Tagged with #mass effect #bioware #long post #not once does a male shepard encounter someone dismissing them for their gender #despite a whole galaxy of aliens #and a single gender -female bodied powerful race #not once
Asked by Anonymous
You got it, nonny!
Here’s the thing: in pretty much every feminist discussion of the Mass Effect series, you’ll see a reference to the fact that the dialogue for the male and female versions of Commander Shepard is pretty much identical across the board. In reality, there are some small differences, and I think it’s pretty telling to see what Bioware’s writers chose as ways of distinguishing between male and female Shepards. Let’s draw on a few specific examples:
In the first game, Shepard needs information from a washed-up, embittered, extremely drunk C-Sec officer named Harkin. When the male version of Shepard approaches him, Harkin’s dialogue is “Alliance military. Hmph. I coulda been a marine, you know.” For a female Shepard, it’s, “Hey there, sweetheart, looking for some fun?”
In the second game, Shepard gets recruited by a mercenary gang to help kill Archangel (which is, of course, all part of Shepard’s plan to rescue him from said mercenaries). When the male version of Shepard approaches the Blue Suns recruiter, the recruiter greets him with, “You three look like you could do some damage.” For a female Shepard, it’s, “Well, aren’t you sweet? You’re in the wrong place, honey. Strippers’ quarters are that way.”
In both cases, the dialogue is unavoidable, and the possible responses range from brushing it off to outright threatening the jerkwad in question. In both cases, the dialogue reverts back to the male Shepard version almost immediately, with no permanent repercussions. Keep in mind that these are virtually the only differences between male Shepard and female Shepard’s dialogue in the entire 50+ hours of gameplay between the two games.
The end result is a pretty uncomfortable message: even 170 years in the future, even decked out in heavy armor with a grenade launcher strapped to your back, your femininity is a joke, and people are still gonna target you for it. Hell, aliens are gonna have the same attitude. And hey. That stings. Because video games like this one, where you’re playing a quasi-superhero who runs around saving the galaxy, are basically power fantasies: you can subsume your own day-to-day worries in the death-defying, wise-cracking adventures of Commander Shepard. Except, if you’re playing as a woman, even your power fantasies come with a little asterisk, a footnote reminding you, again and again, that you don’t quite measure up, that as powerful as you are, weak and miserable people will still see themselves as stronger.
I remember reading an article about how Bioware made the female version of Commander Shepard such a fascinating and well-fleshed-out character more-or-less by accident, and I think these examples bear that out. The writing that’s specifically for a female Shepard has these weirdly nasty implications.
For instance, in the romance subplots, a female Shepard can get together with Kaidan in the first game, and then pick someone else in the second game, leading to a confrontation in the third. Likewise, a male Shepard can get together with Ash in the first, someone else in the second, and then the same sort of confrontation ensues in the third. When Kaidan confronts a female Shepard, it’s for “cheating”, and none of the available dialogue options allow her to do anything but lie or apologize. When Ashley similarly confronts a male Shepard, he’s able to point out that she stepped away from the relationship every bit as much as he did. Only a male Shepard gets to come out of that conversation with any sort of moral high ground, despite the fact that both relationships broke off in exactly the same way.
So, y’know, I think it’s a bit disturbing to look at these examples and see what the writers decided would be worth changing when it came time to write dialogue for a female Shepard. It’s pretty telling, for an essentially blank-slate character, to see what’s being coded as inherently “feminine”.
I don’t think the answer is to eliminate all gender-specific dialogue, either. Cookie-cutter “Mrs. Man” characters still run into the roadblock of dude-as-default, after all. There’s a scene unique to female Shepards in Mass Effect 3 that sort of wobbles into slightly stronger territory, where Shep has a brief heart-to-heart with Eve, the female krogan. The writing itself is pretty cringe-worthy and feels a bit like the sort of conversation guys imagine women having when they’re alone, but the point stands that Eve recognizes Shepard as a sympathetic role-model, a kindred spirit, when faced with her own patriarchal culture. That’s a relatively positive way to acknowledge the character’s gender: recognizing that she’s well-placed to offer encouragement to someone that a male Shepard wouldn’t have been able to help in the same way. It adds to the power-fantasy, doesn’t detract from it, doesn’t undermine it.
In the end, what I’d love to see is more player characters who aren’t “fem-” versions of anything, who are female player characters by default, who have narratives written for them rather than for the dude on the cover. I’m getting tired of constantly having to slip on someone else’s ill-fitting armor if I want to play.
Tagged with #confessions #Dragon age #Dragon age confessions #dragonageconfessions #rant #policing peoples enjoyment #bioware
CONFESSION: People are way too obsessed with the romance subplots in these games (and all bioware games really) They comprise about 10 minutes total of a game dozens of hours long.
there’s a reason for this:
These games are the only games where you can actually HAVE these kinds of romances. You’re not stuck with one LI that going to be the PCs romance no matter what, you have a choice.
Also unlike other games where you can pick who your character eventually marries there is far more emphasis put on the interaction between your PC and the NPC you are romancing
You can talk to each other about things
you can disagree and argue
But the talking is the main thing, feeling the back and forth and feeling that it actually has some sort of chemistry.
