MC discussion- Who's your MC?

Say, when you start a new book, do you guys create the character you use in the game on the spot, or do you play with a character you created beforehand? Do you play as a self insert, with characters from other media, or do you use those good ol’ OCs of yours you like putting through stuff so much?

When I first discovered the games I used to make the MC up on the spot in order to get through the game, but I now personally play with a character I invented way before discovering interactive books, so that most of the time I know exactly what choice he would pick.

What do YOU do? Has your way of choosing/creating your MC changed ever since you first read an interactive book? Let’s talk about it!


My first playthroughs will always be self inserts! I mostly play IF for the escapism, so it just feels right.

My subsequent playthroughs are usually more geared towards exploring different paths, or getting certain achievements, so the MC’ll be tailored to that. But self inserts are always the most fun for me to play!

I usually don’t have the heart to pick ruthless or dickish options. :’) I just feel too bad for the NPCs!


I see! I tried playing as a self insert once at the very beginning, but being a person that usually tries to stay out of trouble i figured it would have been more fun for me to drag someone else to play as a MC with in the books ahah! I had fun but I felt like most of the choices I would have liked to pick in the book wouldn’t have been the ones I as a person would have picked, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless!


I usually make a self-insert for my first playthrough of a game, then use other characters for subsequent attempts to explore different paths, but there are times when the story inspires me strongly enough to make something other than a self-insert the first time round.

All things considered, I tend to prefer my non-self-insert characters. The self-inserts are more a way to get a feel for the story on the first pass.


I also make a self-insert for my first playthrough, and I tend to enjoy that MC the most because they feel most “authentic” to me. I never use my real name, though. I then play around with different personalities to explore other paths, and then I have one special MC variation who’s a complete jerk. :'D It pains me to act mean in games but I don’t want to miss out on story possibilities, so I cope by giving the mean MC a different name and appearance :sweat_smile:


i’ve been drawing and playing video games for a very long time so i have a lot of OCs - funny thing though, i never use any of the OCs from before i got into IF as MCs :sweat_smile:
i used to make a new unique MC for every game i played but at this point i’ve played so many that it usually takes an exceptionally interesting and unique premise for me to create a wholly new MC at this point

i have a couple of stable MCs that i cycle through, most of them being recycled from some of my earlier IF runs, and a lot of them being the same character archetype with different names and appearances depending on the setting of the story
the only one who’s confined to the book i originally made them for is one of my Fallen Hero MCs (Rudy, who coincidentally was the first MC i ever made for one of these games. he’s both very personal for me but also very difficult to remove from that world and lore, so i simply don’t :joy:)

i never play self-inserts, mostly because that ends up taking me out of the story :sweat_smile:


From my experinces with CYOA the MC will never be a self insert because the costume option are always limiteted and sometimes (depending on the story and the autor) the MC will act and think without our imput or approve.
So in the end my approch is somthing like: “why should I care? As long I enjoy the reading and choices”


I used to do that too! When I played Evertree Inn for the first time I used a character I basically created for that book, and I did that for a while, but then I played the books again with this old character of mine and I absolutely loved it. He’s very personal to me so while it’s not at all a self insert playthrough of the game he still provides for a deep immersion, and since I know how he works so well, it just feels right to play with him as a MC. there are still books for which I’ll create a new character because of the context, but it’s very rare for me


When I start a new story, my MC usually starts as a self-insert (like @extrarice, I don’t use my own name; instead I choose a name I feel befits the setting/universe) — but as I learn more about the character’s background, my MC takes on a life of her own!

If I don’t restart the book partway lol, my initial MC results as a sort of fusion between a vicarious self-insert + a character tailor-made for the story.

That MC only ever lives within her one universe! I make up someone different for every story/series.


Most of the time, i do a hybrid of a self-insert and a tailor-made character in the initial playthroughs of the game.

If i like the game enough, i would have that MC turn into a full-fledge character. If not, i may have to strip the character to the bare essentials (like name and character design) and put them in a “character vault” until i find a better game for them.


