Over in her Aberrant Gamer column, Leigh Alexander has picked her top five game characters of the year - including the "you" of virtual worlds and user-generated content. She's expanded on her thoughts on why "you" sucks sometimes over at Sexy Videogameland, and it's an interesting read through. She even expresses doubt that this open world model can sustain itself:
I do feel like this massive trend of open-world, do-it-yourself characterization that's been gathering so much steam might steam out before long. Like any big-big trend, we'll synthesize the useful lessons from it and integrate them into what we already know, for a neater and more subtle evolution on our familiar baseline.
The uncertainty comes in when you realise we're talking about a medium that is only a bit older than I myself am — we're beyond calling games "nascent," but we could call them pubescent, maybe, even as of only this year. Gaming hasn't been around long enough to even parse out a single solid baseline; the idea of considering them with more depth than simple arcade toys is fairly new, if not for all of us, than for a good majority of us. So the crystal ball looks a little foggy.
But "you" is not the star for everyone. At the end of the day, we love games for the experience they give us and the worlds they create. If it were about us, and about other real people, we'd just go and play laser tag with our stupid friends, or something, and then bitch about them on the internet later.
It's a piece that builds on some things Alexander's been discussing in the past couple of weeks and worth a read through. Her selection of the top five characters of the year is pretty interesting, and while I'm not sure I've gamed enough this year to pick out a top five, definitely got me reflecting on what I've played this year and what I'll be playing next year ... I hope.
'You' Suck [Sexy Videogameland]