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Getting "in Character" To Play Games Or Maps??
Games, and indeed some maps, often have a specific vibe, atmosphere and ethos behind them. Do you as gamers get into the spirit of that ethos when you are playing, and play as close to the role as possible, or do you perhaps stick to one general playing style, or perhaps just play however you feel like at the time, regardless of the game setup??

For example, in subtle and interactive games, do you explore everywhere, pay attention to everything, leave NPCs unharmed, and follow where the story leads?? In violent action games do you charge straight in and fight for your life beserker style??

Whichever way, do you do this with custom maps too?? If a map is tending towards a certain atmosphere, do you fit in with that or do you try to show your disregard for it via your own playing style??

(I got thinking about this playing AVP2, when I started on the Predator then Aliens missions, and found myself naturally fitting into the playing styles that were not necessarily the most effective but were the most atmospheric. For the Pred I tried to rely on stealth and cunning as much as possible even when the infinite energy allows a beserker approach, while with the Alien, I was as violent as possible, using the mighty pounce attack often and shredding corpses and any machinery I could)

Got "In-game Character" Feeling Sometime 
I remember when I played NOLF2 with a friend,we all thought that we were spys and we did our best to be spys,well that may sounds rediculious but we DID feel that we were secret agents.
As in AvP2,when playing marines,I was so scared that I was just those guys on TV:I grasped my gun,looked around,and move as silence as possible.
The same in Halflife :D 
If The Map Sets Out To Set A Certain Mood... 
...i tend to get into it. if it doesnt, well then i tend to play the way i normally do in Quake, cautiously berserker in a way.

as far as in NPCs and such go, if theyre placed there, its rare i kill them... ive been playing some NWN lately and i do tend to stay in the role of my char (started out as a lawful neutral monk and have gradually moved towards lawful good due to me taking sympathy on some characters)

being in character certainly does make games much much more fun 
I Thought..... 
by 'getting in character' you meant dressing up and assuming the role behind the screen in the chair...

not that I'd have any wonderful stories to support that context of question...

-hides nightvision goggles and upper body football equipment- 
I always play cautious, I try to think of it as real as possible. And the most important thing is to not die. If/When I die, something is lost. As for exploration, if there is room for it in the game, I'll explore it. I try not to harm the good guys. (Although, in halflife, I poped a few, just to watch the way they fell to the ground) 
Depends On The Game 
some do a better job of getting you in character than others. For example, AvP2 in pred mode is really easy for the first few levels. But once you get to levels with multiple machines+humans, you have to rely on stealth a lot more than normal. Similarly with the alien, you can act like a maniac for a while but when you get to stages where there are more synthetics than humans, you have to lurk around and use surprise a lot more.

Other games like NOLF/NOLF2 award bonuses for exploration etc to get into the spy ethos I guess.

Personally, though, if I dont find otherwise (ie dying multiple times) I play all games/maps the same way (run and gun). 
I Play... 
counterstrike like a Llama, just to get into character. I think the atmosphere supports if not breeds it.

maybe im lying, and I dont play counterstrike 
Lol @ Blackpope 
Surely you mean you play like a 13 YR OLD 1337 H4X0r d00d!!!111 AWP IS TEH R4WK!!!111

The Whoduhnut 
The first thing that came up to me by "getting in character" is that I once tumbled out of my chair by trying to avoid one of Quake's Orgs.
So it is "getting back in my Chair" for me...

In CodeRed, a release of a Q2mod, I got realy surprised when I didn't shoot the butler, when he came in my FPS vieuw. 
More Rambling From Myself 
i tend to play nearly all games the same way.

What you are really touching on is whether the player controls the gameplay or the game does, this argument can be applied to all games not just FPS.

In general i think the player controls the gameplay, how you play is largely an extension of your personality/character in "real life" [whatever "real life" is!?!].

For example i remember playing a racing game once against someone, they were aggressive, took risks, somtimes it paid off, sometimes it didnt. I was more conservative, took the safest racing line, tired to work out logically best place to brake etc.

Both of our gameplay styles were similar to out "personalities". =) 
...and the other people who play just in their own styles.

Do you feel that you are perhaps missing out on a holistic gameplaying atmosphere by not getting into the spirit of the game and the character you are playing?? 
Really Good Games Get You In Character... 
...whether you decide to or not. Like when you've been playing System Shock 2 for days, and you walk into a deserted lobby and the security camera, green light blazing, swings in your direction; and your first thought is to duck behind a column and grab for the laser pistol that isn't there... 
I Am Always In Character... 
I play "Rambo" in every game ;) 
I Am Always In Character... 
I play "Kell" in every game ;) 
Lol Kell (why Should Rambo Be Better Than You!) 
i like to explore a lot the first time in everything. even if i know it's the long (or boring route) i like to look behind everything, prod every door, go down each passage. used to do it a lot in the final levels of duke. it's otherwise called as "disguising the fact that you are dumb and got lost". and yes, killing the goodies in hl is fun...once you got the vital info off them.
i think some people (like me) always try to break the rules just to get more out of everything. a game is like 2 games or more if you play it a certain way. quake with an axe is an altogether different experience to quake with the lightning bolt. 
Murph: theres this woman who plays thief in a unique style
Murph: not allowed to inflict any damage at all
Murph: or take any
Murph: not allowed to be seen
Murph: and must get all loot
Murph: on the hardest difficulty setting
Murph: you're talking 5 hours a level if you do it that way
Phait: in order for that method of play to be successful the game must tailor to it
Murph: it's impossible to do some levels
Murph: like on haunted cathedral where the ghost of brother whatshisface asks you to slay all the haunts on the level
Murph: and haunts are seriously arse bendingly difficult fiends to dispatch 
Daftpunk (and Others) 
Do you really think that "breaking the rules" is a way to get more out of a game??

