The Jennifer Hepler discussion is taking a turn for the worse

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The whole idea of people getting upset over gay, male Bioware characters is a little disturbing. Does that mean people only think gay is fine if it means two girls kissing? Because that isn't okay, not by a long shot.

I don't agree with all of her ideas. Skipping combat and actual gameplay sections is stupid, but when people explode like this it gives non-gamers all the fodder they can take to throw back at us and not take this as seriously as it could be. Yeah gaming has made leaps and bounds in the last decade but shit like this stops it from progressing faster tot he general public.

-"I just figure they're jealous that I get to have both a vagina AND a games industry job, and they can't get either."- Jennifer Hepler

lol

She is asking for internet rage... why people take tweets seriously, I'll never understand. They are just as important as youtube comments. Also, this part doesn't help her internet status:

What is your least favorite thing about working in the industry?

Playing the games.

facepalm

Navvan:

Jordi:

manic_depressive13:

Admittedly I haven't played Mass Effect, but I doubt Sheperd ever announces "I am strictly heterosexual." How would a male romance option ruin the continuity?

In the previous games there were only straight romance options, both for male and female Shepard (and one genderless option). This creates a big incentive for players to think of Shepard as straight. Furthermore, they may have even tried to engage in gay relationships with the other gender Shepard's romance options and failed. Now, you could argue that those NPCs simply weren't gay, but I doubt he player even had the option of coming on to those characters.

So I'd say it isn't 100% impossible that Shepard is bi or homosexual, but if s/he was the previous games missed every opportunity to suggest that this is the case and heavily insinuated that the character is straight.

OT: It's never okay to harass people, but I can see why people think Hepler is a cancer on game development. It may be a harsh word, but if you don't want games to become more like movies or books and want random storylines to be tacked on to the story to advance some short of agenda, I'd say it's kind of accurate. Even if that agenda is as laudable as advancing gay emancipation.

As for the other point, it isn't much of one. Not having the option before to flirt with male characters does not mean Shephard wasn't gay or bi. For example there are major characters that you aren't able to flirt with. Does that mean Shephard was not or will not be at a later date? No, as precedent dictates with Tali ME1 -> Tali ME2. Garrus ME1 -> Garrus ME2.

It is a good point. Gameplay, and what is possible through it, create the character. The character only had straight options, it doesn't matter if you chose them or not. The implication is there that the character is straight because the choices are there. If they'd had the option in the original then it'd be fine, the vague canon of the character would've included variable sexuality. But they didn't, so it doesn't.

Sheperd never had the option to casually shoot Anderson because his character wouldn't do that. If in the 3rd game you can choose to shoot him out of hand the playerbase would be all wtfbbq up in BWs face, it just wouldn't make sense. Sexuality may just be a preference, but it is a life changing one. Whether you prefer beans to sprouts changes nothing, knob to vag though is something that has a major impact on someone's life and would be a known character trait.

An example of gameplay and story not meeting, to borrow from another BW game, is in the DA series. In both games you can become a Blood Mage, a decision that has ENORMOUS consequences in-lore. And yet there is not a single mention of it anywhere. Not a one. Considering the plot of DA2 this is especially criminal, bordering on completely stupid.

But back to the main topic, I'm against this because I am against retcons in general.

And on the actual thread topic, she doesn't deserve the criticism she's getting; though she does strike me somewhat as a moron.

Okay, I admit, I haven't followed all of this too closely as the thought of Same-sex stuff is awesome :P. Now both my chars can date Thane or Garrush.

Hoooowever...This is the same lady that said she'd rather have plots as written by Meyers rather than "by old white men" right?
She wants psycho-stalking child molesting vamps rather than, oh...Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Jordan etc? Yeah, as the SPoony One says: Worship my ****!
However, to flame her twitter seems a bit...I don't know, drastic? However as it seems the only time Bioware listen is when you rile them up, go on.
Side note: Is her twitter account still there so you can see all those horrible posts? Or are we to trust her word for it?

Navvan:
However there is a strict Female-Female lesbian romance option: Kelly Chambers.

