When The Everyman Becomes Every Man.
By otakuman5000 On 15 Nov, 2010 At 05:24 AM | Categorized As Editorials | With 1 Comment

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We all go to the same barber!

Remember when video games had that really cool” underdog” thing going? We rooted for all of them, from the little guy cleaning toilets to the animals taking a stand to protect their homelands. In a market flooded with magical beings and weird shapes that disappeared, these guys meant something to us. Now, rising above the odds isn’t that great anymore. Actually, just about anyone can do it these days! I find that we are entering a new era of the same cookie cutter protagonists and while the plots may be getting more complex, the characters aren’t. Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce the  “everyman”.

The everyman has grown from the lovable guy next door to the extreme sports star that can somehow have the blueprints of every weapon ever made, sewn into his brain.  Due to titles such as Uncharted, Alan Wake, Resident Evil 5, and even my beloved Dead Rising 2,  you now expect the average Joe to be able to do the impossible. While that is not particularly a bad thing, it is when guys like Kratos from God of War or cyber ninjas from the Metal Gear series seem suddenly appealing.  As much as I root for both, think about it. We’ve become intrigued by powerful morons that can’t speak without yelling and handicapped, whiny men. Maybe that’s why they removed his jaw? Whatever the reason, it goes without saying that the regular guy just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Confused? So am I. I don't know who I am anymore…

I see that this industry is starving for new everyman material. We’ve  tried to introduce characters with more personality. Look at Cole MacGrath from Infamous for example. His style has changed so much that I forgot how he originally looked. Sam Fisher also underwent dramatic changes. Just because a man ages like he is supposed to, doesn’t make him more interesting.  Also, adding a jaded mindset just makes him an old guy that throws rocks at children from his porch.  If it weren’t for the histories of both men, would you still play as either one?

Correct me if I’m wrong but, since when did the typical American become a slightly aged, Caucasian male with a 5 o’ clock shadow or beard?  Do me a favor. Look in your game collection right now.  I can guarantee that if you’re an avid gamer, you have at least one or two popular franchises at your disposal.  From Red Dead Redemption to Heavy Rain, we’ve all bumped into this guy at least once.

The sad part is, it really hit me when I read a gaming magazine today. A good percent of new releases and reviewed ones starred this type of man. It really amazes me that no one has even begun to revolt.  How long will it be until I play as a man that makes his back story seem real?  How about a woman that doesn’t have silicone inserts tagged alongside a man with a really raggedy, clean cut face? Make them live in a trailer and argue about television channels!  Sounding too close to your life? Well if someone doesn’t fix this, there’s going to be a big gap in sales somewhere and Pokemon will be your only option!

Okay maybe not but,  just imagine..

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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  1. Wally-GNo Gravatar says:

    Great article, and you’re right- I’ve seen that middle aged caucasian with a 5 o’clock shadow all the time. He’s becoming the white version of dave Chapeele’s black crime suspect.

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