What your character designs say about you

Your Commander Shepard may be a red-eyed hottie. Your Dragon Age dwarf may be a thickly-bearded freak of nature. But no matter how you customize an in-game character, your snowflake just isn't as special as you may think. We've broken down the ways players create their characters into five distinct categories. Not only have we labeled and defined these types, but with hours of research, we've determined the deeper, psychological meaning behind your sexy night elves, cat-eared Second Life avatars and Hitler Miis.

Above: So many choices! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are neither GR’s own or anybody else's. They are completely made-up and have little to no connection with either how you design your in-game characters or actual psychology.

1. The Clone

Description: When creating the Clone, you are attempting to recreate yourself as accurately as possible. You'll always choose your own gender and race, if possible. Aliens, the Horde and anything vaguely un-human is not for you. If you're vertically challenged, your avatar represents that. Waistline's too thick? Present and accounted for. You might go so far as to pull out a mirror or photograph to get the height of your eyes just right.

Above: This is me!

Psychoanalysis: Surprisingly, recreating your physical attributes (assuming you can) does not make you a narcissistic pig. Leave that to the Dream type – the players that need to feel pretty no matter the genre. A well-adjusted childhood has led you to believe that you do not always need to look the best. You, with your incalculable number of flaws, are fine just as you are. Your uncanny desire to recreate yourself from head to toe should be an inspiration to us all.

All this said, be prepared to utterly fail at recreating yourself exactly if you happen to be particularly tall, short, thick, thin, or otherwise not-quite-average looking. Most developers take the “you can look like anyone you want as long as you could still pass for a catalog model” approach to character customization. 

2. The Dream

Description: Like the Clone, you strive to recreate a number of your physical attributes. But accuracy is not your goal. You prefer to highlight your best features while you faithfully ignore the ones you don't particularly like. Your Wii fit model is a little less pudgy, your Guild Wars warrior a tad more gallant. That wide gap between your eyes and your abnormally large chin just aren't necessary when constructing the game's protagonist. If you wanted real, you wouldn't be playing video games.

Above: This is me if I were a super model!

Psychoanalysis: To you, life is unsatisfactory, and you have little to no control over it. Whether this stems from constant female rejection, a mother who never said you're special, or that fateful day in gym class, you feel quite helpless. However, with video games, you have a godlike sense of control over not only yourself but the course of events to which you are subjected. To accommodate for this in real life, you might tend to exaggerate certain facts while neglecting to mention others. Some may call you a pathological liar. You prefer the term “imaginative story-teller.” Because of your wild stories, you are a god among men to your acquaintances. To your close friends... well, let's not fool ourselves. You probably don't have close friends.


  • WinkedUp Lozza - January 16, 2011 3:31 a.m.

    What about the people who just use the 'random' button? Or the other lazy kind who just put all the sliders to the far right of left?
  • Spybreak8 - January 15, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Eh good read but I think this only scratches the surface. I think it would be a good article if it was written by a few people, a few guys and a few girls. I've made myself in games but most of the time just use attributes of me like my beard while making my character. I enjoyed Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 because you can get your face into the game if you have a Livecam. Hopefully later versions work with the Kinect. My characters can be any gender, any species, any attributes, quite random in fact depending on the game, mood, gamestyle I'm planning.
  • apegod99 - January 14, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Im a mix between the clone and monstrocity. I make myself, then morph him into a freak of nature.
  • CharlieFockstrot - January 14, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    I always go for a Mr T pity the fool!
  • Rhymenocerous - January 14, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    On a first playthorough, it's The Clone for me. That way I can really relate to my Fallout character when I'm making heads explode.
  • theamazingmrpotato - January 14, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    i do match alot of the weird qualities. but surely its just fantastic to have a touch of eccentricity in your personality, keeps things fresh.
  • Jamahl - January 14, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    Guild Wars reference = Best article ever.
  • papergoon - January 14, 2011 3:04 a.m.

    @Murderapolis WTF? Okay that was actually funny. XD
  • soren7550 - January 14, 2011 2:03 a.m.

    I think I'd be a mix between 'The Dream' and 'The Badass' since I just go for something that I think looks good & cool.
  • CoktorBloktopus - January 13, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    Yeah for creating the raging bad@$$ in all video games. All you need is a tattoo or an awesome scar
  • Ilyere - January 13, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    I go for the Clone, most of the time. Yeah, how original am I?
  • Mode - January 13, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    I always make either some sort of mysterious-looking dude (Psycho Mantis-esque), or some really hot female character who may or may not be Psycho Mantis-esque. I like Psycho Mantis.
  • StealthyMangos - January 13, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    yeah # 6 should definitely be asian, since I've made an asian in every rpg I have ever played... but that would fall under the clone, since I'm also asian
  • monsterhunter3rox - January 13, 2011 5:21 p.m.

    oh,fine.i character in tri is a badass as almost crapping his pants at the sight of a jhen moran can be
  • MattMk2 - January 13, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    What about what I do? I just use the default character.
  • Y2Ken - January 13, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    I generally make myself in football games, and a random (but normal looking, probably closest to badass out of these) in most other games - Fallout, Mass Effect, Smackdown and so on. Then in Sims I make just an average looking dude depending on how I'm playing. Sometimes kinda suave, sometimes quite scruffy, occasionally a little tubby. Whatever I'm feeling would be fun.
  • Pirazha - January 13, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    @codzprc Same here. When being Male gives you advantages, like Oblivion, i am nr. 5.
  • Snowyjoe - January 13, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    You forgot one factor. Theme: Creating a character and giving it personality and character that based on the game world
  • philipshaw - January 13, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    Interesting article, I think I try to make the character look like me and if the game doesn't let me do that then I will go for the dream version
  • fueler335 - January 13, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    GREAT article! I laughed all the way through.Thanks!

Showing 1-20 of 53 comments

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