Characters you invest with life also have Rooting Interest.
It's easy to observe that childrens' stuffed animals have Rooting Interest, for kids love them immensely and easily identify with them. They'll often imbue the animals with characteristics, give them voices, use them to enact stories, and get caught up in the personalities they've created.
So, like the NPCs discussed in this chapter, the animals are used by kids to extend their imagination into new viewpoints, at least for a time. It's empathy even though it's empathy for characters for whom they themselves create.
The Sims is a great example of characters that have Rooting Interest because players invest them with life, as well as their Sims' families and even neighborhoods.
Of course, many additional factors contribute to The Sims being emotionally engaging, but we're just talking about Rooting Interest for now. In that regard, The Sims exemplifies another Rooting Interest Technique as well: being responsible for characters.