Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by Nebty, Nov 28, 2012.
But in ME2 you meet space Bea Arthur and everything is just a little bit better.
She is the best.
And SqueakyFoo, I do find it interesting in that I think they did find a decent medium for the tauren ladies, but totally ruined the lady trolls. I am weird, maybe.
The Asari had a great chance at being salvaged through that one conversation where it was theorized it's all creepy shadow-play to accumulate the finest DNA, especially when coupled with the excellent turn they took with the Banshees. I don't know if it was ultimately too difficult to sustain that angle, but it was brilliant sci-fi trapped within stupid fantasies.
Fucking Samara's design though... she was the tits to Miranda's ass.
I wouldn't call glowing LED nipples an excellent turn.
The conversation at the bar was still pretty awesome though. I loved those little details about the ME universe.
Yeah, Samara made me kinda sad, because I really like her character. It's just ... that outfit. And for some reason, even though I am pretty sure Miranda's outfit goes further up her ass, Samara's was the one that kept making me think "man she would be picking that out of her crack constantly if she were real."
Chora's Den is a seedy club run by an agent for the Shadow Broker. I don't think one should expect bingo in this sort of establishment, nor do I think it's shocking that a couple centuries time failed to wipe strip clubs from the face of the galaxy.
From what I understand, it's just something young Asari occasionally do to make ends meet while they work through their adolescent phase. I don't personally find Asari attractive so it's all a little creepy to me, but this is the in-game reasoning.
I thought gigerizing the body without sexualizing it further as Giger would have actually done, and making it fucking terrifying, was a nice touch for a universe with hints of horror that it rarely accomplished as well as there. I thought it was great how they followed through on a part of the Asari story into a place that was appropriate for the story and then delivered in terms of both the mechanics and the aesthetics of the enemy. It's no Mordin-Krogan arc, but it's pretty damned good in terms of building on ME2, and breaks up the monotony of Asari as sex objects that the first ME really went overboard on.
But yeah LED nipples guess that's that.
Someone better tell these guys that they lack scum and villainy without a stripper pole.
So why do some of the non-seedy bars have strippers too?
This seems relevant:
I can't answer the second, but Star Wars is/was aimed at a different audience than Mass Effect so I'm not sure it's a fair comparison. That's not necessarily a defense of 'Mass Effect' though; just saying that if Star Wars had been aimed at an older audience then there may well have been a pole in that bar.
Then again, it's not like every single seedy bar on our own earth has stripper poles in it, is it? And they aren't aimed at different audiences, really.
Putting the strippers in seems a bit like just a lazy environment design (SWTOR has holographic twilek dancers too, e.g.) which relies on easy stereotypes. Just so happens these are sexist stereotypes and so relying on them promotes them further, since it creates/reinforces the idea they're "normal" and expected.
You're absolutely right; they are fucking horrifying and their creation story is equally horrifying. It was good storytelling.
I'm just not convinced that "they're scary enough for me to not find attractive" is enough to consider them not sex objects. Between the highlighted nips, their engorged abdomens giving off a pregnant appearance, and someone at Bioware spending enough time to give them vaginas (NSFW), I feel uncomfortable about their design completely separate from the uncomfortable feeling I get from when one or three teleport towards Shepard at once. To me, Bioware has used those elements (maybe not the vag, since you'd never see that in the game, but still WTF BIOWARE) to highlight that the Asari are considered sex objects, and have exaggerated it to the point where it looks as if a Banshee might go in to labor and give spawn to another terrifying Banshee baby in the middle of the battlefield; not to mention that they stem specifically from Ardat-Yakshi, who literally kill with sex.
A fair point and there isn't really a sensible come back given that 'Mass Effect' takes place in the future.
I'm not sure what the rating on 'Star Wars' is these days, but my copy of 'Mass Effect 2' is 15s. Sure, there's an overlap between the audiences, but 'Mass Effect' is clearly pitched at an older set.
On the subject of 'Mass Effect', this is an interesting read. Has anyone come across any articles that provide an insight into what the designers were thinking?
I forgot about Benezia's boob-window. Sigh.
Miranda's design does make sense, from the standpoint of "she was designed to be the 'perfect' woman." That doesn't explain her wardrobe, however. Her character never really explains her choice in dress, despite comments from other characters. I'm not inclined to think that she chose it in order to feel empowered and own her sexuality; her character seems like more of a pragmatist to me, who would opt for something a little more... battle-ready.
