Wolf’s Wicked Words: (Un)Likable Characters
“It says so right here in your personnel file: Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner who’s passing shall not be mourned.” – GlaDOS from Portal
The world itself is full of different characters; seven billion characters if I’m not mistaken. A baby is born every few seconds, so please excuse the lack of a definite number. I’d like to talk about how many couples are “busy” at any given moment in time, but this is not the ideal place to discuss it.
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Besides the primary and all-important fun-factor of any given game, I do love me some interesting characters. While characters doesn’t necessarily add to gameplay in almost all cases with the few exceptions here and there – they do add to the story and provide a special feel to the overall game if done correctly. We have characters that make you feel uneasy and have you doubting your own actions, characters that aim to frighten you, characters that make you laugh and my personal favourite – unlikable characters that we all end up liking in the end.
What I mean by this is that we have so many characters out there in the gaming landscape that ends up stealing millions of hearts by being their somewhat distasteful selves. It’s some kind of conspiracy-esque assortment that makes use of reverse-psychology and an added pinch of fairy dust. (If you don’t believe in fairies, change fairy dust to unicorn gas. Unicorns exist and we all know it.)
GLaDOS is probably the most liked character of the malevolent nature. In the quote at the top she calls Chell “unlikable” while she’s ironically the unlikable one if looked at it from an outsider’s perspective, AKA the gamer. The idea that ironically makes her likable is that of her “evil” actions towards Chell / you in addition to all the insults is done in a humouristic way. I find her to be one of the most interesting characters in the world of gaming and she provided me with countless chuckles or genuine laughter despite the fact that she is actually a life-endangering shrew.
As seen in the header image, Deadpool is one of my favourite comedy characters in gaming and the more you think about his way of expressing himself and the absolute ridiculousness he carries around with him, he is actually supposed to be seen as the most unlikable male shaft that doesn’t even remotely care about anything other than himself; and yet, we like him for the sheer absurd amount destruction he’s more than capable to create while not reflecting back about what he just did. I don’t think the word: “reflect” is within Deadpool’s vocabulary. He’s actually an egotistical schlong and a madman, but we love him for it.
The last candidate up for grabs is Andrew Ryan from BioShock. His perception on life and the way he wanted his own world to be, made a turn for the worse and despite all that, he stayed within his leaking and fallen underwater city. More importantly, he talked sense in most regards, he was truly intelligent and he tried to stop you at all costs. Most gamers will flat-out dislike him, but I found his character tremendously interesting. The more he spoke down to me personally as I made my way through Rapture, the more he piqued my interest.
To conclude, I love how we fall in love with characters even if they are in truth a bunch abhorrent cretins with very little to like in real life, but in the fictitious worlds of games; we fall in love with them.