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Your Character and You, Beyond the Game

I recently posted a blog about the relation between the gamer and your character, and the single comment I received mentioned that I seemed to be building toward something, but didn't really reach my conclusion.

To be honest, I was writing from my train of thoughts, and didn't really know where I was going with it.

A possible conclusion came to me when I was playing Fallout 3. My current character is pretty much evil by now, and I have finished all add-ons except Broken Steel. The Enclave had just appeared, and it seems like my character needs the closure she deserves.

It came to me after a conversation with the character's father in the Project Purity lab, where my character was confronted about the destruction of Megaton. This was the first time I made the decision to destroy Megaton in all playthroughs, and the confrontation took me off-guard. The conversation was postponed in favor of more pressing matters, brought forth in the form of having to provide the lab with the resources it required. While I was going around doing my thing, the Enclave appeared, and not noticing me, stormed the lab.

The military force confronted my character's father, and he ended up sacrificing his life to take them down. Through heavily enforced glass, I could see him looking straight at me, and repeatedly telling me to get out of there.

So there it was: Closure. My character started off by escaping from Vault 101 to search for her father, who left without a trace. Here he was, shortly after being found and "saved" from the mess he got himself into, sacrificing himself so a terrible military organization wouldn't get their hands of a critical experiment. In a sense, he has redeemed himself.

So what is left for my character? After going to the Pitt, Point Lookout, the Anchorage simulation, and even Mothership Zeta, all that's left is to take the fight to the Enclave.

I figured out what my character needed: redemption. As much as I enjoy playing a villain in video games, I enjoy the story of a villain's redemption. It would be a nice, heartwarming conclusion for my character's story.

Today I have decided to take it one step further: After finishing the game, I would be parting with a character I spent a lot of time with. As much as I like to see closure, I find myself getting drawn to an interesting idea: Recreating the character in New Vegas. It takes place three years after Fallout 3, so it just feels like it fits.

The conclusion I have arrived at is this: We all find ourselves influenced in varying degrees by our in-game characters. After the game is over, and the controllers are put down, it's the characters with the greatest resonance, mentally and emotionally, that you will eventually revisit. It is just as much about the journey as it is about going out with a bang and leaving you, the player, craving for more.

A final question, for the commenters: Would you recreate the same characters, if you could, in different games that have a character creation feature? Would you focus more on recreating skills, personality traits or physical appearance?
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About SAMA1984one of us since 3:01 AM on 01.11.2010

I'm a lifelong gamer who has enjoyed video games through the thick and thin of my life. I'm also a person who speaks my mind often, which is why I chose to start this blog here where others can discuss what I have to say.

Originally a Nintendo fan, I've turned my back on it when they turned their collective backs on their old following. Currently, my Wii is still connected to my TV and I play with it from time to time.

Had an Xbox 360, which got the red ring five times before I put it out of its misery, and got an Elite, which got the E74 error and couldn't be replaced or fixed. Currently, it's on a shelf in some game repair shop, collecting dust, and that doesn't look like it's about to change anytime soon.

Have a PS3, which is going strong. It's currently my primary console.

I also have a DS and am planning to pick up a PSP as soon as Valkyria Chronicles 2 comes out. And a PC that runs Crysis, Supreme Commander and World of Warcraft, often at the same time.

You see, my posts may get responses suggesting I'm a fanboy or a hater, which is why I clarify this here: I tried all consoles, and didn't cling onto them when they started to fail, either in company support or in hardware/software.

My favorite genres are real time strategy and first person shooters, and I often turn to role-playing games and fighting games, with a bit of platforming on the side.

I hate, HATE music games. I love the songs you can play in them, but I hate the concept.


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