Jack's design is something I feel incredibly mixed on. Her character is actually one of "I don't give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks" so her choice of wardrobe makes a scant amount of sense. I think her wardrobe choice in 3 is a great improvement (something that won't fly off in the midst of combat!) but I'm not sure why her boobs suddenly got bigger. Was she just not eating in 2? And all her weight gain was in her boobs?
I'm not sure about the "having sex to save her" part though, since my Femshep can't really do that, and Mr. Alligator never romanced her with any of his Manshep characters. I just don't have the context to comment on it.
Neither do I. I played a Femshep too and took Miranda's side when her and Jack were arguing, at which point Jack pretty much shuts down as described in the article.
Leaving aside the Asari stuff for a moment, given that Miranda is a romantic option for Manshep, it sort of makes sense that you'd get lingering shots of her ass (as though he were checking her out). I say 'sort of' because I'm reasonably sure that, say, Jacob's camera angles aren't designed to flatter him when Femshep is talking to him and the camera angles are probably the same for Miranda if you're playing as a Femshep.
For the most part, yes. There are a few shots of Jacob where it looks like they were going "OMG LOOK AT THIS TOTALLY RIPPED CHEST OF HIS" but Miranda's angles are the same if you are Femshep.
Also Jacob is racist (or rather, species-ist?) so I didn't get real far in his romance before I went "NOPE" and dropped it. So there could be more that I'm missing.
It's also worth noting that Thane's design was specifically catered towards appeasing female gamers (hence his pectorals busting out of his shirt). I personally prefer the less-whiny and completely and appropriately-clothed Garrus.
Yeah, I remember one of the devs coming on the Bioware forums and telling us that they'd actually focus-tested Thane's design with the women at Bioware (is this a sexy alien y/n?). They were pretty surprised at how monumentally popular Garrus was, considering that they didn't "design" him as a love interest. Personally, that's what made him so appealing to me. Bioware has the tendency to try too hard with their love interests.
It's also worth mentioning that Miranda was originally a FemShep romance option as well, but was taken out.
It's hard for me to imagine how in the world people found Thane's mannerisms and dialogue sexy and attractive. Everything about him squicked me - his flashbacks, his overly poetic bullshit, and the fact that he starts calling you his dead wife's name? NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Garrus, by contrast, is clearly and obviously best boyfriend. Best boyfriend is best. The logic is indisputable.
Probably for different reasons than taking out Kaidan's Manshep romance option in ME1, I'll bet.
Yep, pretty much this. I get they were aiming for "emotionally fragile" or whatever (catering to mothering instincts of women? idfk), but I think they did that perfectly with Garrus, between his injury and the fate of his squad, and how he has to deal with it. Also, the fact that Thane already had a grown-ass child with daddy issues was a HUGE repellent to me.
I know many a lady (and man!) who were disappointed that Mordin was not an option. I probably would've played through it for the amusement factor.
That'd work for me if the women and ~10% of the men in that universe all agreed that the Asari looked male. ("Really ManShep, I was always surprised that you dated Liara. Sure, he's cute and all, but I didn't think you swung that way.")
To be fair, they just showed them the design (and I think it was more the Drell as a whole). All that other stuff came later.
And I hated Thane as a love interest but liked him as a character. I just thought that to actually form a relationship with him would be unfairly taking advantage of him. He's obviously emotionally vulnerable because of his impending death and he's also grateful to Shepard for helping him out with his son. Then there's also the fact that you're ostensibly his boss. It's all too creepy for me.
But aside from all that, goddamn it Bioware just created another Carth! I hate that character archetype with a passion (dude who's vowed never to love again because his wife/girlfriend kicked the bucked and the PC must romance him out of his shell. Probably also had a kid that he angsts over). It's really telling that the best male love interest they've ever created was unintentional and the female fans basically had to tell them that they wanted Garrus.
Despite what video games have led us to believe, stripper poles are surprisingly uncommon in seedy bars.
One of the persistent bits of troubling design in games is the omnipresence of strippers and prostitutes. The excuse is always to say that they're appropriate to the setting: This is a seedy bar, so it has a stripper pole. This is a seedy town, so it has a brothel. This is a seedy street, so there are whores on the corner. The result is a series of seemingly plausible decisions that result in a dramatic overrepresentation of these elements throughout gaming. They then become the norm to the point where it seems surprising not to find them--which is exactly what makes them so troubling.
