Okay, I've got to fess up. I've become totally addicted to (sob) a video game. Yes, I'm appalled too.
It's Dragon Age Origins, which is a D&D fantasy thing, where you are a hero working with a small group of companions to save the kingdom from an oncoming horde of demons. Sounds pretty standard, but a couple of things make this interesting. It's really well done. The plots leave some freedom for you to choose what you're going to do and you have to face the consequences of those choices. The writing is really strong and it picks a theme an doesn't let go no matter what. The theme is 'Victory through sacrifice', and man, they don't skimp on the pain.
But the part that's really got me sucked in (and it's not just me) is the Paladin character, Alistair, who's with you from the start. He's funny, he's vulnerable, he's got a noble heart (in more ways than one) and you can have a romance with him.
Read that last part again. Yup. This isn't your Daddy's D&D game. If you play your cards right, he'll fall in love with you. I have to admit some tender feelings on my part. But he's no push over. If you say or do the wrong things, he'll leave you high & dry. No romance for you. I know this because my first character completely struck out with him by making a joke when he was being all 'tender'.
My second character succeeded and we're 'playing though' if you know what I mean.
Now, it's not all just fantasy sex with a bunch of cute pixels. As a writer, I'm thinking about what makes him so attractive to women? (And it's just women. Men unanimously find him annoying and whiney) What the key to his attraction? How can I use that in my writing?
Well, one thing is he's got the brave and strong thing down. The man can wield a sword like nobody's business and he's totally fearless in battle. But he's not just a thick-necked slayer of beasts. He's very funny, and he's shy. You would think a man who can run down an ogre twice his height wouldn't blush when it comes to talking about sex, but he does.
He was raised in a monastery, so he's a virgin, and that explains some of the shyness, but really, he's just such a little boy lost, its ridiculous. Plus, he *needs* you. He has some good reasons for not wanting to be a leader, and he's perfectly okay with you giving the orders. Which, really just proves that this is a fantasy.
I think there is probably more to his appeal, but I've got to do some more research. ;-) What about you? Have you ever fallen for a video game character?