This article comes a day late because… I’m not going to offer an excuse. You’re just going to have to live with the mystery.
I assume that most of us who have played games have at one point (at least) come across a non-playable character that we became attached to. But sometimes we don’t become attached to characters who the game makers want us to get attached to, and sometimes we get more attached than we are supposed to. While quality narrative can do wonders for making a character appealing, I have found that players often base their connections on the mechanics of the character instead (and this sometimes causes problems).
I have written a few reviews for digital roleplaying games (RPGs), but in many cases I find the label is completely inappropriate. When I think of a “roleplaying” game, I think of a game in which I take control and can make important narrative choices. But most digital RPGs don’t let you make narrative choices at all. For that reason I would say that the label of RPG has come to be associated with a mechanic which is common to most RPGs, but isn’t the attribute that makes them RPGs. The mechanic in question is that of leveling up, and I hate it*.