Mass Effect: Andromeda and its Fake Gamer Agenda
I want to complain about the character models in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
I started playing this game and, once again, BioWare screwed the pooch out the gate (this is an esoteric metaphor originating from an archaic form of dog racing) by making their default Ryders precious and untouchable by your filthy plebe hands.
If you want to have any sort of cosmetic agency over your character at all in this role-playing game made by the company which is meant to proudly stand as the premiere bulwark of a play-whomever-you-want-to-play-as-ethos, you’re going to have to go into the presets.
If you don’t own this game, good, thanks, don’t buy it, send a message; and don’t buy the next Dragon Age either unless they clean up their act. (Then, when EA simply absorbs them whole cloth, we can all just sit on our thumbs in smug, Pyrrhic victory. I forget if I originally started this paragraph sarcastically.)
Back to the point: if you don’t own it, go to YouTube and look up a demonstration of the character creator with the least unbearable commentary you can find (this will take a while, I grant you).
Watch the consumerist tool playing the game cycle through the presets, then blink twice and realize, shit, no, you didn’t just switch over to an episode of Monster Factory without realizing.
Yes, BioWare Montreal actually shipped this game thinking that these horrible nightmare visions wouldn’t make players instantly recoil out of either disgust or fear that they just accidentally spoiled one of the game’s new alien races for themselves because the presets look that fucking inhuman.
So, I wrote another seventeen hundred words here about BioWare’s boneheaded handling of their default and customizable character faces but I was straying so far from what this post was supposed to be about that I decided to cut it and shove it into that forthcoming epic Dragon Age post I’ve been teasing (Inquisition torn to shreds! Catch the hate, this summer! A blog so big it’ll literally never be finished and will sit in my WordPress drafts until the end of time!)
Back to the point, again: if you can’t tell, I want to complain about the faces in this game. I want to really fucking badly — seventeen hundred words badly. I can’t, though, and you probably know why I can’t.
It’s because “SJWs are ruining games” are ruining games.
The argument of “Mass Effect: Andromeda has ugly faces” is now a homophone for “Mass Effect: Andromeda has ugly faces because of feminists.”
It would be one thing if my YouTube recommendations were an embarrassment because I made the mistake of watching a couple of Mean Tweets videos. No, lately — because I made the mistake of indulging some of my pre-release curiosity via dorky but ultimately harmless shill — I’ve got the real wolves of the YouTube algorithms howling at my door.
Here’s a funny thought: remember how GamerGate accused feminists of disingenuously co-opting video games as a means of political gain? (You know, while they were meanwhile being corralled by and championing countless names like Mike Cernovich, Milo Yiannopoulos, Roosh V, Adam Baldwin, and all the other people who outright stated they had no interest in games but all somehow saw a movement that the alt-right could generously nurture?)
I am forced to wonder how many of these backwards, toilet-chugging creeps in my YouTube recommendations are actually fans of BioWare or fans of (gasp) finding things to be offended by!
Yeah, you sleazy cretins. You see, I want to talk about why Andromeda’s awful character design significantly detracts from the game for me, but that’s because it’s something that’s going to impede my ability to bond with my Ryder and the interstellar social links they form. You want to talk to about why Andromeda’s awful character design detracts from the game because you think every game made, even the ones you wouldn’t necessarily have played, must needs have digital women you find fuckable or else third wave feminists are cucking the heart out of society.
So I want you to know, you putrid fucking scabs on video games, I see your videos — I can’t possibly thwart their bacteria-like fecundity— with all the innocuous titles asking in utterly good faith if BioWare is going downhill for some reason in which you couldn’t possibly have had prior investment.
I see you all making the exact same brilliant arguments, you know. How disgustingly down your throat Krem was forced in Dragon Age: Inquisition. I like this one because to validate your revulsion at the fact that Krem is transgender and (Maker forbid) it comes up in conversation, suddenly Dorian becomes everyone’s gay best friend to prove they’re not bigots. “His sexuality was organic to the story and wasn’t everything about him,” they drawl, leaving out the fact that he was a party member, with hours of banter to fill (if, uh, Inquisition happened to work well enough for you to hear it on any given day).
And true to the spirit of this very article, you’re right! Krem wasn’t handled with perfect elegance! Neither is Andromeda’s trans NPC! Motherfucker, trans SJWs were the first people pointing that shit out.
