It's a simple enough question, but one that's bound to get you thinking. Given a choice, which video game character would you want to be? A glamorous hero? A megalomaniacal villain? A conflicted character that carries out evil in the name of good? Or just something out of left field?
Well, here's your chance to tell us, because that's what this week's community discussion is all about. If you were to be pixelated and thrown Tron-style into a video game of your choosing, exactly who would you want to be?
While you sit and ponder, here are Team USG's dream roles.
Who: Crono's Mom
You know, life is too stressful. I never have a chance to just stop and relax — there's always something to worry about, something to freak out about. That's why my personal video game hero is Crono's Mom from Chrono Trigger.
They say ignorance is bliss, and her life seems blissful indeed. She's not stupid or anything, just totally oblivious to the fact that her son has been traveling through time, training to become a magic-slinging sword master, battling eldritch god-like beings, and occasionally being completely disintegrated by forces beyond human ken as he nobly sacrifices himself to protect his companions. She sees none of this! She's content to sigh over the majesty of musical bells, give Crono his allowance, and hang out with the army of kitties he won at the Millennial Fair. She doesn't understand all the weird people Crono keeps bringing home, especially the one that looks like a human frog, but she trusts her son to keep good company. She's truly a hero for our times.
Who: War of the Alliance
I thought long and hard about this, because there really is a mind-boggling amount of choice, but I kept on coming back to the video game character I've spent the most amount of time with. And that's me. Well, the me in World of Warcraft.
Something a little weird that I did early on in my WoW life is that when I made my second character, I made her a visual replica of my first. And it just became a thing. I ended up with roster of different characters that were all identical. Which ended up making me feel like I didn't have lots of characters in World of Warcraft, I just had one that could do lots of things.
As a result, I've spent many, many thousands of hours playing a single human alliance female, and I identify with her in a way that no other game character comes close. Would I want to be her? She's a mass-murdering, lion-taming, face-melting, throat slitting, mind controlling, life saving, weapons specialist who flies around on a rocket, and lives in a village where humanoid pandas make the best food and drink in the world.
Who: The Prince of Persia
I almost went with Dante for this one, but ultimately I decided on someone in a similar vein with a different powerset. I'm going to have to go with the Prince from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I mean, I'd be impossibly handsome, a master of Parkour, a great swordfighter, a flippin' prince, and I could turn back time to get a redo whenever something goes wrong. Who hasn't wanted that power?
The Prince has it so good, that Ubisoft had to royally mess up his life in The Warrior Within. They looked at the end of the Sands of Time and thought, "That guy has it way too good." Because he did. Sure, he died millions of times to get to that end - feeling each death and then rewinding to prevent it - but it was worth it! I would've kept that dagger and rolled over the palace walls on my way to sun-and-fun with time-rewinding superpowers. That's the life.
Who: Retired Pokémon Trainer
I find this question tricky because it's not probably not the most pleasant thing in the world to be a videogame character. I mean, sure, I could be Samus Aran, but that would involve a lot of cold nights spent on Zebes, backtracking, and Metroids attaching themselves to my head. And what if I actually had to live out Metroid: Other M? After much consideration, I suppose I'll have to go with the obvious answer and choose "Pokémon Trainer." Granted, it wouldn't be much fun to have to deal with Groudon draining all of the world's oceans or Dialga messing with time and space, but most Pokénation denizens seem to take that stuff in stride. I just like the idea of being able to have my own Flareon or Ninetails, even if that means having my curtains periodically set on fire. The real question is what would happen after I retired from Pokémon training, which would undoubtedly happen before I was 30. I suppose I could send my resumé into Team Rocket and see if they have any openings. Or I could open up my very own gym and become a town's de facto sheriff. You know what? I'm in. Retired Pokémon Trainer all the way for me.
Who: The Prince of All Cosmos
Seeing as we both have deadbeat dads, I can really identify with The Prince of All Cosmos. True, mine never made me recreate the entire solar system single-handedly after a reckless night of binge-drinking, but that would at least make an interesting story for therapy. So while our respective family situations aren't identical, I, too, know the pain of having a jerkdad who shares a significant portion of my name, though thankfully he's not hundreds of feet tall with a prominent crotch-bulge—last time I checked, anyway.
But really, the Prince can deal with these broken home issues through the sheer catharsis of rolling up everything around him into a ball, an ability that could be applied to all of my daily issues in life. A line of people in front of me at the coffee shop ordering elaborate milkshakes when all I want is a cup of steaming hot caffeine juice? Roll 'em up. The teeming hordes of people who will soon occupy every seat on a crowded train? Sure, them too. These may sound like extreme solutions to minor problems, but to paraphrase an old saying, if all you have are Katamari powers, everything looks like it's ready to be rolled up.