Characters in video games have become increasingly engaging over the years. There was a time when nameless space crafts blasted away aliens without cause. Now, we find a story so rich that the player is emotionally attached to characters and even that same spaceship.
While playing Mass Effect, I developed a virtual nerd crush on Kaiden Alenko. He's handsome, smart, and good with a weapon. Throughout the story, he's putting on the moves and dishing out some serious sweet talk. And best of all, towards the end of the game, your characters get to go at it. That's right. You can use your authority to seduce that poor guy into bed. And that's exactly what I did. Twice.
We are all used to having games where we cheer for the good guy, but making us fornicate with members of the team is a new one. As a player, we are all probably familiar with the feeling of hatred towards the bad guy. Nothing feels better than coming out the other side of a boss battle victorious. But how often have you thought one of your own teammates was a bitch ? Enter: Miranda from ME2.
She is a bitch in every sense of the word and incredibly easy to hate. I don't hate her because her character is weak or lacks certain powers. I don't hate her because of any past wrong doings. She is just a nasty person. Miranda rolls her eyes, disregards my orders, and seems to have a snotty attitude towards everyone. Someone needs a smack.
I know that I am not the only one out there either. I have been sitting in parties or sifting through forums and see the visceral reaction that players have towards all sorts of games. My friends were desperate to hear how Master Chief's story would end. Nerds everywhere were bracing for the big moment in FFX. And who didn't have at least a little love for a certain shadow boy trudging his way through purgatory.
So I'm using this short blog to once again appreciate how far game development has come. Its incredibly easy to become wrapped up in the characters and stories. Its impossible not to love or hate some of these personalities. I can only hope that as they continue to develop the technology behind games, they also drive the experience emotionally.