Thanks for the thought-provoking comments. Yes, video game characters are fair game; I just won't know who you are talking about, since I don't play them.
About Beatrice: do you relate to her because you think you are like her, or she embodies how you would like to be, or your "ideal person"?
I have had this thread idea for some time now. I have always read voraciously, and from time to time have a very strong identification with a character. For me, it is almost a physical sensation, like my whole being is flooded by some imaginary current as the character-as-thought-form goes to ground through me. The effect is less strong with movies, I think because the sound and images leave less to my imagination than the bare words on a page. I am trying to understand this better.
I used to find it curious that the characters I related to in this way seemed so dissimilar, and often quite unlike me. I was looking at external variables then, though: occupation, age, family background, skill set, etc. When I started to study personality theories, however, I realized that what we shared was a common way of seeing the world, of communicating, of solving problems and dealing with adversity. With some of my favorite antiheroes or villains, it is like seeing what I might have been had circumstances been different: "there but for the grace of God . . . "