Uh you can romance her as a male. I've done it before.
If you meant that as an example, than it can be more attributed to Kelly than to shepard. She mentions being pansexual, and a lot of the actual "romance" is implied.

As for the other point, it isn't much of one. Not having the option before to flirt with male characters does not mean Shephard wasn't gay or bi. For example there are major characters that you aren't able to flirt with. Does that mean Shephard was not or will not be at a later date? No, as precedent dictates with Tali ME1 -> Tali ME2. Garrus ME1 -> Garrus ME2.

It could very much mean he isn't gay. The problem is, is that since Shepard is a PC very little about him is set in stone. Using the lack of Homosexual options in previous games however, it can be easily assumed that he is straight because it would be out of Shepard's range of thought. (I.E. he would never have thought to flirt with the guy because he isn't gay)

I'm opposed to the homosexual shepard purely based on how god-awful the Anders romance was in DA2: It's being written by the same person. It also had no prior context. It's a recipe for disaster.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Oh yes. Lets turn this whole thing into a massive battle for justice in which you either on one side or the other, and one of them is made up exclusively of cunts. What a stupid way to look at this.

Accuses debating partner of using straw man.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This just goes to prove my point. There are many games out there that feature homosexuals in one way or another, but no one really discusses that aspect of them, because its just a part of the game. Not LOOK GAY SEX GUYS ARE WE COOL YET!?!?!?!

Uses straw man.

Are there really "many games out there that feature homosexuals"? Feature? Really? I'm unaware of them if that's true. 90% of the ones I see "feature" homosexuals either as camp, punchline or soft core lesbian porn aimed at the "titties omg omg" crowd. I'm not outraged about it or anything. It's too pervasive and obvious to be outraging. Mostly it's just kind of tiring.

kurupt87:
But back to the main topic, I'm against this because I am against retcons in general.

It's only a retcon if you retcon it, though. Shepard is whatever you want him/her to be. Is your Shepard straight? Then he/she is still straight. That part of the canon is completely flexible and 100% user controlled.

Fluoxetine:

If Shepard was straight but showing signs of curiosity or if the series was ABOUT Shepard's turn, this would make sense. But Mass Effect is about the struggle for survival against aliens. The use of homosexuality is merely a subplot to drum up controversy for a garbage writer who doesn't know how to continue a storyline to its third act.

As a homosexual, it is the mockery of your sexual preference as publicity tool that should offend you, and not a fanbase's loyalty towards established plot.

This is pretty much why I argue against it. Really it would be oxymoronic for me to be against Sheperd being gay. That is not my point here. My problem is how homosexuality is being used, and the consequences it is having on the gaming community: More butt xxx jokes, and also some about AIDS.

Oh god please, not this shit again!

Oh wait....*Hallelujah chorus*

evilthecat:
I'm really torn on this, so I'll break my post into two parts.

It's a good idea...

Everyone whining about how Shepherd is definitely 100% hetero and this is changing his character clearly doesn't understand how sexuality works. Practically everyone starts out as definitely confirmed 100% heterosexual. Many of us were not even raised with the awareness that there was any alternative.

I know it's comforting to believe that people have an intuitive spider sense which tells them their sexuality, but it's not true. All it takes for your sexuality to change is for you to meet someone of the "wrong" gender and be attracted to them. If you're seriously going to make the argument that that couldn't possibly happen to Shepherd because he hasn't been obviously portrayed as gay so far, then seriously.. what the fuck.

...but Bioware (or Hepler) isn't right for this material.

~Snip for space~

Thank you for this person/construct and their well thought out post.

Although I might disagree with their seemingly heteronormative stance for a small part, that could just be my lack of good reading comprehension right now :)

I do think Hepler is a poor choice as writer here but the amount of homophobic butthurt on this topic has little to do with her imho.

Good morning, Escapist Magazine.

I have a lot of thoughts and insight, but I'm not too sure if I can state what's on my mind or fit my thoughts where I want them to. Oh well, I suppose it's just going to be a lot like making a puzzle. A pretentious one, maybe, but still a puzzle none the less.

