Bioware Receives Cupcakes as a Thank You for Female Inquisitor

Xman490

Doctorate in Danger
May 29, 2010
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Elberik said:
OH MY GOD! get over yourselves! If you hand out prizes to whoever showcases a female character then you're part of the problem! You're swinging too far in the other direction.
"Swinging too far in the other direction" is warranted, as gender equality (or appropriately approximate equality) hasn't been achieved just yet. The whole "77 (or so) cents to a dollar" ratio exists in the job market, which could be due to statistical biases and/or sexism. And then there are instances of greatly disproportionate representation, from protagonists in media to representatives in governments.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Holy crap people really need to calm the hell down. It's a nice gesture by fans who aren't usually acknowledged in gaming thanking Bioware for acknowledging them.

Fucking chill.
 

Erttheking

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UberPubert said:
This is really bizarre to me, and more than a little frustrating.

Bioware has clearly had gender options in their games at least since I booted up Baldurs Gate 2 as a PC gaming tyke in 2000, but they're getting a pat on the back for advertising it as the default now that sexism in vidja gayums is a hot topic.

I've heard nothing but vitriol for their depiction of female characters and approach to relationships these past few years because of the anger surrounding this topic, and now that they've pandered (intentionally or otherwise) to their pettiest critics on the most superficial level in a way that doesn't change what they've been doing for over a decade, they've earned their cupcakes of inclusiveness approval?

I really hope they make female inquisitors wear a chainmail bikini.
Did you read the article? Because the praise that people giving Bioware is because they were making the female inquisitor the face of the game. Every game that Bioware makes, they have the tenancy to make it so that the male character is the one who gets the most attention in the advertising. For Inquisition it's mainly been the female character who's been the face, and people

This is the internet. Arguments here always turn sour no matter how hard you try. I tried to make a thread about sexy female characters done right and I still got someone who complained about me acting like a Social Justice Warrior. And you can talk about what a game does wrong and still like it overall. It's like what Jim said in his "isms" video. You can like a video game, love it even, but still talk about what it does wrong. And Mass Effect is one of my favorite game series ever and I love the characters in it, I think the female characters in it are some of the best I've ever seen. That doesn't mean they're perfectly represented (Miranda's rear). I think what a lot of people forget is that calling something sexist does not equal "Worst thing ever". It can, but it doesn't by default. It helps that when we're talking about flaws, we tend to not focus on the good stuff. It's the general attitude, and frankly it's a massive breath of fresh air. You can only see the same white heterosexual man so many times before it gets irritating and boring. Also, how is this pandering? Is acknowledging criticism and changing your work because of it pandering? In that case, the different races coming back is also pandering.

And now I get the impression you're just trying to irritate people. Please don't.
 

UberPubert

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Xman490 said:
The whole "77 (or so) cents to a dollar" ratio exists in the job market, which could be due to statistical biases and/or sexism.
It's the first one, mostly. According to the bureau of labor statistics the actual number is somewhere around 81 cents, but it has nothing to do with women being paid less for the same work, and has a lot more to do with men occupying the very highest paying jobs, not being paid more across the board. Women actually earn more than men in professional occupations (ones requiring a college/uni degree) and benefit more from higher education - which they also have more of than men.
 

WouldYouKindly

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spartan231490 said:
How stupid is that? DA has always had female characters.
The point is that they are using the default female model in promotional material. This is a fairly rare thing for games that let you design your own character. Usually it's generic mcwhitedude. Skyrim, Mass Effect, even games like Dark Souls all use recognizably male characters in the promotional material I've actually seen.
 

truckspond

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You see that Ubisoft? Playable female characters ARE possible! And they are appreciated by the community! And they cause more people to be more likely to buy the game! And they give good PR!

...

TAKE THE GODDAMN HINT ALREADY!
 

Something Amyss

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Elberik said:
OH MY GOD! get over yourselves! If you hand out prizes to whoever showcases a female character then you're part of the problem! You're swinging too far in the other direction.
Sort of bringing the "do you want a cookie?" thing full circle.
 

