This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear Bioware

When I started this blog I wanted it to be a mash up of all the things I like. I didn't want it to be one of those places that dispenses the same tired writing advice every day because the owner read somewhere that YOU MUST POST EVERY DAY TO SELL TEH BOOKZ. So I talk about food and gaming and politics and all that, as well as writing. In that spirit:

Dear Bioware. Stop jerking me the fuck around.

I recently started Mass Effect 2 and I played the hell out of both Dragon Age games. I will try not to write a freaking novel on these subjects though rest assured, I totally could. What inspires this post is the absolute gay romance fail currently polluting nearly every Bioware title, with the possible exception of DA2, if you happen to play a male Hawke. (in my opinion the lesbian options are AWFUL)

A friend and I recently got in to a huge discussion about Mass Effect and its many flaws along these lines. I honestly dropped Mass Effect 1 like it was dangerously radioactive when I ran in to Liara, a concept I hate with the fire of a thousand fiery suns. It's a thing I run in to in Mass Effect 2 as well, the whole haha aren't we clever including this reference but in reality they just end up looking like douchebags. See the NPC conversation that takes place when you meet Liara again in ME2, where a turian and a quarian are conversing nearby and he is clearly getting friend zoned. HAHA. Except the friend zone is kind of inherently a shitty concept intended to shame and punish women who don't put out even though OMG YOU SPENT SO MUCH TIME ON THEM.

But this rant is more about gay male romance in Mass Effect. Yes, I'm afraid I'm joining the fray on this one. I'll leave the stupid ass ableism and ridiculous ME3 rumors for later, though I will say it's another ZOMG WE R SO FUNNEH fail.

Here's the thing. I am sick and fucking tired of giving Bioware money only to be told gay options are going to be included later. SWTOR? No gay romance at launch, but they assure us that it is coming in an expansion. ME1? Liara is NOT a gay option. She is not even a good portrayal of a differently gendered society. She is a blatant fanservice chicks r hawt together vehicle with a thin coat of blue alien paint. So aside from whatever feeble attempt she is, there's NO gay male option in ME1.

ME2? Nope. Shit out of luck again. Jacob's abs will only be exposed for the ladies. Garrus will only put his adorably awkward moves on FemShep, and so on.

But the mention of Garrus brings me to my central point, which is: Bioware is saying that interspecies romance is more acceptable than a gay one. Don't get me wrong. I love it when aliens and humans can get together because there's so much wonderful territory to navigate as far as, hmm, how do we do this exactly? What are your cultural values versus mine? What actions and words show love and affection and why? For example, Babylon 5 had some killer scenes of this variety.

And I love Garrus. And Thane. But no one bats an eye at you crawling all over this guy. Or this one. By the way it is mentioned by the ship's doctor that you and Garrus approach incompatibly ahem, size wise, and that you are actually allergic to Thane to the point where prolonged contact makes you break out in hives.

So, snake man you are allergic to who blinks sideways and has exposed gills? AWESOME. Gay guys? EW GROSS. Even though this is SPACE and the FUTURE but apparently we're all such homophobic dickbags we can't possibly envision a society in which gay hate does not exist.

I visited the SWTOR forums recently (my first mistake) to get some more info about gay male romance in THAT game, and someone said something along the lines of them thinking romance should be optional because "a lot of kids play this game" and "I don't even want to see same sex options, even if I don't take them."

To think that Bioware would pander to this kind of homophobic asshole burns me, especially since he's holding up the poor delicate children argument. And yes, that is absolutely homophobic, that attitude. The whole I don't even want to look at it, even if it doesn't impact me in any way mentality. The whole children will somehow be forever damaged by seeing people in love kiss each other hate mongering nonsense.

Here's a hint, Bioware. The controversy helps you sell games. Take a risk. You did so well, in my opinion, with Fenris and Anders in DA2. (Zevran is the worst character ever and I don't even want to talk about it) I know you can do it. Stop jerking me around. It feels like you're just asking me to open my big queer wallet on the faint HOPE that I might one day see the kind of romance I want, without delivering shit that's tangible. It feels exploitative and I hope to god you fix this in Mass Effect 3 and you get off your asses and incorporate it in to SWTOR, or my love affair with you (a love affair which has been deep and layered and abiding) will finally start to cool off and die.