The quality of a game or story's characters can make or break the whole thing. A good character is a wonderful thing, perfectly encapsulating the marvelous thing that is a human being and making you feel like this fictional person really exists. They have strengths and flaws and are complex individuals (at least, when they need to be). A bad character is stereotypical or at best, boring.
As gamers, we sometimes get to do what writers do every day – create our own character. The option is still very limited and mostly confined to the RPG genre but opportunities do exist. Some people make a basic stereotype or just pick the first option because they don't really care what their character looks like. On the other end of the spectrum exist people like Brendan Keogh.
Brendan Keogh recently wrote a post on Games On Net about his alter-ego Qwae. Qwae is the persona he inhabits any time he plays a game where he has some amount of character choice (and even in some where he doesn't). She isn't just a set look or age; he has basically created a complete personality for Qwae and sticks to it whenever he plays a game as her. She is a "set of ideas" that he adheres to as he plays his role.
The idea seems so simple but brilliant. While (I assume) most of us create a character for a particular playstyle or to match the tone of the particular game, Qwae is always the same person no matter the situation. She may be a Grey Warden in one game and savior of the galaxy in the next but her ideals, quirks, and beliefs never change.
As a writer, I envy this ability to perfectly slip into another character, making decisions they would make and knowing their innermost thoughts. As a gamer, I envy it even more. The idea of a complete alternate persona that lives in my favorite game worlds but also exists entirely in my head fills me with a desire to go forth and create such a persona. Who wouldn't want to become more immersed in their favorite games (well, maybe not the post-apocalyptic ones…). Maybe I can't create as three-dimensional and realistic alter-ego as Qwae but I intend to try.
The article by Brendan Keogh can be found here.
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