When the cameras stop rolling on your favorite television characters, you might think that they suddenly stop acting and become normal human beings. You’re wrong. I have it on good authority that the characters you love watching on TV every week are actual people, and just like actual people, they are addicted to online gaming. It’s just a part of being human now. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit silly, but it has left us with the question, what games would TV characters play? This week we’re counting down seven television characters and the online games they’d undoubtedly play.
Kimmy Schmidt from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Final Fantasy XIV
If you aren’t familiar with Kimmy Schmidt from Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, then you’re kind of missing out. It’s not the greatest television series ever made, but Tina Fey is back with her off-kilter brand of humor that perfectly blends unbearable positivity with harsh reality. Kimmy is a 29 year old woman who, at the start of the show, is finding herself in a pretty unconventional situation: she’s the victim of a doomsday cult. Being manipulated to live in a bunker for the last 15 years, she finally frees herself to discover life is nothing like she imagined.
Kimmy is an unrepentant optimist though, and having 15 years of her life stolen from her hasn’t tempered her enthusiasm to live what she has left and make the most of it. She’s naive, she’s loyal, and she’s absolutely enchanted by life. She’d love Final Fantasy XIV.
Keep in mind this is a game where you can make the most adorable little characters—Lalafell, and that Lalafell then can set out on a mystical, and often hilarious, journey to save the Eorzea, all while riding a unicorn. Final Fantasy XIV is the perfect game for any optimist; it’s friendly, warm, the community is incredible, and at its heart is a game all about working together to achieve the impossible.
Agent Scully from The X-Files – The Secret World
Scully strikes me as the type of person who just can’t turn off. At the end of a long hard day solving supernatural cases, she just needs more. Which is why she was lured into the realm of mystery that is The Secret World.
The Secret World won’t be remembered for it’s lackluster combat or poorly designed endgame, but what it will certainly be remembered for is the stories it told and the world it created. In fact, as far as MMOs go, The Secret World was one of the most original and interesting to be released in the last decade. It took the genre in a wholly different direction, and it largely succeeded.
For starters, it has actual puzzles that require actual thought in order to solve. You need to pay extreme attention to your surroundings, hunting for clues and constantly analyzing them from new angles. It’s an incredibly rewarding game, and Agent Scully, being the keen observer and practical skeptic that she is, makes her the perfect player. I mean, who needs to go out and solve real life mysteries when you can just sit in your pajamas and solve virtual ones?
Frank Underwood from House of Cards (US) – EVE Online
So when the President of the United States of America finishes a long day of manipulating, exploiting, and downright coercing people, what really helps him cool off? I mean, this is a man who absolutely feeds off of the adrenaline from playing the most dangerous of games. He hungers for power, attention, and most of all, to leave a legacy well beyond his years. EVE Online offers him all of that—with the added benefit of it being set in space.
EVE Online is such a robust, open-ended game that you can play it just about anyway you want. Want to meet some people, become close friends, earn their trust, and then one day take everything they spent years building and disappear into the void of space? You can. Want to throw your lot in fighting for sovereignty in null-security space, climbing your way up the military ladder so that one day you can command forces of thousands? You can. Want to give into your animal instincts and crush a smaller player for no reason other than to exert your dominance? You can. You monster.
Frank has already established himself as a gamer; it was a major plot development in season two. Though it remains to be seen if he could see past the veil of numbers and data that turn away so many players to see the real potential of EVE. Regardless, I’m sure just explaining the idea to him would have him foaming at the mouth to become Space-President.
Matt Murdock from DareDevil – World of Warcraft
How does a blind man play an MMORPG? You might think I’m trying to be cheeky here but I’m not. The answer is that he makes a friend like Owen. You see, three years ago Joystiq (now Engadget) wrote an article profiling Owen and his blind friend Ben who played World of Warcraft together. Using the /follow command, as well as a complicated suite of macros and voice communication, the duo and their guild managed to conquer some of Warcraft’s greatest challenges. In fact, Ben is still playing to this day. It’s a really touching story, and one of my favorites regarding the amazing online community in games.
Matt Murdock might be a lawyer by day and a crimefighter by night, but he certainly would be a raider on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every second Saturday. It’s not that he couldn’t play other MMORPGs if he wanted to, but World of Warcraft actually has a considerable blind community, and they’ve done a fantastic job of paving the way for newer members. Furthermore, World of Warcraft is so open to modding that it makes the game a breeze compared to titles with more restrictive 3rd party support.
Don Draper from Mad Men – Game of War: Fire Age
Let’s face it: Don Draper would hate online games. This is a man whose life is dominated by vices—he drinks, smokes, lusts, and manages to do it in a way that is at once both cool and pitiful all at the same time. You want to be him, and yet, you don’t.
This marketing mogul has no time for your petty distractions; wasting away in front of a screen clicking on goblins for coins. What he does have, however? Money. Lots of it. Also, taste. Don Draper, like any true American, was watching the Super Bowl this year, so he was watching when Game of War debuted their Kate Upton ad. As an ad-man himself, he could appreciate just how compelling it was, and he was intrigued. Game of War is perfect for him. It’s a game that rewards his constantly craving dopamine centers with a little dose of feel-good adrenaline. And of course, being a man far too busy for the plebeian routine of gaming, he can just throw money at the game every day and still feel like he accomplished something.
Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead – MapleStory
What? You look surprised. This is a guy who has spent the last few years of his life surviving. Zombies are horrific; they take everything good in your life and eviscerate it until all you have left is that shred of humanity you cling to in order to feel sane. For Daryl, that shred of humanity is MapleStory. It takes a lot out of a man to do the things he does. I mean, reloading a crossbow alone is incredibly tiring just by itself. So I can confidently say that when Daryl discovers the last working WIFI hotspot on earth, he’d certainly want to relax with the cute side-scroller MapleStory.
Can you really blame him?
Eddard Stark from Game of Thrones – City of Heroes
Eddard Stark was a hero and perhaps the last good man in Westeros. A noble king who truly understood the weight of the sword he carried. In the first episode, Ned showed his true character by instructing his son that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. He had convictions, and despite his flaws, he strove to do what was right not only for the realm, but for the people who lived within it. City of Heroes is a game that embodied much of those same principles. You create your masked crusader, and in typical comic book fashion, you set off to do some good. But being a hero isn’t easy, it requires sacrifice. City of Heroes understood this, and I believe it is something that would have resonated with the King of Winterfell.
And if anything else, Eddard and City of Heroes share a common fate: both were murdered without warning by horrible people.
Forget for a second that you just read a list that proposed which online video games a superhero would play on his days off. It’s preposterous, we know, but hey, even television characters need to unwind with some faction rep grinding once in awhile. That said, the real fun of this is hearing what combinations you can think of. Do you have some television character you think would be a perfect match for an online game? Disagree with our choices? Upset that we spoiled an episode that aired five years ago? Let us know in the comments!Related: City of Heroes, Column, EVE Online, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Game of War: Fire Age, Listed, MapleStory, MMORPG, The Secret World, World of Warcraft