And then this romance subplot is going to colour the rest of the game from the player point of view.
Bioware games are really the only ones doing this in conjunction with RPG/action/shooter/MMO game components. Of coarse people are going to hang onto and talk about this very personal part of the games that other games don’t give you.
And really how much can you say about running around killing things and collecting items before it is all said? These things are fun to do in the game but don’t exactly make for great conversations. Unlike characters and your own PCs relationship with them, which is going to be unique to each player, while sharing common content.
Tagged with #yeah it was an MMO #But if they really wanted to let you make your character your own #they could do it #BioWare #swtor #dragon age 3 discussion #those are a male type1 male type 3 and female type 1
I should be in bed but
I kept seeing this thing making the rounds on my dash
About how different body types in a Bioware game isn’t feasible because of armor or cutscenes
You all know Bioware made SWTOR right?
and SWTOR has four different body types for each gender?
I mean they weren’t perfect in the sense that female type four still has a thin waist while male type four is almost cube shaped and other such nitpicks…
But they still managed different armor
with different body shapes
It can be done
They’ve already done it….
Tagged with #yes #bioware #HA
look I know how we can solve this
Casey Hudson versus David Gaider in a pit match
two passive aggressive devs go in
one comes out
fight fight fight
Tagged with #sketchvember #silly #bioware #never mind that the image of breasts being on the more round barrel like chest turians are ment to has being sending me nutty #that's not how breasts even work #does that mean she has a flat ribcage so the boobs look more human I just #goddamnit bioware #why must you make me think these things?
tonight’s sketchvember has added snark due to it being late, me being tired and this image being in my head all day.
I’m not sorry.
Tagged with #mass effect #bioware
Oh I dunno Casey how about getting rid of the completely transparent objectification.
Can I call for a tumblr-bombing? Do I have that power?
Also, getting rid of Casey Hudson (◡‿◡✿)
also getting rid of Casey Hudson
a whole main questline of black people getting rid of Casey Hudson.
that’s some artistic integrity I can get behind
a game where Steve Cortez finally gets to turn on some lights.
Steve Cortez gets rid of Casey Hudson by turning the lights on and sending him screaming back to his lair.
2 hours of Thane and Jacob standing in a corner of Casey Hudon’s room and staring accusingly.
sending Casey Hudson into a gunfight in stiletto heels wearing nothing but spandex and heavy make up
While Thane, Jacob, black people, the female cast and female aliens all watch on accusingly
Tagged with #wait #why does it look like she has boobs #no #no no no no #GDI BIOWARE #*headesks to death* #laisfnaposfnSPFVMO0SN #bioware #mass effect #ME3 #spoilers #gif #gifs
Shepard, this is Nyreen Kandros.
Tagged with #mass effect #bioware #this this this #I will never not be angry about this #because F U designers #You are wrong #I will yell about it on the internet
Tagged with #dragon age #bioware #my ongoing rivalmance with Bioware continues #I'm a human everyday #what is with these fantasy worlds dangling interesting races in front of me and forcing me to be human?
I was okay with the Warden not being in DA2, but bummed about race choice being removed. I hope the choice returns in DA3 (though, sadly, I doubt it will).
I dunno, I was okay with being human in DA2. The different race thing was fun in origins, but eh, in reality it was kinda half-assed. Apart from the different openings before Ostagar, most of the game plays out exactly the same no matter what race you are—which in some respects, it should, because your character is now a Warden first, but apart from a handful of comments here and there, it really seemed more aesthetic to me, in terms of impact on gameplay. If it does return, I’d really like to see some deeper consequences (obstacles to overcome, different paths opened or closed for specific conflicts, etc) to the selection of race. (And to some extent, mage/nonmage too.)
Regarding the part I bolded I felt that the origins of DA:O provided hugely different context in which to build vastly different Wardens. The way an Aeducan sees Logain selling elves into slavery is going to be VASTLY different then how a Tabris will see it. A Mahariel has a far different context of mages then a Cousland will and this allows you to play out different characters each with very different personal stories and ways of seeing the world and the story.
This is one of the main reasons I have 7 wardens and only 4 Hawkes, and the fourth is only because of a mod that let me play an elf funnily enough. Because not matter what you do, Hawke will ALWAYS have the same context with the biggest available difference being whether or not you’re a mage.
Playing a race other than a human is a huge draw for fantasy games. I was damn well angry and disappointed when I first heard that DA2 would force me to play a human, why would I want to play a human when the elves and dwarves of the Dragon Age world are so much more interesting?
I ended up, perhaps naively, hoping that the next games would have a focus on a different race each and be able to tell stories from this vastly different point of view. But it looks like if the rumours are true we’re going to be forced to play human AGAIN and not only that someone tightly bound to the Chantry, limiting the context for your character even further.
Tagged with #Dragon Age 2 #Kossith #Qunari #Confession #Bioware #Dragon Age #things about the qun that make me really uncomfortable number 371
The military has a long history of using canines and horses.
What do you think they keep their mages alive for? Just like the Chantry they’ve found them too useful to exterminate outright.
They’re just used as attack dogs rather then whatever other purpose they use them for.