Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Infamous: What’s His Name Again?

Posted by deckard47 on May 27, 2009

So I was readin’ (as I’m wont to do), and I came across The Iris Network’s (which when I write it again might be TIN, since I don’t like writing long things. But now calling it TIN sounds dumb. Blargh) Infamous thread. Interesting, but also amusing. I guess the lead designer on the game looks like Cole? I feel bad for him. Does he draino his throat to get that sound to come out?

Some of the commentors there make the point that the game’s protagonist could be anyone or look like anyone. I mean, I know that it’s important to have psychopath bald dudes with cement mixers lodged in their larynx’s be our in-game representations. I know it. BUT. If they’d made the “there as proof that the hero is totally straight” girlfriend Trish a non-love interest (or, you know, make her a good character… I don’t really have prove of her badly designed character yet, but she’s “the love interest” in this kind of game. What do we expect?) there’d be no “need” for the main guy to be a dumb cookie cutter het guy.

S/he could just have two friends who were important to them. Shit, they could have had an option to let you change “his” appearance, sex or other traits. It’s not like anything but the panel cutscenes hinge on his “real” look. What if they’d offered multiple sexes, multiple ethnicities, and created two voice tracks (it’s been done….), and multiple comic book cutouts for every face and character possibility to be the hero of the cutscenes. I know that would have taken “extra” effort, right? Except by extra I mean that they could have started from day one not assuming this game would be staring an annoying skinhead. Or, instead of having a multiple avatar route, they could have gone more concrete, they could have assumed that the hero could be a woman. Oh shit, then they’d have a silly story (assuming they spun the same tale) staring a woman, or somebody not physically modeled on a shaven-headed Paul Walker. Would she also have no hair and speak like she had a furnace living in her head? It’d be like a platforming, adventure Mass Effect.

I know I’ve written a lot about this, but I’ll ask one more question: what about this character speaks to you? Is it the voice? The looks? The bike messenger turned super hero? This guy is a nobody. He has no character, no history, and no believable traits or habits. He’s already a blank slate. The depressing thing is, for this industry, blank slate = White Dude.

And you know I’ll be playing this when I get home.


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