I’d say this is a normal reaction to a lot of visual novels. Normal as in, a lot of people deal with it for their first visual novel. I remember one visual novel I played when I was in high school although I believe I was 15, Sakura Wars: So Long my Lost Love. I literally spent 2 days straight playing it, only stopping for a quick 4-hour nap. By the end of that weird marathon (which was emulated at around 2fps for combat sections) I had developed some very confusing feelings for the character I had romanced. Although I still play Visual Novels, I never quite felt like that again for a video game character. It’s definitely a wild headspace.
On topic with self-portrait games; I’d say any management sim, open-world game, or strategy game really brings this out.
Factorio really brings out my inability to put substance over aesthetic. I will work extra hours just to make sure my Factorio map looks nice, rather than works well. I much prefer when something has a nice feel and look to it. Having turrets placed symmetrically, placing mines in a way that they’re all next to each other rather than weirdly staggered, things like that.
Red Dead Redemption is an odd one. As a younger person, I was all about that chaos. I would tie women to railroad tracks, shoot random strangers, etc. Essentially, I was a horrific bandit living out some weird Snidley Whiplash fantasy. When I returned to it after coming into my own and no longer being a shitheel, I played that game so much more passively. I used the lasso a lot, trying to make sure I didn’t kill anyone I didn’t have to. It was certainly a contrasted experience but it also felt nicer, and made me connect more with John Marston, as much as I could connect with that character.
Stardew Valley also did this for me. Rather than the ruthless efficiency, I just made friends. My farm was a pittance, a sad little thing off to the side of a prosperous town. But I was married, and had a wonderful wife so I was happy with it. I was content only ever growing one type of plant and spending most of my days just wandering through town, poor but happy.