gb: (Default)
gb gbgbg bgb ([personal profile] gb) wrote in [personal profile] revanchist 2010-07-28 12:45 pm (UTC)

Found this through girlgamers. Sorry if this comment is incoherent, I don't write about this sort of thing very often.

Background: I've played Dragon Age, only started ME1 and haven't got far, know a little about ME2 (mostly from videos of the alien romances, heh!). Not planning on buying DA2 mainly because I don't have the time for a RPG, but may change my mind. These games have been in my mind lately, having found out about the male!Shepard/Kaidan romance cut out of ME1 last night.

I suspect Bioware themselves are not to blame for this, but the dudes in marketing/publishing and EA. I feel loathe to blame in on 'the suits' (it's such a cliche!) but some of the trailers that came out for DA and ME2 really didn't seem like something the writers working on the actual games would come out with.

I don't know much about how Bioware works as a development studio or how closely they liaise with EA on marketing, but how much influence would this lead writer or the artists have, even if they agreed wholeheartedly that female Hawke should be included, if the sort of people who do spout nonsense like 'only guys play video games so we should only cater to males' have the final say?

More importantly, does the marketing/promotional staff themselves frequent these forums and are aware of these concerns?

And (and this is very important) unless everything I have ever heard about triple-A title game development is wrong, the artists do not draw stuff they think is cool, they are TOLD to draw something by someone in the upper echelons of the company (who may or may not be an artist) and this person keeps telling them to redraw it until they come up with something that this person thinks is cool, and this person have their own supervisors giving their thoughts, too. Who gave the thumbs-up on the design for male Hawke in the first place, and what are their thoughts on creating a similar female Hawke for such purposes? When we have an answer on this, the real reasons the DA2 developers are taking this stance may become clearer.

Lack of a female option has never deterred me from a game, but recently I've found myself getting more and more impatient at games that are... I wouldn't call it sexist (though they probably are). Games that make it blatantly obvious they weren't FOR me, I guess. (gawd, The Saboteur, wtf mate? but anyway)

So, I can handle the lack of trailers and the lack of representation on the game cover, but it bothers me that they won't even release screenshots. It's not even as if there's no reason other than to 'appease the feminists'--it'd be a worthy demonstration of improvements made to the graphics, animations and character creation. Unfortunately I'm not sure where I'd find sources to cite this now, but I've seen plenty of people who far, far prefer female!Shepard over male!Shepard for her fantastic voice acting; if the voice acting is as good this time around it'd be worth demonstrating that, too.

Also, they may have worked on the male Hawke first and only he is finished enough to start showing in early promotional material; it'd be annoying, but not surprising.

I'm hoping they'll rectify this later in development. If I have the energy, I may even sign up to the forums and give them my thoughts, because while I'm not a big Bioware fan, I might be if they showed they're paying attention to this stuff. So, thanks for your post on this issue.

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