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Friday Five: Video Game Characters

June 3, 2011

So, a few weeks ago I talked about some of my favorite games from the SNES thereby introducing my love of video games to the Friday Five. Today, I’m gonna continue on that and discuss some of my favorite characters from the world of video games. Now, of course there are a plethora of great characters to which people get attached and some have the advantageous effect of being silent protagonists or a general blank slate to which you can project your own emotions and feelings. These characters are great when viewed from a gameplay standpoint such as Link or Samus being totally badass, but I’m here to talk about them from a narrative standpoint. Characters who you are meant to experience from outside like characters in a novel or a movie. So while Link and Samus while have their own stories, they are relatively dull characters in a narrative because we are rarely privy to their thoughts or feelings.

These characters serve a variety of purposes. Some are there for comic relief. Others are there with great character arcs and development. A truly great character has the ability to get a rise of emotion out of you, whether it be anger, joy, laughter or sadness. These characters are some of my favorites. In order to get on the list this week, the character must have a speaking role in a narrative environment and must be primarily recognized from a video game. So while The Joker in Arkham Asylum is an amazing chracter, he can’t get a spot on the list because he’s more recognized as a comic book character. So, with that noted, mentioned, stamped and stated let’s get to the meaty portion of this week’s Five.


Check This Out: Extra Credits

November 18, 2010

I talk about video games quite a bit. Understandable, I enjoy them. I’m not hard-core by any means, nor am I casual. I’m just your run-of-the-mill person who has spent a life time playing and enjoying the interactive medium. I’ve watched the industry grow and expand, and begrudgingly reach some modicum acceptance by the general public.

At one point, I was introduced to a online video games video review series called Zero Punctuation. Each week, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw rambles at incredible pace with colorful (read: really NSFW) speech in which he eviscerates the industry’s latest and greatest. The series runs on a site called The Escapist. Eventually, they started another series called Escape to the Movies in which MovieBob, more tactfully than Yahtzee, reviews the movie industry’s latest and greatest.

Then one day came a new series: Extra Credits. The lead member behind this originally posted some videos on YouTube that I had seen previously. The series basically discusses games, the industry and the community through a looking glass. It covers a wide berth of topics ranging from writing, to controversy, to music and more. It is masterfully written and fun to watch, even if Daniel’s sped up voice gets a little annoying at times. It takes games seriously, and constantly challenges players and developers to push the medium forward. I can’t think of a single time I’ve disagreed with what is said on this show. If you care about games, you really need to check it out.

I’ll leave episode one here for your enjoyment, but you can catch Extra Credits every Thursday over at The Escapist.

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