It’s not uncommon to have a preference towards some characters in a TV show, movie, or any sort of media really. In video games, specifically class-based hero shooters and fighting games, can take that to an extreme. In these types of games, people typically stick to a certain character that fit their playstyle, usually referred to as a main. While playstyle is an important dynamic in these games, it’s hard not to feel as if you forge a connection with the character you play most often. While the notion seems ridiculous to many unfamiliar without experience in the realm of gaming, it’s commonplace within communities to really relate to a character in a technical as well as emotional way.
For sake of argument, I’m going to be presenting the two characters I played most predominantly in their respective games: Winston from Overwatch, and Mega Man from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Science, memes, and reflection
Oftentimes one of my mains is the product of whatever I find to be funny at the moment I choose them, but Winston was a bit of a weird catch. Winston was the first character I gravitated towards, given I first picked up Overwatch shortly after the death of Harambe.
While I initially brushed aside Overwatch as a generic shooter, I decided going to head back to it after I had seen several of the shorts, and oddly enough, my favorite featured Winston, seen here.
Winston didn’t just appeal to me as a technical role to be fulfilled (Winston is meant to chase down low-health, high priority targets and supply cover to the team), but his curiosity as a scientist, introverted nature, and stern loyalty to his old friends appealed to traits I believe I have in my own personality. Winston just appeals to the person I feel I am: just a nerd who loves his friends.
Robots and Underdogs
Mega Man was sort of an accident. I started playing him as a joke and started getting genuinely good at him, which actually benefited me since such a small amount of people actually know how to counter him properly in a match. Mega Man represents at least in my opinion, a very different part of who I am.
Mega Man represents a more technical, strategic side of who I am. Given the high learning curve of the character, learning when and how to use his tools as a fighter took a lot of time, and a lot of patience, just like waiting for his comeback into the gaming industry. I remember the first time I fought one of my friends as Mega Man seriously, they had thought I was joking, due to the very niche nature of the character. As it turns out, I won most of the matches I was in as the Blue Bomber.
I think the reason why I liked Mega Man was because no one really cared about him after his announcement trailer, and I felt in a way, a lot of people didn’t believe I could be smart, just because of my generally quiet and unassuming attitude. But regardless, I stand with Mega Man.
So what’s the takeaway?
I’m not saying every character you play as in a video game is a carbon copy of who you are, but relating to a character gives a game so much more depth, and as such, I believe it makes it more enjoyable. As someone who’s been gaming for a long time, it’s nice to see some humanity put into characters, intentional or not.