That's how we can have people making top-five lists of game brothels in 2012:
(Edit: Removed, because the embedding wants to put a big-ass youtube embed in there and this thread doesn't need whorehouse vids all up in its business. Google it if you're curious.)
Brothels and strip clubs are the lava-levels of "mature" gaming.
Is it just me, or does the narrator for that video sound extremely uncomfortable?
Not just you. I almost thought the voice was computer-generated at first. You can really tell that someone just gave her a script to read.
Also, it's really depressing that you can make a top 5 brothels in high-profile video games of 2012 but you can't do the same for female protagonists. *sigh*
Dude. All women are secretly bisexual. Didn't you know?
And continues to be rage inducing.
Really, it all boils down to this:
It's not that simple. Sexism isn't a rudeness thing. For many people it's a default behavior, and until they're called on it they don't realize that they're engaging in the sort of behavior that hurts feelings and makes people feel bad. Why? Because they've gotten approval and laughs -- or at least silence -- from the majority of people they've interacted with while engaging in that sort of behavior. We, being social creatures, calibrate our conception of what is and is not offensive based on the reactions of our peers. So unless and until our peers indicate disapproval we can't possibly know that something we've done could be considered wrong!
The only way to make it stop is to stand up and say something, and in extreme cases to go on the attack and shut that shit down publicly. Comforting someone after the fact is nice and all but attempting to prevent the bad stuff happening is better. Some people might be medically incapable of that, but the rest of us should be ashamed every time we hear evil and do not speak out against it.
I can't like that post because HUGO SCHWYZER IS STILL WRITING FOR JEZEBEL WHY DAMNIT WHY
That's a great point, and I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks!
Well, the thing is (and it was never clear to me one way or another) there was a tension between regarding them as gender-less but incidentally feminine to humans who didn't think it through and somehow "all female" DNA succubi. The bar theory in the former category would then would be about what makes them appealing in one to one interactions being tailored to the species of the other alien. Which upon further reflection is really a grab bag of relatively perverse notions about universal femininity, especially as the Concubines in Spaaaace aspect was their lead foot and they gradually played up the succubi angle. Pity.
Sorry, i wasn't entirely clear. What i meant was, the real seedy bars all target the 'more adult audience'. (and the SW cantina lacking a stripper pole could so be very well design choice rather than the case of being limited from putting one in by the movie's target audience)
The seediest bar on Rivington lacks a stripper pole.
It does have a residential fridge and a serious grunge attitude though.
A good friend and I place bets, when a new bioware RPG comes out, which romance interest will have the dead wife / girlfriend / tragedy you can only heal with your magic vagina.
Oh man, yeah. It's a pretty safe bet that at least one of them will have that as a backstory. Hell, except for Garrus and Jacob, Mass Effect's male LIs were nothing but Carths. Kaidan in the first game (bonus points for having Carth's voice, too) with the girl from brain camp as the tragic object of affection in his past. In ME2 you've got Thane with the dead wife plus troubled son, though he mixes up the formula by having a terminal disease as well. In ME3 you've got Kaidan again but this time Shepard is the dead girlfriend. There's also Cortez who's got a recently-dead husband.
All this cheap pathos won't mine ITSELF, Nebty!
The seediest bar in my town doesn't have a stripper pole(actually I don't think any of them do).
It does have brown walls and an air of quiet desperation, though.
I feel like I gotta defend Kaidan here a bit. Yes, he had the girl from his past, but he wasn't hung up on her, he didn't vow to never love again, etc. If anything he seemed mostly troubled (and rightly so) for losing his shit on someone than anything having to do with the girl herself. And he basically went "yeah, it sucked, but I've worked out all my shit over that. Just seemed like something worth sharing with you." He doesn't want you to heal his wounded heart with the power of your love or any bullshit like that. It's something important that happened to him, he shares it with you, but it's really nothing more than that.
And when you reunite with him in ME3, he really doesn't bring up the fact you died as much as I think any right thinking individual would, he's much more hung up on the Cerberus thing. The only part that really sucks is if you romanced someone else in ME2, he occasionally refers to it as "cheating," which is fucking ridiculous. I was dead, you idiot, and you moved on, so I did too. It's even less derp if you're a ManShep. It's more like "you know, I kinda realized recently that I have had the hots for you for ages, how about that."
Basically, people hear his voice and immediately go into ARGH CARTH mode with Kaidan, which is mostly undeserved.
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