05 January 2014 @ 02:20 am
not that anyone here cares BUT

I made a post about self-inserts on the tumblr: http://sacaean.tumblr.com/post/72296185991

I won't copy paste here b/c lazy but if you aren't on tumblr and want to discuss it here feel free to comment. weee.

(comment on DW if you have a DW please. I don't go to LJ much these days.)
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kyogres[personal profile] kyogres on January 5th, 2014 10:55 am (UTC)
I am too lazy to log into Tumblr, but I basically agree with everything you said (except the part about playing WoW; playing MMOs overwhelms me because I feel like I need to complete every single quest, max out my character in everything, have the best armor, etc).

Somewhat related: the first time I played Ocarina of Time, it asked me for my name at the beginning of the game. I input my real name, thinking it wanted a file name since it had multiple save files. Imagine my surprise when everyone referred to the 10-year-old elf boy as "Nicole". No no no DO NOT WANT. WHY DID YOU NOT WARN ME THAT MY NAME WOULD REPLACE THE MAIN CHARACTER'S DEFAULT NAME, GAME?
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samuraiter[personal profile] samuraiter on January 5th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Pretty thorough treatment of the subject, and I don't think I have much to add aside from commenting that, when I'm given the option to make a character in this way, it's almost never me. They take on a personality of their own, though, if I'm given choices, I find myself, these days, trying to be as kind to the other in-game characters as possible (because I don't want to be cruel to them; it doesn't feel fair).
Hitomi[personal profile] shimizu_hitomi on January 5th, 2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
Oh I'm glad I'm not the only person who does this with self-insert characters. They always turn into OCs and I think of them as being separate from "me" even in cases where I'm totally using the character as a personal avatar.
Hitomi[personal profile] shimizu_hitomi on January 5th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
I think silent protagonists often ARE intended to be self-inserts -- but there are also cases where they're silent but still pretty distinctively characterized based on the way other characters interact with you (or how you're allowed to interact with them), i.e. not total blank slates. But yeah, generally the blanker the hero, the worse the story imo UNLESS the plot mostly hinges on other characters and/or the hero is mostly an secondary observer (but that usually goes against the whole purpose of the gaming medium -- Mark is a good example of an "observer" self-insert).

I mean there are definitely games where the self-insert actually WORKS, story-wise. FE was never one of them.... which made FE12 completely bizarre to me and has kept me from wanting to attempt FE13 at all. (In some ways I feel FE12's Chris is worse than what I understand of Robin, but in some ways Robin is worse. Basically, I'm not sure eliminating the speshul snoflake aspect would help -- and I'm pretty sure for the people who love self-inserts in plotty games the speshul snoflakes thing is supposed to be the bulk of the appeal.)
mark_asphodel[personal profile] mark_asphodel on January 5th, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
I think FE13 might well make you as angry as it made me.

And IMO the gameplay's not worth it unless you want to do the Lunatic/Lunatic+ kind of thing. The default mode is a cakewalk and Hard mode is decent but not really revelatory.
Hitomi[personal profile] shimizu_hitomi on January 6th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)

It's really disappointing because the fan in me really wants to pick up the game anyway.... but I mean, I tried the demo and I was already seeing warning signals all over the place.
mark_asphodel[personal profile] mark_asphodel on January 6th, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
Lissa's a better character than the demo makes her out to be, I'll say that much.

You could also play through the end of Chapter 11, quit, and imagine your own ending!

Edited 2014-01-06 10:33 pm (UTC)
Manna[personal profile] lyndis on January 12th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
Late but I think the game is fun. However, if you're expecting it to be as good as 7/8/9/10 you'll probably be disappointed.
[personal profile] xenosynth on January 6th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
Sorry, had to rewrite this. Disjointed thoughts at 5 in the morning.

Overall: I feel very little games have a self insert, even under a broad definition. They simply have characters whose personality you pick, just like equipment. Decisions your character makes, really, just are pre-written experiences that lead back into the same story.

Take Bioware. Bioware excels at this. They basically just write the game with a linear plot, then give sections 2-5 alternate scenarios, but then converge right back to the same plot. They give just enough a nod to the convergence to make the player THINK they did something major, then the game moves on, right back to how it was. Sometimes, they occasionally flag the event so a nod to it comes even later in the game, or even the next game, and makes the player feel their decision mattered even more because it came up again. When people say they enjoy these games because of the control, really, it's not control, it's simply they like seeing the game acknowledge they did something.

This illusion of control isn't a terrible thing though. It's simply the way you make the player more invested in the universe.

However, the problem comes up when a game does this wrong. For instance: Robin. If Robin was simply a character with 3 well written personalities, it wouldn't matter if the player picked a name, or appearance for them. The problem is, when a game poorly writes these alternate scenarios. Then you end up playing an unbearable character who is just annoying no matter how you play them. Robin, to me, simply sounds like a Mary/Marty Sue/Stu that has no likable personality choices. ((I haven't played the game yet, so I have no clue though))

So yes, basically, I overall agree with you. Though, Bioware does this ironically in a very different way. The characters really aren't self inserts like you'd think. There are really just a few distinct commander Shepards in Mass Effect. Paragon Shepard, a few Neutral Shepards, and Renegade Shepard. Players being able to choose which of these personas to use in dialogue and the plot makes them think they are inserting themselves in the game and that they have control and whatnot, but really they aren't.

Sorry if my thoughts are still all disjointed and all over the place xD; It's really late but I wanted to reply still.

Edited 2014-01-06 01:34 pm (UTC)
mark_asphodel[personal profile] mark_asphodel on January 6th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think the problem is how Robin is written. For one, s/he's a much better character than the previous model, FE12's Kris, who was just transparently Stu in the way he was butting into pre-existing scenes. It's what the plot does, or rather pretends to do, with Robin and Chrom and the rest.

Robin has great, likable, engaging, even compelling moments, but they all added up into something pretty revolting (IMO). If you took individual support conversations out of the context of the game, I don't think anyone would guess Robin to be a "self-insert." If you took individual plot-carrying scenes out of the game and asked someone to read them, they might catch a whiff of Stu but eh, you can say the same for some other game protagonists. You pile it all together and plop the big finale on top like a rancid cherry and ewwwww.