First lets talk about Hepler. No, I don't believe that she is a cancer. There are already plenty of games out there that indulge too greatly in trying to be movies - she's not the first. So to be honest, I'm afraid I simply don't see how she is a cancer to our entire industry. Unless she's a revolutionary, I don't believe that she's going to completely turn the entire video game medium into hollywood.

Secondly, she wasn't the only writer involved in the Bioware games with shoddy writing. (Such as DA2 in my opinion) So simply put, she alone just cannot take the blame. If anything, she's practically just being used as a scape goat because she said something that was, for a lack of a better word, ridiculous.

Thirdly, some of what Hepler said in that ridiculous quote was actually legitimate. I hated spending most of ME2 killing a bunch petty mercenaries that were more or less equivilant to gangsters. However, the most amazing part of the game was when I played as a fragile joker trying to save the Normandy. So, in a sense I can agree with what she said. I can agree with her that we don't need a bunch of combat basically stretching out the game (Hey, lets kill a bunch of mercenaries so I can plant a bomb in an abandoned base that'll probably wipe out a ton of wild life!) though I completely disagree with her notion that we should skip parts of gameplay to get to cinematics. No, just no. We don't need to use cinematics for storyteling, we should use gameplay. That is what made the Joker part so amazing - because it was interactive.

I believe that's the Hepler portion of my post so I'll go ahead and move onto the whole gayness issue.

I feel sexuality does have a place in this story, as long as it's done well. In fact, anything can be absolutely perfect if it's done well in execution. Given that their are a ton of gay men who get married and spend their entire lives denying their sexuality I honestly wouldn't even be surprised if players were forced to be a gay shepard in the third game. As far as sexuality goes, there aren't any hints or signals that someone is gay. Sure, there are some fellows that are transparently gay, but only in the same way that their are some nerds that just makes you want to scream 'Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerd!'

Well, Bioware romances are mediocre at best, and Hepler's are easily the worst written of all of them. I vehemently dislike her Anders Romance, because of how manipulative it is.

If you are male and pursue the romance, then Anders tells you about how he and Karl were lovers beforehand. However, if you choose the female romance, then this piece of information is omitted. While it might seem small at first, think about the implications of this: Hepler changes Anders' character for the sole reason of setting him up for a romance.

What the hell is that about? His sexuality is chosen based on which gender you selected? How is that good writing? That only reduces his character to the point where if you want to get any semblance of what he's like, you have to bone him. Removing elements of his character so that you go chasing his dick is not only offensive to me, but just stupid and lazy.

I wouldn't have a problem with Bioware pursuing homosexual romances if they actually treated them with some dignity. Instead what I see is Bioware bragging and boasting about how progressive they are for even having a gay option, despite how lazy, manipulative, and just plain stupid they are.

EDIT.
Also, I just read the Kotaku article. Wow, so she's being a prick right back to them. And she's bragging about having a vagina? Sorry, but I don't think I want yours Hamburger Helper.

The woman's a hack.

Her writing is loose stool water, arse gravy of the worst kind.

That's all I have to say on the subject of Helper.

Soviet Heavy:
I wouldn't have a problem with Bioware pursuing homosexual romances if they actually treated them with some dignity. Instead what I see is Bioware bragging and boasting about how progressive they are for even having a gay option, despite how lazy, manipulative, and just plain stupid they are.

But this is true of their heterosexual romances as well. They're just as terribly written in DA2, to the point of being atrocious. If people want to march on Bioware, it should be with the intent of having them write less terrible romances. I don't understand what this has to do with homosexuality at all.

Fluoxetine:

Or better yet, think of the Midichlorian counts from Lucas' prequel trilogy. You don't establish a mechanic in an ongoing series and then just wipe it without direction. This isn't about homophobia, its about poor writing.