I agree that exploring what is possible is very worthwhile (I am definitely an "explorer" in well as an "incompetent buffoon"), but to try to mess with the scenarios a game presents, it strikes me you could be missing out on the game at it's most atmospheric and engrossing - the devs have set up the game with a certain ethos and maybe adhering to that gives the best experience?? 
IMHO if the devs have set up the game with a certain ethos, then they should also help the player get into that ethos and mood, and hence encourage tem to adapt to the style of play that the are trying to promote. 
Im A Jerk 
you are a bunch of geeks.

and i mean that in a harmfull way.

I Am So Agreeing Right Here Now I Lost My Pants! 
I Try To... 
...get into the spirit of the game as intended. I tend to treat NPCs well and I definately try and explore everywhere. A game that sucks me into it's atmosphere, giving me a sense of being somewhere else, is the game for me. In Half-Life, I'll make NPCs hang back so they don't get killed. In Medal of Honour, I aggressively run into combat if I'm with a group - kind of a way of showing support - otherwise I hang back and play very conservatively. Where a game makes me stray too far from what I'm like in real life, I tend not to like it. In Blood 2, I didn't want to slaughter innocents. GTA3 (I think it's 3) would turn me off if you,re pulling innocent motorists out and killing them. However, killing a wave of evil (demonic, machine or axis) is a different story (although you could perhaps look upon the Quake guy's campaign as a conquer and occupy mission as opposed to just defending humans.) In Quake I tend to play according to best advantage, whether that is a full frontal assualt or a defensive hang back and snipe - I'm not constrained.

I'm actually playing the Marine mission in AvP2 right now and I find it to be better then I expected. I will change my playing style when it's time to be a Preditor and an Alien. I assume that aside from getting into the spirit, I'll likely be more successful in the missions if I use the creature specific advantages.

BTW, DeusEx is still the best game that I have played in terms of the player choosing how to play as the protagonist. Another game where you have to think and make up your own mind is System Shock 2 (really great game but hard too.) The Thief series also gets points for player flexibility and "In Character" feel, but I get too frustrated with it. Games that reduce the level of immersion by over scripting and being too linear include Spearhead, several parts in MOHAA and They Hunger. At times like this you are removed from the virtual world and made to play like an 80's arcade shooter just to move ahead in the game. I hate when that happens so I go back to being my real grumpy self and play accordingly.

My measure of how much I get into a game can be judged by how much I dream about it at night on the days that I play through it (I complete a game about every two months.) I dreamt a lot about Deus Ex and System Shock 2. 
I dreamed about Asaki's grass game, what does it mean?! :D

I usually stick to the "Quake it!" method when playing any game, and then if it becomes obvious that Quakin' it will get me killed every time then I will adapt to the games settings.

Saying that, there are games where I have been sucked into the character and actually *not* wanted to "Quake it" through the game because it is more fun to do it another way, Deus Ex is a prime example of this, sneaking around, slapping people then hiding the bodies etc. 
Money In Games 
When there is money to be made by collecting and selling items or by finding cash or gold itself (or credit points as in Deus Ex) I habitually become a hoarder. If you can find and stash items, I tend to behave as my natural packrat self. System Shock 2 and Diablo 1 and 2 really brought out my packrat nature. 
Heh, Yeah 
In Diablo2, I ended up filling that damn cube up to the brink all the time so I could sell all the crappy stuff found in dungeons... and accidentally merging good items with shit items to create even shitter items :( 
Hitman 2 
I dont see this game talked about very much, but I got Hitman 2 about a year ago and I was totally sucked into it. For anyone who hasn't played the game, the player takes on the role of #47 (yes its cheesy but it works), a hitman of the highest caliber. Your goal as a hitman is to kill people, and you travel all over the world to do it. Gameplay focuses on timing, evasion of (intelligent and group-coordinated!) enemies, and stealth. The levels that really got me totally absorbed into this game were the St. Petersburg missions and the Malaysia office complex mission. The game really excels at being logical - you have a problem, and some of the ways you could solve that problem in real life will probably also work in the game (with limitations of course). Even though this review is for the PS2 version, its still accurate for the PC:,100,120,1,1,709.html

Give it a try if you haven't already!
And, don't bother with the demo -- you can't save intra-mission, and you'll probably knaw your arm off because of it. 
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