Why Are Game Developers Obsessed With ‘Average’ Heroes?

Who is the brown-haired white guy who stars in virtually every AAA action game? And how can we get rid of him?

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WeAreLegion1502d ago

Mass appeal. It helps the largest portion of your audience relate to the character. It sucks, but catering to your audience is a smart business move.

Spotie1502d ago

I don't really see how this is a question that even needed asking. It's a subject that has been addressed time and again. It reflects the majority of devs, and the majority of gamers.

The end.

KonsoruMasuta1502d ago

Most of them are doing it because that's what come to their mind when they picture their hero. A lot of studios spend days trying to decide the perfect look for their character and it just so happens that they look like something you would call "average"

Wiggu1502d ago

Well that's a straight definition of what makes an "average" hero "average," but why is it that game developers are so obsessed with not trying to do something different? It's not like gamers are turned off by something new or exciting.

Just look at Mario - not every hero is an Italian plumber.

SaintAlpha1011502d ago

That's why some of my favorite games are the ones which let you create your own character to play as.
Your hero could be a red-haired female or even a guy with weird techno-colour hair and weird eyes, and it'd be unique to you as the player.

Palitera1502d ago (Edited 1502d ago )

Valid point.

Answer: Empathy.

Sketchy_Galore1502d ago

That was my main thought when I recently considered purchasing Murdered: Soul suspect. A lot of things about the game seemed interesting but I just can't take any more of playing as 'that guy' right now. That handsome guy in his mid-thirties with the gravelly voice and the five o'clock shadow.

Still, I really don't think the answer is deciding to arbitrarily make him a woman or a black guy or anything else. With most games that have a protagonist of another race or gender, let's face it, it's still 'that guy' just beneath the surface.

The skin tone, gender and hair colour are physical symptoms of the greater problem, which is that our protagonist is always the same 'cool' swaggering douche who just happens to be the best at everything, always happens to be totally impressing everyone in the room and never has a thought that isn't about completing the brave quest they have undertaken. Who also seems to be a great melodramatic poet too, stopping every now and then to deliver super-serious super melodramatic commentary on just how sad it is that bad things are happening and how good things should be happening instead.

By all means make the character another gender or race now and then but please don't just send that character out there to seek revenge or save the innocents and deliver gravelly poetic monologues to themselves while being an instant expert at everything they try. Make them terrible with guns, make them unable to aim because of nervous shaking hands, make them tell bad jokes that none of the other characters get. Make them get in over their head and be completely afraid. Give them completely uncool views on gender or race.

Just give us something to grab hold of as a character. I cannot take swaggering around any more game worlds as the statistically perfect man as chosen by the readers of Woman's weekly magazine.

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