Week 2 Question – The way we perceive the interactive character


L.A Noire week 2

1. How far would you say you try and inhabit the ‘character’ you’re ‘playing’?

With every game played it becomes impossible not to get personally involved with the character you’re playing. Your own characteristics depend on how you play the game, for me in such games as these I’m attentive and thoughtful, patience is a virtue and God forbid you need lots for this game. You begin to immerse yourself in the game trying to elaborate to believe you are the character and that he/she is not a separate entity. Much the same in novels I begin to feel the character, how they interact to everything; people, events and locations. Through development of character both through story and progressing through ranks and levels.

2.How far do you try and see the world through their eyes?

As I said before you begin to get a feeling of the character you are controlling, it Is imperative that you being to see the way that they see the word, despite contrasting feelings between player and fictional character. I myself try to discover everything possible throughout the game so I’ll look around thoroughly before proceeding anywhere else, also looking at side quests. In a media perspective looking at the textual background that the game shows is interesting to me, such as newspapers, posters, pictures and even conversation through radio and people give an idea of the player and the time surrounding him.

In context of playing the character in particular third person you are forced in most cases to act of the way a detective in this epoch would do, including the obvious cover system and chasing villains. You can through this perspective see more of the world around you, rather that first person you are restricted to peripheral vision much the same in real person. But looking at the game as an authorless narrator much the same as a novel you are exposed to seeing more than just the character can at one time, being able to clearly have a 360 degree view at ease gives the player more interaction and vision on the situation. This view also helps the player feel more intact with the environment, albeit first person being more personal to the character but in this case third person works to the extent of narrating the player (Phelps).

Another media perspective is the interface, where we are guided to where we are going through mapping all the way to interactive doors being shown by gold handles and also a chime to show that something is interactive. Although most the time you find pointless things to pick up e.g. a carrot becomes comical.

3. Does the character you’re playing shape your behaviour or attitudes towards to other characters you encounter in the game?

Yes certainly Phelps has very controversial opinions about everything around him; he has morals which at most the time is juxtapositions of partners view. At least where I am during the game. For example Rusty Galloway is always contradicting Phelps’ decisions throughout cases, also giving instant irrational decisions. You being to see the world through Phelps’ eyes rather than your own, you acts are on what you thing he would act, especially in so linear a context.

Other games work away from this such as Mass Effect where you choose your own conversation options which make changes, also actions through can differ to what you choose. Infamous does a similar thing, where you can choose to be good or evil where in my case I was good until that became boring and so I became evil. It’s always good to have a choice for character development but it such story driven games as L.A Noire and even Final Fantasy the game must lead you to see the character as they intended.

Everyone sees the world different depending on life’s experience and if the developers wanted you to see their world in the way they intended it becomes difficult and this is where L.A Noire delves into making you see the era and people of the time.




4. Would you say your ‘game identity’ is all you, partly made-up of you and the character you’re ‘playing’ or as much as possible, is it entirely the character you’re ‘playing’?

No, not entirely the develops have made sure that you at least see the character the way they wanted you to in most cases, other than games like Skyrim. You of course your own personal gaming style comes into play, sometimes you play attentive sometimes you decide to go crazy berserker style. It’s impossible to always stay in character and annoyance deprive you of the games conventions and in a sense you revel, in the case of N.A Noire driving into a petrol station to blow it up after getting agitated. Of course the game restricts this by penalty points to the overall case report.

The question can be answer in both ways, yes you are the player and also no you make the character up from your own perspective. In the case of L.A Noire you are bottle necked into seeing the character[s] the way it was intended without so much as an glance of self-decision.



  1. ClockworKei / Mar 24th, 2012 12:43 Quote

    “In the case of L.A Noire you are bottle necked into seeing the character[s] the way it was intended without so much as an glance of self-decision.” I agree very much with the things you say, you are made to be Cole, even if you want to rebel against his character there is no room to. You do horrendously badly during a case and the outcome will still be the same, except with a slightly lower score at the end. It personally gives me the feeling of a reading a book, where you have zero control, rather than a game, where generally speaking, you usually have total control and room to make the character, yourself.

  2. Clarkkent / Mar 24th, 2012 12:48 Quote

    I agree with your answer for question 4, you cannot immerse yourself within that character as you cannot craft it in any way and participate as his vessel the way in which the game intends.

  3. M.Lockheart / Mar 24th, 2012 13:26 Quote

    I agree with your idea that you conform to the game to some extent whilst retaining your own ideas and perspective in the background of the game. However “the background of the game” is as far as I would say our roles as gamers go. I think you pretty much summed it up when you stated: “such as Mass Effect where you choose your own conversation options which make changes, also actions through can differ to what you choose.” These options we are given in certain games make us feel like we have control to direct the game and we are choosing the direction the game will take. However the game is actually the one to give us those varied options. Furthermore it is important to keep in mind that the course the game takes after we select our response from a range of options is already pre-determined by the game. I think that we as players do not lead the game, the game leads us. The only real control gamers have is the ability to push a few buttons on the control pad to progress through the events. (Control pad? Oh the irony…)

  4. MaddieS / Apr 3rd, 2012 22:40 Quote

    I see parallels between your view on ‘game identity’ in L.A. Noire and my own: though I cited the P.O.V and male persona as largely being the reasons why my ‘game identity’ is wholly my own, after you have highlighted the linearity and predetermination of the game I can see these as further factors in my alienation from the character. There is no scope for integrating any of your own personality or ideas into the characters because they are already so richly designed and presented in such depth.


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