Often

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Wow, so many people who miss the point in this thread. Or just want to complain and bring others down.
 

lacktheknack

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For everyone going "Hnnnng", I personally think that, in light of the "300 Cupcakes For ME3's Ending", this is the damned funniest thing I've read all week. xD
 

Ambitiousmould

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Apr 22, 2012
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All together a lovely story.

AT first glance I though that it's a relatively small gesture from BioWare to advertise the protagonist as a woman, but then I thought about it bit.

It is actually quite good to know that they are not only accepting that it won't hurt to include more diverse protagonist in their marketing, but also that their main playerbase isn't just males. And while that seems like a "well, obviously" kind of thing, and that they should have been doing this for a while, here we see definite signs of actual important progress, because it isn't like a small part of the showcasing that doesn't matter, but a large piece of marketing, and maybe this could actually set a standard and have other developers think "huh... so people still buy games that are or can be associated with female player characters and main characters, we could do the same". And then the fanbase responded by actively showing that BioWare was doing the right thing by them, who are the consumer and therefore the people with the most important opinions.

It can't really be argued that this isn't a step in the right direction, even if it is late in coming, and the positive response from players might show the developers that this is the right way.
 

UberPubert

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erttheking said:
Did you read the article? Because the praise that people giving Bioware is because they were making the female inquisitor the face of the game. Every game that Bioware makes, they have the tenancy to make it so that the male character is the one who gets the most attention in the advertising.
Wrong. Almost every game of Bioware that EA has published has given male protagonists more attention in advertising, and it's really stretching it with dragon age origins or awakening considering you don't even see the characters face on the box.

Do yourself a favor and look at the box art of bioware games between 1996 and 2005. In many cases they didn't have character art at all, and virtually none of them featured a default protagonist.

erttheking said:
This is the internet. Arguments here always turn sour no matter how hard you try. I tried to make a thread about sexy female characters done right and I still got someone who complained about me acting like a Social Justice Warrior.
The implication made by such a title is that the majority of sexy female characters are done wrong and if your opening line is criticism and the following rhetoric matches what's in this post I can't blame someone for making the SJW call, even if I won't.

erttheking said:
And you can talk about what a game does wrong and still like it overall. It's like what Jim said in his "isms" video. You can like a video game, love it even, but still talk about what it does wrong.
I have rarely seen rational people claim that others 'hate' a videogame for simply criticizing it on it's own merits. But as you've already pointed out, they turn sour. Criticisms become thinly veiled insults and it's difficult to take anyone seriously when they make claims like "bioware hates/discriminates against women" because maleshep is in the trailer instead of femshep, ignoring that the depiction in pre-rendered trailers is irrelevant to the player's own experience with the game.

erttheking said:
That doesn't mean they're perfectly represented (Miranda's rear).
And what on earth is wrong with Miranda's rear, or the showing of it? Miranda was a sexual character, she flaunted it - called it a weapon - and was very arrogant and forward about how her body was designed to be perfect. It's what made her question her own personal worth, doubting whether any of her accomplishments were really her own or just a result of her engineering. That's why it didn't matter if you played a maleshep or femshep, whether the player wanted to see her buttocks or not, it couldn't be ignored. It was a part of who she was and neither the character or bioware wanted the viewer to forget it, because she couldn't either.

And I'm tired of seeing these deliberate choices being boiled down to "male gaze, bluh" by people who don't actually take the time to examine the characters, or just taking it too seriously in the first place.

erttheking said:
I think what a lot of people forget is that calling something sexist does not equal "Worst thing ever". It can, but it doesn't by default.
How convenient, "it's not the worst thing ever - until it is". What can people expect to gain from pursuing a dialogue where the position of anyone who pulls the "ism" card can range from "I love the rest of the game, but this bit bothered me a little" to "this is literally mecha rape zombie hitler, kill it with fire"? Navigating that kind of mine field these topics become takes a lot more work than simply dismissing the opposition on the count of the latter group - which, so long as they exist and speak the loudest - never allowing the conversation to advance.

