Looting Our More Complete Selves: How Items Shape Characters

This panel features a creatively diverse group of storytellers exploring the idea of characterization through items. Video games present players with implicit narratives generated through play experience. Often, players regale each other with tales of how they bested a challenge using an item of choice. This panel explores why different pieces of loot are important to players and how characters develop by earning gear in games without traditional RPG elements. Special focus will be paid to item-based character development, and how narrative effects are amplified in games where players have few or no choices surrounding the character. For example, Link grows when he finds the boomerang (The Legend of Zelda, 1986); Samus becomes more complete as each piece of armor is returned (Metroid Prime, 2002); and in CS:GO (2012) weapons define characters who evolve via proficiency. Character growth often occurs by seeing the character reflected in specific items not stat lines or cut scenes.


McSwonder [CEO, F.A.T.A.L. Games], @AmandaFoody [Author], Amanda Barbadora [Lead Developer, Evil Quacks], Jake McKenna [Mercenary Developer], Sadie Entwisle [Lead Artist, F.A.T.A.L. Games]