@shingro I usually find that despite my best efforts to Do Something Different, I end up creating a character who is either very similar to myself or a strong reflection of some facet of my real-life character. This is particularly noticeable in the D&D campaign we’ve been playing; I regularly make some comment about my character only to realize it applies with equal force to me.

In the electronic-entertainment context, oddly, I generally do not devote a large amount of time to character design. I’m always happy when I get to play a girl – that doesn’t happen nearly enough for my tastes – but the protagonists in electronic media are of necessity often cyphers, customizable in skills but with very limited personalities or options for what I would consider actual roleplaying. (There are varying degrees of egregiousness to this, extreme cases giving me the choice “murder this grandma or pet the kitty.” But that’s a discussion with which we’re all familiar.)

Lots of computer-RPG characters just don’t HAVE that much personality on their own, I guess, is what I am saying. You have to read it in. This is a strategy authors of all kinds have been using since the dawn of time: by not giving your protagonist that many points of distinction you theoretically make it easier for your audience to identify with them. Often, this works, so I certainly can’t blame game developers for using it. (This is where Gordon Freeman and arguably Link come from.)

On a less extreme level, CRPG characters have more of an illusion of freedom in terms of their interaction with the world than actual freedom. (Dialogue trees say hello.) That’s totally fine, it just means that I’m by necessity playing a character someone else designed. It’s cool. I will never regret playing the Nameless One. He’s not MY character but he was fun to be. The same goes for Nathan Drake or Guybrush Threepwood.

So the options for treating an electronic-media character as either an extension of myself or as an exercise of authorial power are limited. This is, I guess, one of the reasons I enjoy the flexibility of tabletop games so much. But there’s goodness to be had in both styles.