Stereotypes can work in certain situations. Everyone on Gilligan's Island was a stereotype. Pawns on a chessboard represent stereotypes. Enemies in a first-person shooter are stereotypes. The entire hip hop culture has spawned legions of stereotypes not only in fashion and mannerisms, but philosophy, however limited. Okay don't get me started on hip hop. Even though I started it.
A stereotype is for instant identification. Ancient cultures such as the Greeks and Japanese relied on masks and painted faces to portray stereotypical characters. Detailed nuances would get lost in these large productions. Those details were left to the storyteller, and inevitably to print where the subtle shades of personality are exposed, explored, and exploited.
Video games are the perfect medium for detailed character development, and many classic games are famous for memorable characters. Resorting to stereotypes seems to be a default decision for a lot of lazy developers. There's no character that wouldn't benefit from some form of depth, however incongruent. Change it up a little. Who's to say a mad scientist wouldn't don an ice blue lululemon ensemble? What if the damsel in distress was extremely homely, overweight and suffered from Tourette's? Perhaps the next Max Payne could be voiced by Woody Allen?
Why would I spend sixty bucks to hang with one-dimensional characters when I can do that for free in Saskatchewan?
Date: August 10, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*