Week 2 Questions

2

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

I’m glad this question came up, because this is one of the aspects of LA Noire that intrigued me the most. I found that whilst playing as Cole Phelps, the flawed hero, I found that I came to dislike him a little. Clearly, he is only human, and we all make mistakes, but his frequent poor judgement let him down. It if for this reason that I found I didn’t try to inhabit Phelps whilst playing as him. I did not feel that I was actually Phelps, more that I was fulfilling his destiny laid out by the game, I was guiding him through the investigations, but in the back of my mind I already knew they would be successful. In this way, it was more like watching a film than playing a game. As the game set up the idea of a character I was controlling, but detached from, when playing as Kelso it was as if he was another actor to guide through the game.

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

I did find myself viewing situations in the same way as Phelps when playing through the situations, but because the game encourages you to question all the characters’ motives, I also found myself trying just as much to see the world through their eyes.

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

I don’t think so, I found that when I was questioning characters, I was merely trying to decide if they were telling the truth or not; I didn’t approach this any differently when playing as characters other than Phelps. There is also no ability to decide not to shoot suspects if a chase ensues, for example, which differs from games like Fable where almost every objective becomes a moral decision for the player. As a result, I did not find myself questioning, or attempting to alter the morality of the characters set out by the game.

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’?

I think the game identity is entirely that of the character, although you make decisions in the game, it is as if you are just making the character fulfil his own destiny, it did not feel that I was personally solving the investigations. As well as this, the frequent cut scenes give a sense that there is an awful lot of the character’s life that you don’t control, so it creates a sense of detachment from the character.

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Comments

  1. Christopher Dunning / Mar 25th, 2012 15:05 Quote

    Your reference to LA Noire playing out almost as a movie rang very true for me as well. I felt the same way when guiding Phelps, that you weren’t making choices for him, or even altering anything, you were just follow a thread as it were.

    I’m also very glad that someone else felt uncomfortable with some of the ‘gun down the criminal’ objectives. In many cases, especially those which are optional, I would aim at their ankles for a non lethal take down, only to be rewarded with the coroner showing up, this didn’t sit well with my ‘good guy’ I was trying to play.

  2. DanOrton / Mar 25th, 2012 23:38 Quote

    I also thought exactly the same with question 1. I don’t feel any kind of involvement towards Phelps since you have no choice but to play out his life for him. I do think it’s important to realise however that whilst this doesn’t work for a conventional game; it does work as a piece of interactive literature.

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