erttheking said:
It's the general attitude, and frankly it's a massive breath of fresh air.
But it's not. I just got done saying Bioware has been allowing players to make male and female characters, but they've also allowed many races (as in the actual plethora of dnd starting races from human to half-orc), and every color under the sun for over a decade. The only thing that's changed (Besides EA, who I really can't stress enough are bad for games) is that this hot topic of sexism has dug it's claws in, judged every piece of gaming media that comes out and found them wanting on superficial grounds, completely ignoring the contents of the game and the options available to the player.

erttheking said:
Also, how is this pandering? Is acknowledging criticism and changing your work because of it pandering? In that case, the different races coming back is also pandering.
I did say it may or may not have been intentional, I think the reaction reflects more on the gaming community than Bioware, but yes: People complain about female protagonists not getting representation, Bioware makes the decision to represent their newest protagonist as being a female, thus the people are appeased, thus pandering. But my major complaint was that it was superficial and that any criticism or argument raised in the first place was a deliberate choice to ignore that the "default" character is irrelevant to what the player chooses from in the game.

erttheking said:
And now I get the impression you're just trying to irritate people. Please don't.
You didn't get the impression until you finished your post? That's okay, I didn't really feel like posting a response until I'd finished it either
 

Tiffany Lowe

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Just figured I would step in and clarify a few things, since I was one of the main organizers of this.

First and foremost, this WAS done as a genuine thank you to BioWare for giving the female protagonist choice a LOT of coverage at E3. Yes, we've always been able to choose male or female in the actual game. We know this. This wasn't the point. The point was that BioWare had only showcased the male version of the protagonist for DAI up until this point. For ME3, FemShep's trailer came very late in the game, almost like an afterthought, and she was the backside of the game cover you could flip over. But most folks think of Shepard as the male version.

We had a thread on BioWare's forum asking "Could we please see more of the Lady Inquisitor?" The thread got big. Some BioWare devs actually conversed with us. Then, at E3, Lady Inquisitor got a trailer all to herself (the first for DAI), and then one of the demos they showed in several of their (publicized) interviews featured a female Qunari mage.

We thought it was wonderful and unexpected representation at a large stage like E3 to acknowledge the female protagonist option like that. We were surprised and happy by it, and enough of us were surprised and happy enough that we wanted to DO something to acknowledge that. So, we grouped together, pooled resources, and did this little Cupcakequisition.

We chose cupcakes for two reasons: 1. They were extremely economical in that we could purchase a LOT to try and make sure most the team got something and 2. Yes, for the irony to counteract the ME3 ending cupcakes. Those ME3 cupcakes were sent to show severe disappointment, and were donated by BioWare to a local youth charity because they felt properly chagrined and scolded by the action. Whereas these cupcakes were ones of praise and just general thanks, and, yes, they were accepted and eaten. They were also accompanied by 8 pages of personal message to BioWare from the individual members of the group who made this happen.

If you choose to see this as a publicity stunt, or a "social justice warriors go bananas" event, or an insincere or stupid act - that is your prerogative. I am sorry that you feel that way. But to us, it was just a genuine way to say "thank you" in a yummy way to a team that makes games we appreciate and that we felt went the extra mile at E3 to really show respect to female gamers. That's really what all this boils down to.

Thank you kindly,
DragonRacer
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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erttheking said:
Did you read the article? Because the praise that people giving Bioware is because they were making the female inquisitor the face of the game. don't.
I haven't looked at much promo stuff but I never noticed this....is it mostly in the trailers? you cant really tellw ith the boxart

eather way its awsome I guess
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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lacktheknack said:
For everyone going "Hnnnng", I personally think that, in light of the "300 Cupcakes For ME3's Ending", this is the damned funniest thing I've read all week. xD
Honestly? I'm inclined to agree.

It also doesn't hurt that there's an implication of consistency going on here.

UberPubert said:
The implication made by such a title is that the majority of sexy female characters are done wrong and if your opening line is criticism and the following rhetoric matches what's in this post I can't blame someone for making the SJW call, even if I won't.
I wasn't a fan of the thread (and honestly, wouldn't be surprised to find this story an exaggeration of my criticism of it, but that's another story), but no, that wasn't the implication.
 

Erttheking

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UberPubert said:
Um...That's what I said? I...I have no idea what you're trying to say here. I'll just say that my copy of Mass Effect 1 & 2 have a nice big picture of Male Shep's big generic face on it.

