Already the title 'Video Games are better without Characters' is such a bold statement from Ian Bogost it leaves me startled.
I played awesome, good and horrible characters in video games but it never made me wish to not play as a character. Characters, for me, give me the opportunity to become someone else, to have unreal powers, speak in another language or live in another century. So why should anyone have a problem with playing a character?
Progressing into the first paragraph makes it clear. It's not that characters themselves are a bad thing. It's more that they tie you to a certain thing. Bogost lists a few games and makes a point: we mostly play muscly, male characters with a grudge. It's the diversity he misses. The possibility to choose or change the character to the players liking. He likes the anonymity of Sim City and the aspect that the gameplay's focus is on the whole thing itself, and not depending on one character. If your economy is shit, something else will be working. The game will not be over cause one thing fails.
If you fail in Assassin's Creed, it's over. Start again. It all depends on your success as the character, no one else, no back up system. Sim City enables you to explore systems without being one on one with reality. It allows you to fail in some areas with out starting over again. It can be fixed later on.
Another problem Bogost mentions is the character diversity in regards to players. He wants more minoritys represented, to give players more options and not to underestimate minor groups like female gamers. So if we have to produce games at all we should cherish our players and focus on the representation of the indivual rather than just the system an circumstances of the game itself.