Analysing Our Heroes (and Villains)

 

As video games become more realistic, so do their characters. Our most loved protagonists (and antagonists) have to go through a lot! Through them we can observe human psychology and we can use them as a vessel to learn and grow.  

 

Warning!


As we will be discussing important plot points to explore these characters, there will be spoilers.  

 

Sorry, what's the point in this again?


Games are one of the most immersive mediums of entertainment, and they collectively make more money than movies and music put together. Their influence is phenomenal and far reaching. This means that games have a significant influence. They have the power to change public perception, to educate and support, to bring people together. They also have the potential to be damaging - by perpetuating stigma, or communicating damaging messages to their audience. 

At CheckPoint, we strongly feel that acknowledging characters as an analogue for real people is one of the most important parts of narrative design for games. Done right, it can make characters more believable, helping to immerse an audience and create a great story. It can educate audiences about stigmatised issues and change public perception. Done wrong however, it can teach people false biases, and even be personally damaging for people who suffer with the issues that are communicated incorrectly. Click here for more information about representation in games. 

An important step in the right direction is looking at existing characters, what stories they tell and how. This is vital for future planning of character narrative. It's also very interesting! And - I hope - will help players to better understand the characters they love, and how they can relate to them personally. 

So please enjoy. This is all subjective (opinions are of Dr Jennifer Hazel, a qualified doctor trained in mental health and psychology). We welcome comments, contributions, suggestions for more characters and anything else you'd like to get in touch about. 

A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 3

A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 3

This is Part 3 of 3. Part 1 | Part 2  If you struggle to cope, find yourself experiencing high levels of distress frequently, or compartmentalise emotions and actually feeling numb to things which should be upsetting, you may benefit ...
Read More
/
A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 2

A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 2

This is Part 2 of 3. Part 1 | Part 3 If you struggle to cope, find yourself experiencing high levels of distress frequently, or compartmentalise emotions and actually feeling numb to things which should be upsetting, you may benefit ...
Read More
/
A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 1

A Guide to Coping Mechanisms as Described by Game Characters PART 1

What is a Defence Mechanism? Sometimes called “coping skills”, defence mechanisms are the psychological tactics we use to cope with situations that cause anxiety or distress. Each of us employs a mixture of different strategies in different amounts, and this ...
Read More
/
Stressed Out: An Examination of Mental Health in Darkest Dungeon

Stressed Out: An Examination of Mental Health in Darkest Dungeon

As CheckPoint grows as a community, we are privileged to have people coming forward and recalling their experiences of how video games and mental health came together. This article was submitted by Greg Lent. In most games, the stress of ...
Read More
/
Guest Feature: Geralt of Rivia, The Grey Player Character

Guest Feature: Geralt of Rivia, The Grey Player Character

This article was submitted by Taylor King. It contains spoilers for The Witcher. Geralt of Rivia, The Grey Player Character The world of the Witcher is a bleak and dreary one. There aren’t many reasons for someone to want to ...
Read More
/
Character Psychology: Joel, The Last of Us (Part 2)

Character Psychology: Joel, The Last of Us (Part 2)

Hello again! This is part of a character profile series being written to break down stigma and help game fans reach out. Today, we’ll be looking at Joel from Naughty Dog’s 2013 release, The Last of Us.  This is the ...
Read More
/
Loading...