What can the Muppets teach us about making better heroes?

In an interview with NPR last week, Jason Segel outlined the process for turing The Muppets into a reality. Along with director Nicholas Stoller, Segel had earned a reputation on screen as an student in the Judd Apatow school of film-making: a healthy respect for the power of raunchiness. But when the opportunity came to create The Muppets, Segel had to think creatively about how to turn his talents and interests into something that would fit into the world of Jim Henson. One piece caught my eye:

Once Disney gave Stoller and Segel the green light to make The Muppets, the Muppet puppeteers helped fill them in on the cardinal rules of the Muppet world. For instance, Muppets think of themselves as humans in their world. And they are never, ever mean.

“The Muppets don’t get laughs at other people’s expense,” says Segel. “It’s part of what I really loved about the Muppets. They don’t even want to destroy their villains. They want to reform their villains.”

That idea that villains are worth reforming certainly should be of note to anyone trying to design better heroes (and villains) in games. In part, we’re rarely given the choice even to save those we’re asked to destroy. Is there a favorite game of yours that bucks the trend?