u know how sometimes if u eat too much of a certain food you get sick of it
like my mom used to make spaghetti several times a week for YEARS bc it was quick and easy so now im kinda “meh” about spaghetti
you know that feeling??
that’s how i feel about white cis male protagonists
What about our fans? Are they privileged? Let me tell you about Anders. He was one of two male love interests in Dragon Age II, and the only one of the two that would actually make his intentions known to the player without the player expressing interest first. If you were nice to him, he would make a pass at you, and you could turn him down, and that would be the end of it. And some fans REALLY did not like that.
Some of them asked for a gay toggle; because in a game where there’s mature themes, slavery, death, and none of which we offer toggles for, encountering a gay character? OOH, beyond the pale. They didn’t want to be exposed to homosexuality.
And this one fan on our forums posted that he felt too much attention had been spent on women and gays and not enough on straight male gamers. For all of whom he personally spoke, of course. ‘It’s ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamers, when in the past I would only have to say fans.’ The purpose of the romances in Dragon Age II was to give each type of fan an equal content. Two romances whether you’re male or female, straight or gay.
How upsetting for this particular Straight Male Gamer to realize he wasn’t being catered to. This was not equality to him, but an imbalance; an imbalance of the natural order. He did not want equality, he’s not interested in equality. To him, from his perspective, equality means he’s getting less. Less options? Actually, no, the number of options we had in that game was actually the same number of options that he would have received earlier. What was his issue was the idea that there was attention being spent on other groups, which SHOULD have rightly gone to him.
Do ALL straight male gamers feel exactly the same as he does? Absolutely not. In the thread where this came up in fact, there was quite a few guys who came in and identified themselves as straight male gamers and said ‘I actually don’t have an issue with that, as long as I receive an experience I enjoy, I think other people should be able to enjoy that too.’ But if you think that Straight Male Gamer Dude is an outlier among our fanbase, you were not paying attention.
This is Anita Sarkeesian, she’s the author of the Feminist Frequency, a blog which examines tropes in the depiction of women in popular culture. You’ve probably all heard about this, it’s a matter of public record, she announced a Kickstarter to start a web series to look at the tropes in video games and she was subjected to a campaign of vicious abuse and harassment by male gamers. Why? Well, because she represents to these guys the loss of their coveted place in the gaming audience. Never mind that well all know Goddamn well that they’re still at the top of the totem pole. What they see themselves losing is sole proprietorship over their domain. That’s what it is.
Everything that is changing about the gaming industry to accommodate these players, to them, is diluting the purity of gaming which has belonged solely to them. That’s what this is all about. And here’s the thing, I’m pretty certain that our industry fears the scrutiny of those guys way more than the scrutiny of everyone else. Because those are the guys that scream at the top of their lungs, they spend their time on every internet forum, they spend their time making Metacritic reviews. Infuriate them, and you become a target. It’s so much easier to say “Well, that’s what our fans are like. There’s nothing we can do.” And that’s bullshit.
They didn’t set the tone, did they? We set the tone. What we put out there, what we permit, whether it’s on our forums, whether it’s on Xbox Live, the things that we permit we are in effect condoning. What happened to Anita, we the industry, are partly responsible for. We’re in part to blame. And if the idea of moral responsibility doesn’t phase you, consider the idea that the time will probably soon come that this will also amount to legal responsibility.
also known as “Why I Love And Support BioWare Games”
Bioware ain’t perfect, but good gosh it does give me the warm fuzzies when one of their crew knocks it out of the park.
Info dump from the DA:I Raptr Q&A:
- The British male voice actor for the Inquisitor is Harry Hadden-Patton, and the American male voice actor is Jon Curry.
- The British female voice actor for the Inquisitor is Alix Wilton Regan, and the American female voice actor is Sumalee Montano.
- The inquisitor will regularly be referred to by their surname, not just “Inquisitor.”
- The qunari pc’s body will be big, but smaller than Iron Bull.
