OK; I'm obsessed with Toonami and their event Trapped in Hyperspace features the computer virus antagonist Swayzak, who I base almost all my computer virus characters on.
Swayzak behaves like a one-dimensional, stereotypical, over-the-top villain. He laughs, says cliche lines, etc. Yet people don't like him and I don't know why. His personality is just fine. All the action in the TIE was in the online game, which I'm very close to finding (after an associate of mine repaired the corrupted beta a developer gave me, and said developer will look on old CDs for the full game) and Swayzak had a New Zealand accent and infected TOM in. Now TOM's always dying; this game was the first time we ever saw him become evil, and Swayzak having a New Zealand accent was a nice, unique touch to an otherwise "stereotypical" character. (Never mind the fact that now I give all my computer virus characters New Zealand accents because of that.)
The reason Swayzak does what he does is in the first place is "for fun." I like to think of this as an equivalent to viruses being programmed to be bad. Because they were programmed to be evil, they act like the most overwrought villain imaginable.
But Swayzak is self-aware, so he can make decisions for himself. Why is he evil for the sake of being evil, then? Simple: he finds it amusing. I've written a few scenarios where he reforms, but I always follow the status quo and make him evil again in every Toonami fanfic I write. He finds being evil something he enjoys. Or maybe it stems from his programming, what he was intended for when he was first written or something. However, we never see his origin; so finding being evil amusing is what I'm going with.
I know there were a lot of sentient computer virus characters before Swayzak but I consider him the archetype for his kind. Will computer virus characters tend to act like over-the-top villains? Is this the most likely way for them to act? With reasoning or not?