However, instead of allowing us — real people, adults making games, civilized human beings consuming them — to actually have a nuanced dialogue about that, you are using the language and the optics of artistic criticism to present what amounts in totality to basic, blithering hatred and ruining everything for the rest of us.
I mean, fuck, it even gives me, as someone who cares about Dragon Age lore, a slight pause that they would retcon the Qunari’s previously rigid gender roles to allow for trans acceptance in their society. You know what, though? I’m not a fucking sociopath, and I recognize that representation and diversity matters more than what amounts to a paragraph in a codex entry.
Determined to establish a timeline like they were busting Avon Barksdale for his criminal social justice empire, some reach back to 2012 and cite Steve Cortez. He was considered “ham-fisted” as well. No, not because he was gay, they claim, of course not! No one here is actually homophobic, they insist — as half their comments use homophobic slurs, but obviously not out of hatred but because it offends snowflakes — but because he mentions his late husband too quickly!
Everyone knows there is a unanimously agreed upon amount of time in conversation someone must go before mentioning their spouse for it to feel natural and not forced. That’s objective science. I mean, obviously that doesn’t apply to someone mentioning their wife, but that’s because straight people are the majority, so any deviance is only there as part of an agenda.
(Well, gotcha, fake gamers! If you’d read the Mass Effect: Ascension novel, you’d know that by the time the games take place, humanity is actually majority gay —thanks, homosexual cabal currently stationed at BioWare Montreal— so it was totally normal for Cortez to say so. Looks like you have no idea what you were talking about or were selectively taking things out of context, so who’s the real Anita Sarkeesian?)
Also ham-fisted? Kaidan Alenko. You see, he hadn’t been gay before and now he potentially was in Mass Effect 3.
Never mind the attempts to justify this in the text. It’s not like anyone complaining about Kaidan’s sexuality would ever actually have a game in which they pursued him. And certainly never mind that allowing Garrus or Tali to develop (heterosexual) feelings for Shepard in Mass Effect 2 when their relationship was platonic in the first game — that wasn’t ham-fisted.
If somebody never expresses interest in the attractiveness of the male main character before and then spontaneously does, something is clearly wrong. Remember that.
I did see one person mention the Dragon Age II companions. That game allows every romantic option to be pursued by either gender (with one exclusively heterosexual exception). This — referred to in the actual, not-a-rabid-fucking-lynch-mob community as “playersexuality” — is actually the foundation of a decent game design discussion. I know I plan to address it in the aforementioned Inquisition post (tell your friends!).
It vexes the fucking mind to the point of putting one dangerously close to an aneurysm, however, that it could be considered forced political messaging that your companions might be gay. Then again, of course it doesn’t.
Now, if these subhumans were real gamers, not YouTube whores and Patreon queens, they might even be able to reach as far back as Dragon Age: Origins to whine about how offended they were when Zevran flirted with their male warrior. They can’t, though, because they didn’t play it. They only played Mass Effect because it was a space shooter. (Fair’s fair, so did I, at first. Then — and this might be something of a theme to this article — I actually broadened my horizons.)
The reason I’ve seen only one mention of Dragon Age II isn’t because the argument made about it is breathtakingly tenuous — that doesn’t stop any of the others — it’s because Inquisition is BioWare’s best-selling game to date and certainly the best of the Dragon Age franchise. All those new copies had to be sold to someone, why not these hardcore gamers?
It’s not wrong to say that BioWare has become more progressive. The company has diligently responded to a culture which rightfully demands more awareness, inclusion, and — in the case of this company in particular — the acknowledgement of human (and elven, dwarven, alien…) sexualities besides straight and vaguely fetishistic lesbian.
Which makes for the ultimate punchline of the “ham-fisted” complaint. BioWare is including these elements in their games because of the exact same cultural tide ridden by these faux-red pill firebrands. If there were no progress, they would have no reason to fling spittle at their webcams advocating for regress.
(You can lie to yourself, you bearded goons, and say that if you didn’t have an audience of lost and wandering sycophants still clutching their tattered GamerGate banners you’d be the next TotalBiscuit just by criticizing bad DLC practices; sure, go right ahead, whatever helps you sleep on those “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” pillow cases at night.)
If gay and trans characters are clumsily written, that’s because they had straight and cisgender people writing them, not because they were artificially included in the first place. Games demand diversity for the same cultural realities you’ve been able to latched onto like parasites.
