Being a person who’s never really enjoyed being in their own skin, I tend to identify with characters with no connection to reality. Often these characters border on the supernatural and bear no similarity to the person I actually am. Characters like Morrigan from Dragon Age, whose quick wit and emotional coldness offered a relief from my over-thinking, highly emotional mind, and Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad from Assassins Creed, whose physical prowess, intimidating nature, and rebellious attitude gave me a feeling of freedom. It was comforting to experience life in another time, another world. But in the end you have to come back to earth and ground yourself in reality, or risk being trapped in a virtual world with a warped perception of the person you are. For that reason, I’ve chosen Max Caulfield from Square Enix’s Life Is Strange as the game character I feel I am most like.
Yep, that intolerable hipster with a Polaroid camera, manipulating time for the greater good. I said that my favourite characters border on the supernatural!
I’ve chosen Max because, like me, she’s hugely introverted and lacks confidence in her abilities. Using her camera, she takes a passive role in life, preferring to document and observe than take an active role. When she discovers her time-bending abilities she realises she has the potential to change the world for the better, but it soon becomes clear that her powers take more control and responsibility than she is capable of.
Max is very retrospective and takes great responsibility for the things she does. I don’t think she fully understands the person she is; she is presented as a social outsider (not quite an outcast but certainly on the fringes of the social life at her school) and there are several moments during the game which put question on her sexuality. It’s never confirmed exactly what Max defines her sexuality as, and it’s not necessary either. She’s just trying to do the right thing by being true to her feelings. I get the feeling that she’s just a bit lost, and I relate to her because I spent much of my teenage years feeling exactly the same way. I can’t count all the times I sat alone wishing I could turn time back and change something I said.
Max isn’t perfect, sure, but she’s growing into her own skin like all kids do. Like me, she’s just a bit of a late bloomer.
Are there characters that you relate to or wish you were? Comment below or tweet me at TCasualGamer.