Since the old days of Dungeons & Dragons, players would learn to love making their own characters in games. With the shift to the virtual world, that love has only gotten stronger. Games that have good, in-depth character creation can draw in an audience alone. So, why is that? Well, I have a few reasons to share, so let’s get to it.
First off, I think it’s important to talk about the role-playing aspect of character creation, as it’s usually a part of RPGs. Gamers like to immerse themselves in their games, and sometimes that means creating themselves in-game with abilities they can’t have in the real world. On the other side, you have the people that like to really get into different roles and they tend to make a slew of different characters, male or female, knight or mage, depending on the type of game and playthrough they’re going for. It adds a level of replay value that games without this function just don’t have.
Another point to make is that a character creation function can allow you to feel a lot more personally invested in the character you’re playing as and the actions you take. Default main characters can take away from games at times and when it comes to character creation, it’s based around how you want to play, which allows you to get exactly what you’re looking for from your creation.
Then there are the comedic character creations, which get a good laugh out of the person playing and possibly anyone watching them play. These really only work in very vast systems, like Dark Souls or Bethesda games. They’re physical attributes most of the time, but some games allow for stats that can also get some humorous results. The first Fallout game is a good example, as you can make yourself a hyper-buff dude with minimal intelligence, to the point where you can’t speak to anyone. It’s just babbling. However, you can absolutely solve things with your fists.
The last reason people love character creation is a lot more personal. They allow them to be who they feel they are. This can be in the form of a transgender person making a character the gender they identify with and then being able to play as them throughout an epic story. It can be a therapeutic experience and help their own image. Perhaps it can even give them some goals to reach for in certain circumstances, like style of hair or clothes. It’s a tool that can help people who struggle with those issues and I’m grateful for it because of that reason.
In conclusion, character creation is a great addition to video games and I hope the systems only get better and more widely implemented in the future. Perhaps one day, we’ll be able to experience it in virtual reality. If we do, I’ll be looking forward to that day.