Author Topic: Relatable characters in media  (Read 3084 times)

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EgotisticalRaven

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Relatable characters in media
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:21:34 PM »
This has just been something I've been wondering, it's not the most philosophical topic, but I felt it should belong here.

I love all diffrent types of stories, in all diffrent types of media, but there's something that I've been coming across a lot that has perplexed me. When talking about stories in any form, books, movies, video games, even music, people always mention the relatablity of the characters. Most people will even judge a story by how much they relate to the protagonist, some will say a movie is horrible simply because the main character was an introvert, but the person commenting is an extrovert. Poeple will biasedly judge a character or story by the personality of the audience.

Is this an effective way to judge a story? I don't see any sense in the method of judging.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 03:39:36 AM by EgotisticalRaven »
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Merlandese

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Re: Relatable characters in media
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 11:53:52 PM »
It's an effective way to judge a story if that person thinks it is, I suppose. I mean, one of my favorite games is Catherine--I think it's pure genius. But one of the big problems people have with it is that they are controlling a character whose actions aren't anything they would choose. It gets really complicated like that, especially when it comes to games.

Think of one of your favorite stories where you follow the hero and imagine if you had to follow the villain instead, especially if that villain was never meant to relate to you. Imagine playing as Jafar in Aladdin, or, I don't know, the Emperor from Star Wars. The story would be the same, but the viewpoint would be from someone you may not relate to, and that could be the difference between thinking the story is good or bad.

Personally, I can manage empathy well enough to enjoy a story as the main character, but I think that specific type of empathy is a trait among avid role-playing fans.

SinnyVic

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Re: Relatable characters in media
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 01:45:25 PM »
It could be an effective way of judging a story. Although, perhaps not every story.

Note that relatability* is not likeability although they both affect the other.

some will say a movie is horrible simply because the main character was an introvert, but the person commenting is an extrovert.

It comes down to how willing you are to relate to a character in a given context.

This willingness is affected by the observer's personal taste.
- If you like the character, you are more willing to find things to relate to.
- If you dislike the character, you don't actively seek out things to relate to. In fact, you might go out of your way to distinguish yourself from the character.

This willingness is affected by the observer's expectations.
- In a realistic movie, you expect to be able to relate to human characters.
- In a fantasy movie, you allow more leeway for characters to do impossible things but some aspect of the character should still be relatable* if context is given.

Context greatly affects relatability.
- In a movie where a character is presented (or later revealed) in a fashion that allows you to understand that character's plight and decisions, there is more content and incentive to find things to relate to.
- In a movie where a character is given no back-story or context, it can become difficult and boring to find things to relate to.


Is this an effective way to judge a story? I don't see any sense in the method of judging.

It can be e.g. when applied to express a lack of context or insufficient character depth.


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* - Relatability and relatable are apparently not actual words.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 01:56:19 PM by SinnyVic »

Roxaszu

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Re: Relatable characters in media
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 03:18:41 PM »
People will biasedly judge a character or story by the personality of the audience.

Is this an effective way to judge a story? I don't see any sense in the method of judging.

It's actually pretty effective,
Most people will easily find themselves looking for someone that looks like them (This also happen between the player and the character in the story),

but there are some aspect that should be consider beside the personality of the audience itself,
For example like The experience of life about someone. maybe there are character that they dislike because the character reminds them of someone (Or something) they don't like in the real world, or stuff.

or maybe taste, sometimes personality and personal character of the reader/player can greatly affect their way of perspective in the story.

And SinnyVic's answer already pretty clear at explaining some point there ,
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 03:25:23 PM by Roxaszu »

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Re: Relatable characters in media
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 11:29:23 AM »
Is this an effective way to judge a story? I don't see any sense in the method of judging.
What do you mean by 'effective'?
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EgotisticalRaven

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Re: Relatable characters in media
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 05:57:26 PM »
Is this an effective way to judge a story? I don't see any sense in the method of judging.
What do you mean by 'effective'?

Is it a good way to judge the quality of a story?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 10:17:37 PM by EgotisticalRaven »
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