I basically self insert, but how I would act in each situation is still somewhat different. Like, I would generally act differently in a story if I had kids than in a story where I played a detective…because i would make decisions differently in real life based on those scenarios. (When I test I do try other personalities, though.) Oh and I use a nickname as my 1st name and the last name of my celeb crush…all of my MC’s have the same name, and since i am so used to having that particular name (that one represents me in these Worlds) in every game that i play (same as my D&D/ Dragon Age, etc characters) it really disturbs me when I am not allowed to choose my own name. I can get over it, but it has to be a REALLY GREAT story to do so, or i will just end up giving up on the game because I am annoyed and/or keep forgetting who i am in the story.


I don’t usually self insert. Instead I have a base character that I use regardless of the type of game, then I’d branch out from there. Usually this winds up as my mc’s having the same physical build but the personalities chance pending on each playthrough.

I always usually play as a guy. It’s extremely rare for me to play a girl.

My MC’s are kinda like a costume I can step into and out of.


I tend to self-insert in the first playthrough. Then, if the game has enough replay value, I have a couple of MCs to pick from. I’ve been using these two MCs since I started playing IF games. I like to think about them as jumping in the multi-verse of games, which is kinda fun in theory.


I don’t know if I’d describe my MC archetype as a self-insert, because it isn’t that much like me in reality. I always make my first MC to be a charming, pleasant cinnamon roll. (I try to be a nice person IRL, but my skills are in science stuff, not talking with people.)

I know it’s unrealistic, but I love playing this way because it’s pleasant to think about being successful by being nice all the time. Real life often doesn’t work that way.

I tend to get a “canon” playthrough in mind, and often don’t explore games much beyond that. Sometimes I will have a similar MC that has a different skillset or partner, but I don’t usually play significantly different routes. I’ve tried RPing a mean character and it makes me feel bad, man.

I often end up less interested or uninterested in books where my preferred style of playthrough doesn’t work or make sense. Which is fine! Not everything is for everyone.


I’m the same way in that (although our base characters are different)! But if the choices available allow it, I sometimes use one of my characters in my other stories as a base instead; or, if the game hooks me enough and the options are unique enough, I create a new character on the spot for that game.

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OCs, different ones for each game, or on rare occasions my MCs are based on characters from books or movies (for example my SoH MC is loosely based on Mirumoto Hitomi from the Legend of the Five Rings book series.)
I find it way more fun to imagine being someone else than doing self inserts.

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Same! The way I play with my MC is very similar to this one and although I love it it does have its downs. My base character is a real introvert, so I usually have trouble playing, for example, superhero related games that require your character to put themselves a bit out there.

Of course I can try using another MC if that’s the case, but I usually have more fun if I don’t have to do that. Instead, I love books in which the character is a detective or undercover, cause they fit more.

I feel like this way of playing can be a bit limiting if the character doesn’t fit the story, but when they do, at least for me, it works it works really well!

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My MC always changes according to the story and the characters lol. Because one thing is definite from the start. Survival. I determine the story whether it’s cutthroat or easy going. Some games require the player to choose certain characteristics that would benefit them. In these cases, I would have to give up some of my preferences. But personally, I love games that give the player a lot of freedom.

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I usually create a character archetype based on the tone of the story and play with them the first time around, trying to keep a consistent personality throughout. When I read through the story again, I like to try and create other types of characters, but I do it while planning to use them to explore other branches that I didn’t see the first time. But, if the game is a little more “game-y”, I also like to test different builds and see how they play through the story, so personality and background usually take a backseat in those cases.


I don’t know if this is considered as self-insert but in my first playthrough I always play as MC that has the same values as I do. personality-wise they might be different from me but we value the same because it can be a bit uncomfortable (at least in first playthrough when I don’t know where the story will take me). For example I’m agnostic so playing as pious is a bit hard for me, I probably could do that after several playthroughs just to see the path, but definitely not on main one.