I’m a Genji-main, but not a stereotypical one. (I never ask for healing.) Before playing a game, I typically do some research on each of the characters to get a sense of who I’m playing as and what their personalities are, especially if I plan on investing my time in that game. I grew attached to Genji, as I could see myself as that character, not just in gameplay, but almost as a person. I’ve personally gone through some similar things in life and some of these things were pretty harsh.
I can relate to Genji, having lived a careless, fun life in youth that changed dramatically through some life-changing events where we later had to learn to accept what we’d become and find inner peace through exploring various worlds and meeting all kinds of people along the way. While Genji may have physically become a traveler, my journey mostly involved playing different games and becoming a part of different communities; getting a sense of what my true self is like rather than believing what others labeled me as. I’ve been overseas and have been exposed to many cultures as well. I feel like my experience in these various environments, whether virtual or real-world, have allowed me to develop acceptance, understanding, and maturity towards people vastly different from me. Though my own personal experiences have their obvious differences compared to a fictional cyborg ninja, it took real people to come up with Genji’s backstory. Someone must have had an understanding of how this character would respond to certain things if they were a real person, right?
Having said this, I’m able to relate to Zenyatta in a way as well, as I know what it’s like to help others find their own ways out of personal problems through reasoning, and I have many friends who’ve shared their progress and experiences with me over the years. Even though most of these friends were met through online video games, it seems a lot of us gamers tend to be ourselves most while in a game, free from social norms and status-guarding. As a person, I consider myself a careful-natured person who chooses to have a positive outlook on life with an open mind & senses alert; fully aware of how cold and dark things could otherwise be.
I admit I’ve been inspired by real ninjas long before Overwatch ever came out. It made me really happy to finally encounter a ninja character that doesn’t act like some TV-ninja without a mature, logical personality that can actually be taken seriously. It’s not the status nor flashy skills that interest me in a ninja. It’s their wisdom, problem-solving skills, and adaptability that gets my attention, as these are the very traits I’ve been focused on improving for a long time now. Aside from the lore behind the character, I find it naturally easier for me to play as Genji than other characters. It might have something to do with me crossing over to Overwatch from Splatoon 1 while that was still online for the Wii U. I’d gotten so used to climbing walls, moving around in stealthy ways, and going after snipers, that playing a 1st-person shooter game any other way felt weird.
It’s one thing to talk about your in-game skills, but any player would tell you they’re good. Have a look for yourself. Of course I’m not this good all the time, but it’s proof that I’m a capable player.
(Yes, I play as many other characters; not just Genji. I also prefer teamwork over solo-plays. It’s more satisfying to know your team deserves the win, and when you lose, there is no shame because you know the enemy team was made of worthy opponents.)