Identification with video game characters: a bizarre sham debate

Identification with video game characters: a bizarre sham debate

Identification with video game characters

I have already been accused of it a few times, so I would like to make it clear at this point: Of course, I don't write my columns or choose topics because I hope to be able to enrage as many people as possible. I have an opinion that I defend, I hear good counter-arguments, I adapt them under certain circumstances, and should anyone get angry because of this opinion - yeah, I'm sorry, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Table of contents

1 Is there any woman folk present here? 2 men are like that 3 the main thing testicles 4 emotionally moving angularity 5 I am me 6 discussion without value And the fact that even with the absolute soft topic "Ten wishes to Zelda: Breath of the Wild" some people in the social networks upset me shows that you can never please those who want to be outraged anyway.

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About the author

Identification with video game characters: A bizarre sham debate (6) Source: Lukas Schmid Lukas Schmid has been working in various positions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games, first of all as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and meanwhile as chief editor for,, and He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at around 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters are welcome in the comments under the column, to [email protected] or on Twitter to @Schmid_Luki.

Is there a woman who is present here?

Identification with video game characters: a bizarre sham debate (2) Source: buffed The question comes up again and again, especially in one context: when a woman takes the lead in a video game. In the meantime, in view of Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and many, many other titles, this should actually no longer ensure that the monocle falls into the champagne out of sheer shock, but it is still an issue . Regardless of the announcement, also on our pages and channels, those who explain that game A or B are unplayable because you cannot put yourself in the shoes of the character are always ready.

Already clear, actually it is a niche topic because, as is so often the case, it is a small, noisy group that always screams. But, and here, as with so many other supposedly controversial topics on the Internet, the problem is: if you shout out loud, you listen, and non-topics are suddenly assigned relevance.

Am I part of the problem because I have it here thematize? Definitely, but that's the way it is with vicious circles of this kind - if you refuse to react, the other side gains influence, if you react, you also gain it by taking notice. In my opinion, silence is the wrong way to go, because it is too often and quickly mistaken for acceptance.

Men are like that

So let's deal with the argument as soberly as possible. So, as a man - I claim that the emotional upheaval caused by virtual ovaries in your field of vision primarily affects representatives of my gender - you cannot identify with a woman.

A somewhat restricted view, I would Rather rely on aspects such as the character of the figure, its imprint and so on, but yes, quite legitimate. Men are men and women are women, so it's difficult to argue against it.

... and immediately afterwards the argument falls apart. Now I don't have to unpack any cheap tricks like "and in the racing game do you identify with the Mercedes?", But can also simply remain as a character in games with living beings or thinking beings.

The main thing is testicles

Identification with video game characters: A bizarre sham debate (3) Source: Rare If someone doesn't really go through with his interpretation of identification, then he has often been not a man in his gaming life. Even if you are not into cuddling games, in the course of your gambling life you will often come across a character whose gender and, above all, species affiliation is such a thing.

A squirrel in Conker's Bad Fur Day? An alien in Destroy All Humans? A little boy in Inside? Mega Man? Any completely wacky beings in Japanese role-playing games?

It does not make sense to work with lists or umpteen examples here, because it is clear: If a woman is unsuited for identification, because you have the bag between the Legs, then congratulations that, for example, you see a blue hedgehog as closer than someone who carries more pronounced mammary glands than you do yourself.

Emotionally moving angularity

Identification with video game characters: A bizarre sham debate (4) Source: PC Games In short: It is absolutely stupid to attach identification to gender, because immediately dozens of games that are still possible for the person making the argument expose this supposed conviction as nonsense.

If a character is well written, it doesn't matter what it is. In Thomas Was Alone you play a bloody square, and that has more character than some cardboard noses from blockbuster games made to death. To focus on such an insignificant factor as gender is, at best, a terribly restricted view of the world, otherwise misogyny and nothing more.

I am I

Identification with video game- Figures: A bizarre sham debate (5) Source: PC Games And where does this madness come from that it doesn't work without identification? How boring is it, please, to only play characters who, ideally, are as exactly as possible as I am? I want to feel strange emotions, not approve of decisions, sometimes really hate a figure that I control - otherwise I can look in the mirror and pat myself on the shoulder with satisfaction.

I don't say that it cannot be satisfactory to control a figure based on yourself. This is especially the case with certain types of role-playing games, and in most cases there is also the gender selection option, see Mass Effect or Fallout. But games are so much more than just this niche, and at least I personally find it more appealing to create a character that I am not in real life - be it simply a woman, or an orkin, an elf man, a robot, an android, a dwarf or some other fantasy creature. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a good example here. In view of the fact that in games with such options it is definitely not just proud human beings who are racing through the pampas, I now assume that many players will not be that far off with their belief in identification.

Discussion of no value

Insofar: I cannot take such concerns under videos and articles seriously because they are simply hypocritical, nonsensical and ultimately self-exposing. You don't have to argue for a long time, just a short one is enough: "This is nonsense, and I don't even get involved with corresponding 'arguments'."

Sometimes it doesn't take anything more than that .

My other columns

Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 - 10 wishes to the Switch successor

Live-Service-Games: If it has to be, then please correct!

Do they all look the same: Why do modern graphic styles get on my back?

Nintendo Switch 2: A flop with an announcement? That is why Nintendo has to be careful ....

Electronic Arts vs. Creativity: In the end, everyone is screwed

Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me ...

Remakes, remasters and reprints are a mistake

Well-known on the PS5: Sony has a creativity problem

Whistle on creativity: Dear developers, steal ideas!

Achievements, trophies and co .: Stop doing stupid tasks!

Realism sucks: Why games should just be games

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