Relating to Personality I am a white male (surprise!). There was no choice in the matter; it’s just the way I was built. Most of the protagonists in games, movies and comics share this demographic but they don’t represent me. These fictional personas are larger than life archetypes. They aren’t fully realized human beings; they are vessels to drive the story just like the plot, theme and setting. Tony Stark, Nathan Drake and James Bond are charismatic, suave…me? Not so much. Bruce Wayne, Cole McGrath and Indiana Jones are the top in their field. I win participation and citizenship awards. Reed Richards, Sherlock and Professor Layton are the smartest men in the universe; I am smarter than the average bear—but not by much. (This was a depressing paragraph in self realization). None of these characters represent me. The characters in film most similar to my stats are the dopey sidekicks in romantic comedies or the computer nerd in an action movie. Even then, these personalities become caricatures and don’t truly match my views and beliefs. Within most media, characters exhibit traits which work within the confines of the story but are out of touch with real world sensibilities. Instead of looking for characters which match my height, weight, hair color, eyes, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other data which I can’t control; I relate more to characters which exhibit personality traits in line with my own. In Telltale’s Walking Dead: Season One, Lee Everett’s goal is to protect Clementine. He consistently displays parental instincts and focuses on ensuring the survival of his surrogate family. Of course, this was an RPG and I played Lee making decisions that would echo my own. But through his love, and desire to keep the group appeased I found myself relating to this character; far more than I ever did with Commander Sheppard in Mass Effect. Despite constantly being in control of Sheppard’s actions and choices (and multiple playthroughs) the hero of the galaxy was not someone I could feel connected to. This character that could be built in my image, could never act like me or relate to my views. During the journey in The Last of Us, Joel is a character who never represents how I would act (except for his controversial final choice in the game). When the story opens, Joel only wants a payday but Tess is the voice of reason and hope. During the middle chapter Joel argues with a character and I cannot find myself agreeing with Joel’s stance. (Writing a spoiler-free exposition is more difficult than originally anticipated). Consistently throughout the narrative I relate more towards Ellie and secondary characters; despite the fact Joel and I are most similar in demographics. The most relatable and touching story within this universe is the Left Behind DLC which is entirely focused on Ellie and her relationship with Riley. I can relate more to the protagonist in Gone Home, despite sharing more characteristics with Aiden from Watch_Dogs The heroes and villains in stories, regardless of the medium, exist to entertain the audience. They aren’t necessarily a reflection of society proper or a commentary on the cultural values of our generation. Fans want to relate to these personas and search through the adventure to find themselves in the story. What they discover is their determination, intelligence, comedic timing, charismatic nature or parental instincts are imbued into these stories through the characters. Even if characters don’t share the audience’s demographics, when they look beyond the surface…fans discover the characters they enjoy the most, already represent aspects of their personality.