Two of the first video game characters ever created were.. Left paddle and Right paddle.
Things have changed drastically since then, characters are not as fictional as they once were, they're real people, being caught on camera, being recorded while they talk so on so forth, the fact that gaming has went from move the ball from a to b.. to take on the role of a Man trying to survive in an unforgiving world with a young girl (Yes, Last of Us) amazes me..
My preferences when it comes to game characters, they need to be relatable, realistic, and they have to have that connection with the player, they have to have those problems that will make us that more concerned for them.
Its not very often that a game has a character that is nothing special, COD You are the One Man Army (that also goes for 95% of the FPS genre) or you happen to be the most important part of the storyline, take games like inFamous, Mass Effect, and Prototype for example, your the driving force, the "One who will SAVE the DAY" or "Destroy Everyone", you are the one who calls the shots.
I've written tons of stories in the past few years, made tons of characters, but the fact of the matter is, it took till about a year and a half ago to realize, I wasn't doing anything "unique, or original" in the end this was the character where the world seemed to revolve around them in some way, and if it didn't, they were the hot topic of the entire plot.
I've been interested in making video games for a long time, but I'm serious about it now, and although Heavy Rain was an amazing example of what I am saying now, what there needs to be.. is at LEAST one game where "You're Nothing Special", "You're Not Trained", "You've Never Really Fired A Gun Before" I would go on to say your character has never experienced violence before, and the game shouldn't be about violence and how it affects you, violence is a very common thing in today's world and throughout history.
All I'm saying is that if you make a character that everyone can relate to, the average jane/joe, with his/her problems, but no but no "Quest" of any sort, just a situation that is put before them that they are not sure they can handle, I believe you could get a lot less bad opinions about the character.
Hopefully, in the least it would be memorable, and its something that I am working on, and if I don't beat other people to it, then I'm hoping someone can make this sort of character and incorporate it into their game(s).
Another thing, characters in video games tend to be the bad@#$ guy/gal that you don't screw with, if you give the player all they need to start to accomplish an objective and let them start off strong, there is really not much of a challenge, but if you give them someone weak, someone who cannot do the things that the average game character can, and they don't have all they need, it will take the gamer out of his/her "comfort zone".. it won't be about what you do, it will be about how you even can.
Its just something I think personally, would be very interesting to see in a game.