I agree with this post so much. Love that you got as deep as you did into RPGs. lol The Mass Effect series got rooted into deep personal levels for me as well, especially with the second game. Even though I'd admit that I've got the hots for Ashley (lol), I could totally understand where her naysayers were coming from. No matter how she tried to twist it, it was still xenophobia at the end of the day. While I didn't exactly feel like it falls to me to show her the error of her ways, I could understand her side of the story, being on guard around other aliens. Personally, the Council pissed me off so much that at times, I would agree with Ashley's point of view, like we humans are the minority species. It's easy to relate to subjects of prejudice like that, even if their advocates aren't necessarily in the right. And I love Ashley's poems. She's so romantic whenever she reads Tennyson. lol I think the fact that I can get emotionally invested into RPGs like this is why I share your sentiment of "connecting with characters". It's why I prefer games where I can make the choices so that I can decide my part in the game, not just play a designated role by the game devs. It grants a deeper sense of interactivity that way.