Sunday, August 16, 2015

August Read Play Blog: What Game Character Do You Relate To The Most?

Read Play Blog is a meme about video games and books, posted every 16th of the month. Bloggers are encouraged to answer a discussion question, and recommend a video game that is similar to a book they liked. Hosted by Happy Indulgence Books and Read Me Away.

What Game Character Do You Relate To The Most?

Honestly, as a fat female bookworm, how many characters like yourself are you going to see in video games? Even putting the question of appearances aside (since video game women are, as I think Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw put it, "benignly attractive" at their worst), I'm not a particular daring or adventurous person (from my own  perspective). I'm not out to find lost archaeological treasures like Lara Croft, nor am I as innovative and clever as Chell is (though, to be fair, that is more or less by virtue of being controlled by you, the player). As I've talked about in a few older 5 Fandom Friday questions, the characters I relate to tend to be snarky outside observers rather than adventurous go-getters.

In other words, I had to think about this question for a while. Eventually I settled on an answer that felt just right: Claire from Thomas Was Alone.

Thomas Was Alone 3 screengrab courtesy PlayStation Blog Europe

Claire is the largest and clunkiest of the little AI shapes; as a result she feels pretty useless and unsure of herself. This is a feeling I was well acquainted with after basically every gym class. I was the stereotypically unathletic, klutzy fat kid who couldn't run, jump, or throw as well as everyone else. Thankfully my high school gym teacher was the kind of person who was sensitive to the plight of the fat kid; she never had students pick their own teams, and much of our gym class was spent in our actual gym (like, with treadmills and bikes and weight machines) so that we could work on our own individual fitness as much or as little as we wanted to instead of always suffering the indignities of team sports.

But then Claire discovers that she can swim and her whole world changes! Since she's a bit of a comic book geek to begin with, Claire begins to see herself as Super Claire, a good and caring friend who will help those around her with her special gift of water immunity. My own version of swimming was academics: like Claire and the water, knowing that I had other gifts helped me deal with my own clunky awkwardness. (Though, incidentally, swimming is one of my favorite summertime activities.) I am also just as protective of my friends as Claire is.

Recommendation (and Currently Playing)

Tropico, from PopTop software and MacSoft

JV just bought the Tropico collection on Steam and it's basically my childhood all over again. (Or, well, my teenage years, I guess; I was 15 when the first Tropico came out.) I haven't tried any of the others, though I hear 3 and 4 are basically the same game with just better graphics, cars, and a much-needed quick build option, but I'm fine with just playing the first forever and ever. Even though it's been successful enough for 4 sequels now, I never hear people talk about it. Why is that? Did everyone just forget about it? Am I hanging out in the wrong parts of the Internet? I'm glad the title is still robust and successful, at any rate.

As for a book to go along with it, Salman Rushdie's The Jaguar Smile seems like a good fit. Or, if you'd prefer ficton instead of a travelogue and political commentary, Flight of the Cat by Abel Prieto.


  1. Awwwe I LOVE Claire! <3 I think I'll put on the Thomas was Alone soundtrack while I work today...

  2. Aww thats super cute about Claire and Thomas was Alone, I've never played it becuase I suck a lot at sidescrollers but I like that i has a story to it which I didn't know before now :)

    My Read Play Blog post

    1. It's much more of a puzzle game than a side scroller game, IMO! Thomas Was Alone is a very unique and clever game. It's like next level Klotski, if you've ever played that.

  3. I haven't played Tropico before but I've heard it's a really fun sim! I love how you relate to a female AI character, good old Yahtzee lol. Lovely post this month and thanks for participating!

    1. It's a lot of fun! The game also has a fantastic sense of humor, too. I'd really recommend it.