- Qunari use something other than helmets/hats.
- The Inquisitor will definitely meet people who think they’re a holy figure, but how you react to that is up to you.
- Scars and (maybe) freckles will both be available in the character creation.
- Heterochromia is not available.
- CC is very complex — for instance, you can choose one color for the outer part of the iris and a different color for the inner iris.
- Lots of lip options, but no body sliders.
- As aforementioned, qunari pcs will get customizable horns.
- They’re already working on creating game-appropriate lighting for the cc screen.
- The CC will be before any major cutscene in the game.
Companions and advisors (and romance)
- Both Cullen and Cassandra are straight romance options.
- Scribbles has a cool accent… and is a bisexual romance option (probably).
- The majority of romances are not concerned with race, but “a few” are.
- You can talk to followers at your party base at any time, but not “ in the middle of a blood-soaked murderfield (of death)”.
- Banter is supposedly going to be “Barney Stinson level of legendary”.
- The interactive banter will time out if you don’t react to it and continue on its own.
- You will be able to hug some of your companions/advisors.
- "Major characters all track something similar to approval, but the system has changed to put more focus on what you are doing and what you say instead of grinding by constantly giving them gifts. Each follower does have their own set of goals they want to achieve and if you help them, they will appreciate it."
- Similarly, if you piss them off, they might leave.
- Approval for advisors works differently than approval for companions.
- We may indeed see Gideon Emery again.
- Combat settings will range from easy to nightmare, as in previous Dragon Age games, but there is not (yet, at least) a story mode.
- You can only have up to one specialization in DA:I, unlike previous Dragon Age games.
- Weapons are still restricted by class.
- All rogues can use bows — there is no “archer” specialization.
- No mabari in combat.
- You’ll be able to quick travel to any Inquisition camps you’ve established in your current region, which allows you to rest and recover health.
- There’s plenty returning abilities and spells from previous DA games, but a ton of new ones, too.
- "Having control over fade rifts may provide some interesting possibilities in combat”.
- Cross-class combos are back.
- "Knight Enchanters were designed to let mages get up close and personal and the abilities in that tree encourage you to do so, including the ability to be effective at melee ranges. They’re different from Arcane Warriors, though. Less tanky."
- Positioning, traps, and other preparatory manoeuvres are all available and even a good idea against some of the more difficult fights.
- You can jump, but there won’t be complex climbing dynamics.
- There is no weaponless combat, as in the DAO-style punching.
- If you get into a fight with friendly, non-companion NPCs around, they will typically come and help out (presuming they’re warriors).
- Certain specializations will affect moments in the story.
- "Faith" and "leadership" are going to be major themes of the game.
- The party base in Inquisition is going to be much grander than the camp from DA:O. “It’s the HQ of your entire Inquisition so there’s a TON of people in it to talk and interact with. You can customize your castle, rebuild some things, perform crafting and research etc.”
- There will be all kinds of wild animals in the game, some hostile and some not, including (but not limited to): foxes, bronto, nugs, wolves, rams, birds, lizards, etc.
- We will be visiting some kind of Dwarven settlement, but not Orzammar or Kal-Sharok.
- Both Flemeth and Dagna will appear.
- Your inquisition will unlock some opportunities in conversations.
- In-game art differs depending on the country (it’s different between Orlais and Ferelden, for example) and you’ll be able to see how it progresses from being rustic/an early decorative piece to more refined work.
- There’s a pre-made world state if you do not want to or are unable to use the DA Keep.
- No flying mounts.
- "The bog unicorn is an undead horse which was killed by someone sticking a sword through it’s head… thus its horn is the sword that killed it".
- No capes.
- Fast-travel is available between previously conquered Inquisition camps/keeps in a region.
- PC will support both mouse/keyboard control scheme and controllers.
This is the big stuff so far, and it seems like the conversation is winding down. There’s still plenty of time to go, though, so I’ll post with more updates as needed!