lee's place.

Other than that, the only time I will is if I'm playing a game like Fallout or Skyrim where I create a character where I can insert myself into and pretend I'm in that setting, but that doesn't happen all that often.

If I'm given a character then I will play as that character and role play that way.

I'm rather boring like that. :D

I am their Id/Super ego to their Ego if you get my meaning. Could be anyone or anything doesn't matter as I control their sub-continuous.

"Hello, Escapists, look at your protagonist, now back to me, now back at your protagonist, now back to me.

Sadly, I'm not him, but if I stopped using game-breaking logic and switched to Old Spice, I could pretend that I can be like he's me.

Look down, back up, where are you?

You're on a boat with the protagonist your protagonist could be like. What's in your hand, back at me. I have it, it's an brand-spanking new vidya game from the Gods themselves. Look again, the game is now bacon.

Anything is possible when your protagonist smells like Old Spice and not a lady.

I'm on an internet forum."

OT: Sorry, but I can't; it's that characters story, after all

Self-insertion or not, this is no black-or-white-question, but comes with many shades of grey... hopefully not 50 though. So, is it easier to identify with a character of your own gender, everything else equal? Of course.
But it never felt like an issue to me, personally, in games where I don't have much agency anyway, like your typical shooters, action adventures and what not.

Nope. I'm playing the character, I'm not the character.

Not generally - when there's a set character I'm happy to just go along for the ride with them. And even in RPGs I'm more into imagining who that person might be rather than making them like me - after all, I'm me all the time, I want my entertainment to be showing me something different.

That said, I think sometimes it's entertaining to do a joke-run of a game in a social setting where the punchline is how ridiculous you'd be as that character.

I cannot be myself, I have to be a character. I get a lot more enjoyment out of games when I can be someone else (I'm not quite sure what that says about me ha!). Like Mass Effect, I could never be Shepard but I could play as Shepard and continue to define that character. Or Lara Croft, I'm playing as Lara trapped on that Island, not me.

I guess it just appeals to my creative nature - maybe helping immersion too.

I dont think I have EVER self inserted me into any kind of character at all in any medium EVER.

At most I will like it if theres similarities in me and the character, but thats about it really. I never really liked the whole thing I guess, I rather think of them as characters in their own story with me just serving as sort of a guide god or something else LOL.

Hrmm ... yes, but it depends on the game.

Walking Dead, yes. I'm a nutjob zombie fanatic / closet-survivalist, I try to consider myself a 'decent' guy, I have a background in education (not in education anymore), and I have a tendency to assume leadership roles - and I also have kids not too far in age from Clem. In other words, I viewed the game as a trial run for the impending zombie apocalypse and made decisions exactly as I would given the same situation. I love the addition of the "let's see how everyone else chose..." at the end of the chapter. My purpose became keeping as many people alive as possible, and if that meant leaving 1 behind it became an easier and easier decision to make.

Skyrim, no. In fact, in most 'fantastical' RPGs I make a character at the start with a specific character in mind: I've got my 'noble savage' Nord 'Conan' type, my vicious Imperial enforcer a la The Hound, my heroic 'all around good guy' Redguard (akin to Cyrus), and my roaming alchemist/summoner Breton. But a key factor is that the RP elements of Skyrim are rather poor - interaction with NPCs was basically 'Press X to hear the next thing they have to say'. Hell, in the main Alduin storyline there's only really three points you can actually make a decision that affects the quests - one, follow the Nord or the Imperial in Helgen, two, go to the Blades or the Greybeards, and three, kill Mr Talkative Lizard or don't. I do however play as myself in Fallout - I try to make decisions that I would make (again, as a survivalist nutter) and I try to deal with the factions and missions as I would myself. But I've been playing the Fallout games since #1 and I've always played it that way.


Ooh ooh ! I forgot the greatest of them all!! Vampire:The Masquerade:Bloodlines. Now that I *ahem* 'insert myself' into. Especially the bits with Jeanette. I insert myself as many times as I can.

Sometimes I do, but under two big conditions:

1.) I have to have a bit of control over character building and / or fighting style.

2.) The protagonist needs to be voiceless.

Games like Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Monster Hunter, Demon's / Dark Souls, and Pokemon fit the bill quite nicely.

Eh...Depends. In Half-Life and Portal, yes, I did - It didn't really matter that I was playing as a woman in one of them, I felt extremely immersed. I used to pretend to be myself in RPGs as well, but it got pretty boring being me, because then I'd never get to pick any of the dark side/renegade options >:( So nowadays I play as my own version of the in-game character. In linear action games, such as Uncharted, Prince of Persia, or Alan Wake, I don't self-project at all, I'm just along for the ride.

If I am given the chance to create / mould the protagonist to my preference, then yes I do. I self-insert (fnarr!) in Fallout 3 / New Vegas as well as Skyrim. Even though the Mass Effect games offer less (you will always be Shepard), my first and main Shepard (Lion) was created to look like me...if I ever gained the gift of testosterone!

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