What’s the point in this?
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.