You’re making a video about the necessity of fuckable-looking women in Mass Effect and you’re going to argue that gay characters are gratuitous.
I’ve miles to go, unfortunately.
The next major thought spread across this fungal nervous system with a million Google accounts is Manveer Heir, who is definitively a racist. Truthfully, Manveer Heir belongs at the center of the discussion of what constitutes racism and what constitutes punching up — assuming, obviously, that such a discussion should take place, which it shouldn’t, and that anyone should be subjected to the absolute fucking Nine Circles of Hell condensed into a single pinpoint impaling itself endlessly into your glabella that it would feel like to actually be at the center of all those politically outraged white men.
And I swear to God, if anyone tries to tell me that that last sentence was racist against white men, I will fucking bring back #NotYourShield. You don’t get to tell me what’s racist against white people, you virtue signalling filth.
Oh, and please call to mind the saga of the alleged lead animator at BioWare who had the seething, barking dogs sicced on her because Andromeda’s animations were so mediocre and not at all because she was a woman and every video which inspired this post is galvanizing thousands of men across the world to placate their furiously vascular erections by waiting for the first possible justification to go after any woman for any imagined offense.
Remember that, not because it’s brought up in any these videos, no, of course not. If it were, it would only be to conclude that BioWare is so helplessly under the thumb of its George Soros-funded gynocracy that any woman working there has free reign to bestow whatsoever job title to herself and then run away screaming “victim” when she faces the inevitable, righteous consequences.
Call it to mind because Manveer Heir, whom I know nothing about other than that I’ve seen a poorly screencapped image of him drinking from a WHITE TEARS mug a thousand times now, along with, consequently, enough white tears to fill a fucking swimming pool, was the gameplay designer on Andromeda. He was in charge of zipping around on your jet pack and shit, the one part of the game of which I’ve actually heard basically unanimous, if muted, approval.
And you know what? I still have a bone to pick with the whole only-three-abilities thing, but — ha ha fucking ha — now I can’t because if I did so, the breath that leaves my lungs might very well mingle with the toxic, fetid smog of hatred produced by all of you fucking barbarians.
Nonetheless, it’s still worse for BioWare that he’s gone from the company now. He could be the least talented programmer in the world and he’d be worth his weight in element fucking zero if his presence drove the alt-right out of this fucking industry. How’s that for affirmative action, you desperately hidden tear-stains?
The last thing they’re really clawing onto is this idea that Scott Ryder is appreciably attractive and Sara Ryder is noticeably unattractive. Which is funny, in a way, because it’s the first time gamers have ever cared about such an imbalance. I mean, where were the YouTube videos about how Leisure Suit Larry was made to pander to all the old dads who weren’t going to buy games anyway?
(Oh, that’s right, Anita Sarkeesian made them, and you all tried to literally murder her.)
Is it because Andromeda’s more mainstream? What about Gears of War where every male character is an alien from the planet Musclebrick and the women are perfectly curvy and svelte? Or the thousand thousandth game where men wear armor and women wear metal bikinis? Was BioWare already corrupted by SJWs when your female Shepard in Mass Effect was wearing the same armor as your male did?
No? Not a good enough analogy? How about this, you fucking bleating misogynist scum?
The female character presets in Andromeda, in my opinion, do look worse than the men. (as for Sara Ryder herself, well, shit, I mean… I’d let her?) However, when I was deciding which presets to show at the top of this post, I had to go with the latter.
This slight difference between the genders in what I consider to be an overall aesthetic problem with the game has now been politicized by a group of contemptible fucking vultures who are forever fiending for the next SEO-friendly title to use as an icon in order to stir up their frenzied base of savages who believe the world has been torn apart by people who spend their time looking for reasons to be offended.
Let me try to put this in terms your professionally victimized brains can understand:
When you all start talking about how hot Scott Ryder is, I find your sudden, out-of-character fascination with the attractiveness of the male main character to be ham-fisted and contrived. It’s almost like you’re trying to push a certain cultural ideology by bringing it up out of the blue. I mean, it’s fine if you want to incorporate your personal feelings on the attractiveness of various characters into the conversation organically, but considering you’ve never displayed any interest in how sexually appealing Commander Shepard or other male protagonists are before now, I get the distinct impression that someone else is using you to further their own political agenda.
So, how about you fuck off with your forced social messages and get your politics out of my YouTube videos?