That's because the majority of sexy female characters aren't sexy for the sake of complimenting their characters. They exist only for the sake of pandering The majority of games suck anyway, so call me a supporter of sturgeon's law if you must. Besides, it wasn't hostile at all.

People aren't logical when they're angry, people get angry when they get passionate and people really get passionate when talking about gender in gaming. I know for a fact that a lot of the people who talk about sexism in Mass Effect love it, but no one is going to stop in the middle of a heated argument to say "by the way I really do like this game I'm just criticizing the flaws I disagree with." The human brain doesn't work that way.

This.
http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/nGz7tdOMIas/maxresdefault.jpg

Implying that I don't examine the character and am just taking a surface level glance? That's just plain untrue, I lost count of the number of times I played through Mass Effect 2. And Miranda's sexualization clashes with her character. She is a cold professonal person who will put a bullet through the head of her best friend if he betrays her. She tells Shepard to his/her face that she would've used a mind control chip on him/her if it got the job done. She is cold, ruthless, and arrogant, added in with all of the self loathing and insecurities she has. No where in that characterization does her dressing up to flaunt her body make any sense. When she talks about how perfect her body is, she talks about how she can take off the head of a droid at a hundred yards, doesn't need as much sleep and will live longer than the average human. Her tits and rear didn't enter the conversation at all. She never uses them to her advantage, she never attempts to seduce anyone or flirt with anyone, so her dressing up to show off doesn't make sense for her as a character and simply feels like pandering What's more, she wears high heels and has long hair that she doesn't tie up to battlefields. Doing those two things is vain at best and suicidal at worst. And it's not male gaze? Her ass isn't facing Shepard. It's facing the camera. It's meant for the player, not Shepard. It adds nothing to her character and actively conflicts with it. Ergo, male gaze. Kasumi was a bit of a flirt, it would've made more sense for her to dress like that.

I think I covered this already.

I'm just saying that when we saw commercials for Mass Effect, it was always Male Shep, except for a handful of FemShep ones for Mass Effect 3, and those came out after, almost as if they were an afterthought. This is a nice touch and a nod to people who are tired of heterosexual white men dominating a game that's supposed to be about choice and variety. It's a nice little treat and that's all people treat it as. I don't know why you're acting like people think it's something bigger. Ok, one thing that never fails to irritate me is people who say that every game ever is accused of sexism. I'd be very surprised if it turned out that 1% of games were actually accused of it. It's hyperbole, pure and simple.

It's just that pandering has gained a very negative connotation over the years. It may not have an impact on individual games, but the default character can reflect the attitudes of the company, and it is a nice inclusive and friendly thing to make people who want female main characters feel more welcome.
 

Pedro The Hutt

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They should take the cupcakes away again for the fact that most every woman shown in trailers so far walks with enormous hip swaying. But hey, one step at a time I guess.
 

UberPubert

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erttheking said:
Um...That's what I said? I...I have no idea what you're trying to say here. I'll just say that my copy of Mass Effect 1 & 2 have a nice big picture of Male Shep's big generic face on it.
No, what you said was "Every game", I've pointed out it was a minority of Bioware's released titles, because it is.

erttheking said:
That's because the majority of sexy female characters aren't sexy for the sake of complimenting their characters. They exist only for the sake of pandering The majority of games suck anyway, so call me a supporter of sturgeon's law if you must. Besides, it wasn't hostile at all.
While maybe not openly hostile, painting games in such a broad brush - such as saying the majority of them suck - makes one sound more like an ideologue or a self-proclaimed elitist than someone who's just interested in sharing characters they like.

erttheking said:
People aren't logical when they're angry, people get angry when they get passionate and people really get passionate when talking about gender in gaming. I know for a fact that a lot of the people who talk about sexism in Mass Effect love it, but no one is going to stop in the middle of a heated argument to say "by the way I really do like this game I'm just criticizing the flaws I disagree with." The human brain doesn't work that way.
Think about how rarely we actually excuse people's behavior simply because they're angry, or in love, or drunk. Split-second decisions can be rationalized away as the reptilian brain going haywire, but when we're talking about forum posts and internet messages they clearly had time to think them out, but chose not to.

