I belong to a glorious group of folks on Facebook who were all brought together by a Let’s Play of an old (and charmingly ridiculous) game. A recent conversation brought about a question I’d actually never thought of before: which video game characters are most like me?
That question intrigued me.
If you were to ask me which musical theatre characters were most like me or which characters from novels were most like me, I could answer those questions without much hesitation. But I’d never before thought about the video game characters that are similar to me.
I could likely tell you which characters I wish I were like (I mean, who wouldn’t want to be as badass as Cole MacGrath?), but thinking a bit more reasonably (well, reasonably considering a lot of video game characters are larger than life), I came up with three I thought were similar for varying reasons. I will list them here in the order they occurred to me.
The Traveler (Journey)
I’d be hard pressed to explain this one in any reasonable detail (which is a terrific trait for someone who’d like to add “writer” to her CV), but I’ll do my best.
From the moment I was exposed to Journey, I likened it to living in a foreign country; this is something I’ve had experience with. There is something decidedly alienating about trying to understand a foreign place (at first, at least). It’s almost like a deliberate exile. There is also something profoundly moving about connecting with people when words don’t mean for one what they mean for another.
The “chirps” of the Traveler can mean anything from, “Come here, please!” to, “I’m glad to see you” to, “Let’s meditate together on these stones.” I love that one sound can mean so many things and that it is left to interpretation what exactly the intentions of the player are.
In reality, I am often silent; observing. I am often trying to piece together what things mean and how they fit and how I fit into the world at large. I very much feel like the Traveler and I could be interchangeable.
In the middle of this deliciously beautiful fan art, is Amaterasu, the white wolf and bringer of nature back to the world.
Okami is one of the most visually stunning games I’ve ever played, with creatures and nature playing large roles. Those things matter to me hugely in reality, so it only seemed fitting I’d click with this game in a profound way.
There is much to love about Okami (the art style alone is remarkable), but I’d have to say my favorite moments were the quiet ones sharing food with the various creatures, a rock between us, the camera slowly panning around the scene. Every single one I watched with a calmness and content I’ve not often felt in games before.
Amaterasu does her best to help others and restore nature, and I identify with those endeavors.
One of my favorite things to do when it rains here is to walk carefully outside and displace all the courageous snails back into safe places like flower beds and bushes. I’d like to think Amaterasu would do the same if she had thumbs.
I also find the howl of a dog to be one of the most deeply moving (and primal) sounds. If I could howl from that same place, I would.
Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
The wonderful thing about The Witcher is that you can choose to play Geralt however you like. For me, he was a focused, kind, and generous protagonist, and I strive to be all three of those things in my life. I may not always succeed, but I do try.
But where I most feel Geralt (at least my Geralt) and I are similar is in our Don Quixote approach to tackling the things others might not want to and righting wrongs where possible. I’ve often found myself approaching a subject that others might shy from, but then I’ve always been one to head directly into whatever it is that needs addressing.
I feel like he is economical of word and strong of spirit. He is kind but snarky when necessary. I can be all those things, for better or worse.
Lee (Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One)
This one surprised me. Allow me to backtrack a moment.
When I talked to my partner about this subject, I already knew the three characters I had come up with for myself. So I asked him which characters he thought I was most like, to see if he would choose the same ones for me that I had. He guessed two of the three right away: Amaterasu and Geralt. He eventually came up with the Traveler as well. This tells me many things, one of which was that I was hopefully on the right track (P.S. he is an awful lot like Geralt as well, in that he is kind, generous in all things, and lives by an example I can only hope to achieve one day) in my self-assessments and character comparisons.
Then he came up with another one: he said Lee from The Walking Dead.
I took that to be terribly flattering.
When we meet Lee, he is on terrible times. I’ve been there. I may never have been arrested, but I’ve been at rock bottom before and wasn’t sure how I’d ever find my way out. I never knew if I’d find redemption or be able to connect with people in a real way. Lee does both those things, and provides both guidance and care for Clementine, all the way through their journey.
That he would compare me to Lee gave me pause. It makes sense. I’m far from perfect, but I care a great deal, and I always want to be a positive and strong force for others when and where I can.
So there you have it.
And now I’d love to hear what video game character/s you think you are most like. Or that is/are most like you. And I’d love to know the reasons why.
Also, if you think there is a character that is like me (or that I’m like) that I missed, please let me know!