If Shepard was straight but showing signs of curiosity or if the series was ABOUT Shepard's turn, this would make sense. But Mass Effect is about the struggle for survival against aliens. The use of homosexuality is merely a subplot to drum up controversy for a garbage writer who doesn't know how to continue a storyline to its third act.1

...Did you pay any attention to the massive amount of flirting going on between [male]Shep and Kaidan, and [fem]Shep and Ashley? Because it was totally there, you just weren't given the opportunity to bone. There has been no time in which Shepard has been identified as heterosexual - in fact, there are only a handful of characters in the series who have shown to have a guaranteed sexuality. Those would be Jack (who specifically mentions that she tried it and didn't like it) and Miranda (who I recall saying to [fem]Shep that she wasn't interested) and Mordin (who says "if I wanted to try human, I'd go with you" to Sheps of both genders.

As for 1, let me know if this makes sense for the first two games:
"Mass Effect is about the struggle for survival against aliens. The use of sexuality is merely a subplot to drum up controversy".
Besides, there WERE gay options recorded in Mass Effect 1 & 2, they were just cut because they wanted to avoid controversy. And now they don't care, because Mass Effect 3 will sell well regardless.

TL;DR Shepard is who you want him/her to be. You can choose everything about Shep from his genetic background to his history to his personality. Why should Shep's sexuality be any different?

I don't understand how people like the OP can feel that "options" are being "forced" on them.

jezcentral:
I don't understand how people like the OP can feel that "options" are being "forced" on them.

Because they were forced on them before, by the same writer. They have every right to be skeptical. Again, we go back to the Anders romance. If you reject him, as either gender, he becomes pissy and you lose friendship points. So if you're a male Hawke, he'll become bitchy with you if you don't take his romance path.

So, instead of you pursuing a romance with him on your own interests, the character presses himself on you, and if you refuse, you are punished for it.

I keep having a bad feeling that it will arise in Mass Effect 3 with James Vega, who will suddenly come out of the closet to reveal his true sexuality that he kept repressed. And all I can see is that they would include such a thing to criticize the US Army's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy from a few years back.

Phaerim:

I am gay, and this digital throwing of feces has to stop. Now.

i am sorry sir, but i can quite positively say that the feces will continue to be flung as long as there are people to fling it, and btw i really like your point about how the whole saving the universe thing should probably take precedence over ones significant other. and just to contribute further to that point, ive always thought it was very unrealistic how in dragon age 2
every single character is completely fluid in terms of their sexuality, and i dunno it just feels like either lazy writing, or you know theyre just trying in the easiest way possible to appeal to everybody. and just putting this out there but does anyone else feel like DA is like the trashy romance novels of video games?

BloatedGuppy:

kurupt87:
But back to the main topic, I'm against this because I am against retcons in general.

It's only a retcon if you retcon it, though. Shepard is whatever you want him/her to be. Is your Shepard straight? Then he/she is still straight. That part of the canon is completely flexible and 100% user controlled.

No, if you'd read the rest of my post you'd see why I can't agree with that. However, I didn't link my two first paragraphs particularly well, I should've included something like "and even if they had". So, I'll forgive you.

My point is that being gay is not a minor character trait, it's a big deal. It alone shapes people's entire lives. Shep is not a shrinking violet of a character. Once it becomes clear s/he'll spend a large amount of time with someone, or intends to become their friend, there'd be an up front declaration (I struggled to spell that and put deceleration first, it's sounded differently but could be the same) of the type, "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."

It is a big enough deal that if you want to include variable sexuality then you should do it at character generation. That way it is outside of the game and dialogue can accommodate it with minor tweaks, like with male/female now.

kurupt87:
No, if you'd read the rest of my post you'd see why I can't agree with that. However, I didn't link my two first paragraphs particularly well, I should've included something like "and even if they had". So, I'll forgive you.

My point is that being gay is not a minor character trait, it's a big deal. It alone shapes people's entire lives. Shep is not a shrinking violet of a character. Once it becomes clear s/he'll spend a large amount of time with someone, or intends to become their friend, there'd be an up front declaration (I struggled to spell that and put deceleration first, it's sounded differently but could be the same) of the type, "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."