erttheking said:
She is cold, ruthless, and arrogant
How does this at all speak to her not using her sexuality? If she's willing to do anything to get the job done, why would seduction, or even simple flirtation be off the table? And just because we don't see it in-game doesn't mean it never happened, how would we ever know half the cast was ever good at their professions prior to joining the Normandy? Shepherd does all the talking, there's very little other dialogue or espionage involved, all but the character's combat talents are pushed to the background because ultimately the game is a third person shooter.

erttheking said:
Her tits and rear didn't enter the conversation at all.
She absolutely does mention her looks, even if she doesn't specifically outline parts of her anatomy.

erttheking said:
What's more, she wears high heels and has long hair that she doesn't tie up to battlefields.
Most of the cast doesn't dress battle-ready. Thane wears an open jacket and slippers, Jacob has a skin tight zip-up leather jump suit and Jack is practically naked. Trying to point out inaccuracies in combat attire when the primary method of damage mitigation in the mass effect universe is personal shields and barriers made out of mind-powers is disingenuous. The fact of the matter is every character has an outfit designed around them to make them unique. If everyone was walking around in nearly identical environmentally sealed plate armor...then you'd have Mass Effect 1, which people probably complained about and Bioware changed.

erttheking said:
And it's not male gaze? Her ass isn't facing Shepard. It's facing the camera. It's meant for the player, not Shepard.
That's exactly what I said. In those scenes, her body language and dialogue is not just speaking to the player character, but the player themselves. At that point in the game, what Shephard thinks of her is utterly irrelevant, only her immediate appearance matters, because it's all Miranda has allowed the viewer to see. It isn't until her quest line is resolved and her loyalty gained that she (mostly) remains seated and Shephard is allowed to pursue a serious relationship. Besides, in order for Shepard to be staring at her ass, she'd have to be turned away from him and that would be an awkward conversation.

erttheking said:
This is a nice touch and a nod to people who are tired of heterosexual white men dominating a game that's supposed to be about choice and variety.
Two things. First: That is a lie. Nobody dominates the game except for what the player decides to create, any statements to the contrary are conjecture. Bioware has been as open to differently gendered characters for almost as long as they've been in business and it hasn't changed now, just the public perception of them. Second: That is wrong. No Bioware game has ever just been about "choice" and "variety", even the old Baldur's Gate games ultimately featured a linear narrative structure with chapters segmented by near-mandatory cut-scenes and locales, even though you had far, FAR more choice in what to make of your character than most games have noawadays. Now, Skyrim and it's ilk of open world rpgs and sandbox games like Saints Row? Those are all about freedom of expression, variety, and choice.


erttheking said:
Ok, one thing that never fails to irritate me is people who say that every game ever is accused of sexism. I'd be very surprised if it turned out that 1% of games were actually accused of it. It's hyperbole, pure and simple.
One could also say that accusing most sexualized female characters of existing solely for purpose of being sexy, and that the majority of the games they inhabit suck is also hyperbole, but I don't think that's going to stop anyone from bringing it up, because it seems true enough.

erttheking said:
It's just that pandering has gained a very negative connotation over the years.
Indeed it has. It might have something to do with everyone being accused of pandering to the straight white male demographic for the crime of featuring a straight white male character, but that would be hyperbole, wouldn't it?

erttheking said:
It may not have an impact on individual games, but the default character can reflect the attitudes of the company, and it is a nice inclusive and friendly thing to make people who want female main characters feel more welcome.
And like I keep repeating: This hasn't changed for Bioware, not in years. They adopted the male/female model I believe - in part - because it sprang from the DnD origins of which many isometric RPGs hail, namely games such as Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. In DnD you can be any gender, any color, any sexuality without being penalized for it, it existed for the fantasy of the players and I believe many fledgeling RPG developers took that to heart when they designed these games. But many are eager to forget where these developers and gamers stood, and where they still stand today, just because a trailer didn't suit their fantasy, just so they can grind an axe of misogyny claims against people who have done nothing of the sort.