'Why are game characters so dull these days?'

Bald space marine fatigue has set in for Jack Pace...

On last week's mailbox Adam Berthiaume, said something needs to be done about the price of video games or the results could be catastrophic.

This week Jack Pace has e-mailed in to say he's not very charmed by the recent identikit video game characters.

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Why now, in gaming, are characters the most boring, dull people ever? They're all bald, featureless people with terrible backstories. I'm looking at you Red Faction. And don't think I'm not keeping my eye on you Prototype 2. No one in the world is like that. The ones that are actually real-looking people are completely over the top. I said in my last message that game devs need to stop making shooters - now they need to make real people to be in their games. Get it right people.

XBW says: It is a problem Jack, but one that isn't going away soon. Lead characters are designed by committee to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Characters with unusual traits are considered risky because they might give their game a leftfield or 'not for me' public perception, which could be bad for sales. Bald space marines are all about playing it safe.

CVG says: As XBW points out, characters these days are constructed for broad appeal, but that doesn't mean there aren't unique characters to spend some time with. Characters such as GLaDOS, nearly everyone in Mass Effect and John Marston stand out as examples. There's even more in the indie space, such as CommanderVideo, Meat Boy and Tim from Braid. Cast your net a little wider and you'll be rewarded for it.