“Who do you prefer? David or Walter?”
Is there statistical proof that players react better to characters that are like them? Sure, the role of the "self-insert" character is important in a story, but though many readers look through the Frodo's eyes while reading, he scores pretty low in many voting lists. Meanwhile, Gandalf, Aragorn and Legolas, characters that the readers/viewers look up to, occupy the top spots. So what's with the fixation of making sure everyone gets a character identical to them, down to the hair color?