Thursday, April 30, 2009

fluid personalities

People who know me only casually often say they're impressed with my intelligence or something similar. But when I'm with family, I often feel like a moron (and they share the sentiment). The simple fact of the matter is that I often am.

I've noticed that my tone of voice changes with family. My voice becomes higher pitched, somewhat timid and submissive. On the other hand, if I'm hanging out with a bunch of guys on a back porch or in a bar, my voice naturally becomes deeper, my comments more assertive. This is nothing particular to me. It's similar with everybody.

Only the core of our personalities are hard-set. Who we are changes slightly from moment to moment depending on who we are around and what the situation is.

Our expressions change from group to group. We're silly and light-hearted around some people, serious and philosophical with others. In some groups we take leadership roles, in others we become followers. Our interests rise and fall with the settings.

Why don't we see this more in game characters?


  1. Well, I'd say it just has to do with the way game developers are telling their stories. Not only that, but there has been a shift in the way game characters are controlled.

    Originally, gamers were just spectators during cutscenes. However, now with advanced dialogue trees like in Mass Effect, the players determine the characters' tone, language, attitude, etc. So, the only way for the characters to reflect the personality shifts you describe, the gamer in control would have to be more deeply invested in the game and identify with the character they control.

    Essentially, the games just aren't invoking enough emotion from us. It is simply too easy for gamers to sit back and make decisions based on the fact they are playing a game, and not on the idea that they ARE the game character. Not ot say this is the best or only way stories or characters should be developed, but it is certainly one way of doing it, which still needs to evolve as development practices improve.

  2. I've noticed a similar phenomenon with myself as well. But to see more fluid personalities with game characters, first each characters would need to have a personality in the first place. I'd start there. :p


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