We all know that not all but some (or majority) of video games are pretty violent, and that violence typically stems from the protagonist. Now, I would like to say that I do know a decent amount of games of various kinds and the characters background, but why is it that some just seem completely crazy? By crazy I mean all kinds of crazy like psychopath killer and there’s something wrong with you crazy.
I was curious to find out if there was any sort of list, large or small, of crazy protagonists and what makes them crazy. I found two lists with the top eleven and top nine most insane video game characters, along with a article discussing this topic. I would like to mention that I haven’t played the majority of these games listed so I could be missing some background on these characters. In the first list the authors list the eleven well-known video game characters that portray all different kinds of crazy, Kazooie from Bajno-Kazooie lives in a bears backpack I guess that makes sense. Even Super Mario makes the list, he must save Princess Peach even after countless times dying, outrageous obstecles, and even forcing his own brother to suffer. Princess Peach doesn’t even have a clue about how obsessed Mario is about her, he’ll do whatever it takes but in the end he’ll never get his kiss. I’m not going to name all eleven but I will say GLaDOS makes the list. Their claim is although she is insane, her insanity is more of a self acceptance of being crazy. Which is true she wants to help Chell but at the same time GLaDOS does attempt to kill Chell.
In the other list it was generally the same with the exception of having Tweets from the game characters demonstrating their craziness. What I did notice was there was one character in particular who made both separate lists, Sander Cohen of BioSchock. He takes crazy, insane, and psychotic to a higher level. Sander claims that murdering, torture, and molding bodies into different forms as a form of “art”. Right because that makes sense. But then again his insanity does stem from the war in Rapture city causing him to become paranoid. There are other characters such as Adam the Clown from Dead Rising who is just flat out creepy and not just because I hate clowns, and Kefka Palazzo of Final Fantasy VI as the number 1 insane character. I know of the Final Fantasy series, thanks to my brother, but I don’t know much about Kefka except that he is hands down the craziest, cold-hearted villains in all of the Final Fantasy series.
The article mentions Nathan Drake of Uncharted, Laura Croft Tomb Raider (the most recent game), and Captain Walker from Spec Ops:The Line as the main focus of the argument are they heroes or psychopaths? Each characters kill not only the enemies but sometimes, for Nathan Drake, innocent people. The author of the blog brings up the idea of PTSD as perhaps being the underlining cause for these characters to act out, more specifically Nathan Drake and Captain Walker. Nathan kills so many people and yet according to this article, he seems to be unfazed by it all. Young Laura Croft apparently kills a man who tires to sexually assault her and in the aftermath she cannot believe what took place. As for Captain Walker, his mental stability declines by the ending of the game. I have never played any of these games mentioned so I could be missing a lot more information the article may have left out. I do see how PTSD can have an affect on these characters, especially if they come from war games, causing them to become aggressive and act out.
What I really want to know is aside from the last three characters, why is it some of the characters crazy? Perhaps entertainment? Or maybe because sometimes there needs to be that character in some game stories to make more interesting. Could this be harmful to those who play the game i.e. can the gamer become so immersed in the game, they can become the character? For the most part I think not, just like everything else I really think it depends on who is playing these games. This kind of reminded me of the discussion we had in class the other day about a person being able to distance themselves from a character in game or in fiction. It also makes me think about the creators of the characters, are they themselves crazy or they’re looking for that shock value from the gamers. Either way, I would not want to encounter these characters in a dark alleyway day or night.