Posted: June 14th, 2022

: Personal Player/Character Essay


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In a well-constructed, 400-500 word essay, discuss a single issue about your personal relationship with characters in video games that interests you. Questions you might consider include, but are not limited to:

  • How do you see yourself in relation to game characters?
  • Are game characters you play extension of who you are, who you’d like to be, or just someone who isn’t you?
  • Do you have a different relationship with fixed characters (the Pong paddle, Mario, Laura Croft, Winston, Sora, Frisk, Henry M., Aloy, Link, etc) than you do with characters that you make using a character creation tool (The Sims, Dragon Age, Saints Row, Skyrim, Monster Hunter World, ARK, etc)?
  • What about games that allow you to randomize character appearance?
  • What different ways do you think about the characters you control in games? About their appearance?
  • Is there a difference between games in which you can see your character (third-person) or ones in which you are seeing through the character’s POV (first-person)?
  • Is it different in games you play with other people? If they know you? If they are strangers?

If you play tabletop roleplaying games, feel free to discuss your relationship with characters in those games as well.

Be specific. Describe a significant game, character, or a specific incident that helps illustrate your point. Consider which aspects of the readings associated with this assignment spoke to you most. (These readings, linked from the class schedule, are: “My disabled son’s amazing gaming life in the World of Warcraft” by Vicky Schaubert, “The Power of the Makeover Mage” from the Imaginary Worlds Podcast, and “Saving Grace” from The Nod Podcast.) Try to include specific details of those sorts, even if none of your game character experiences are similarly dramatic.

Tie your thoughts together into an essay with a clear thesis idea that expresses the central issue you are exploring. Be sure to proofread your work for spelling, grammar and clarity. We highly suggest reading your writing out loud, or enlisting a friend to read it out loud to you if possible.

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