It is a big enough deal that if you want to include variable sexuality then you should do it at character generation. That way it is outside of the game and dialogue can accommodate it with minor tweaks, like with male/female now.

I'm not sure that the presence of an option means that this is part of Shepard's character, though. I'm given many Renegade options during my Paragon runs that would be wildly out of character for MY Shepard, but their existence does not threaten my roleplaying. I just don't take them. In the same way I didn't sex up my same-sex compatriots in DA2, because my Hawke was straight.

I don't even disagree that having every character be every color of the rainbow is kind of lazy and boring, but it's universally lazy and boring, it has nothing to do with sexuality.

And my Shepard is still going to be straight. No ret-conning required. Even if that means having her be faithful to dull old Jacob Taylor.

BloatedGuppy:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Oh yes. Lets turn this whole thing into a massive battle for justice in which you either on one side or the other, and one of them is made up exclusively of cunts. What a stupid way to look at this.

Accuses debating partner of using straw man.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This just goes to prove my point. There are many games out there that feature homosexuals in one way or another, but no one really discusses that aspect of them, because its just a part of the game. Not LOOK GAY SEX GUYS ARE WE COOL YET!?!?!?!

Uses straw man.

Are there really "many games out there that feature homosexuals"? Feature? Really? I'm unaware of them if that's true. 90% of the ones I see "feature" homosexuals either as camp, punchline or soft core lesbian porn aimed at the "titties omg omg" crowd. I'm not outraged about it or anything. It's too pervasive and obvious to be outraging. Mostly it's just kind of tiring.

"When you dont know what to say, type straw man a few times and be done with it." - Bloated Guppy

It seems ridiculous to me that people are annoyed at this so called "continuity change". Argue all you want that Sheperd was always a heterosexual character and changing that is just fucking the canon up royally, but it isn't true. For two reasons.

1) In the first game FemShep could go with Liara, so it's clear that Sheperd hasn't always been heterosexual.

2) If you don't want your Sheperd to be gay, then don't choose those options. Seriously, if you think it messes with the canon then it's simple, don't pick those options. Seems to me that people are outraged that there is even an option for Sheperd to be gay, which is ridiculous.

kurupt87:

My point is that being gay is not a minor character trait, it's a big deal. It alone shapes people's entire lives. Shep is not a shrinking violet of a character. Once it becomes clear s/he'll spend a large amount of time with someone, or intends to become their friend, there'd be an up front declaration (I struggled to spell that and put deceleration first, it's sounded differently but could be the same) of the type, "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."

It is a big enough deal that if you want to include variable sexuality then you should do it at character generation. That way it is outside of the game and dialogue can accommodate it with minor tweaks, like with male/female now.

Well, it for sure is a big character trait. But i don't think Shep has to be a "shrinking violet" to not explain to everyone that he's gay. Why would you need a "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."-option in a future that hopefully is progressive enough that homosexuality isn't considered abnormal?
I don't know what to think of including sexuality in character generation. Sure, real people don't make their sexualities up on the fly, but the same applies to most character traits. You can't set them all there, so why single sexuality out?

Well its their game they can do what they want they can even make it so the first 2 games were just a dream shepard was having if they wanted, if you dont like what they have done/are doing that much dont buy the game simple. As for the gay straight thing I dont really care I would prefer they just did one relationship well rather than many badly or even leave it out all together the games more about big intergalactic battles than indepth exploration of characters anyway.

As for Jennifer Hepler I have no opinion on her but I do love her quote about her finding the playing of games the worst part about her job thats honesty right there gotta admire that, such a brilliant and stupid thing to say.

My Shepard is too busy trying to save the galaxy to have any kind of relationship. Maybe when it's all over...

orangeban:
Seems to me that people are outraged that there is even an option for Sheperd to be gay, which is ridiculous.

Incredibly ridiculous, why would playing a gay character make any difference? I understand some people still have the stigma where they view gay men as being weaker (start of banning gays from the military) but this is obviously not true anyway.

And even if Shepherd was stone cold gay what difference would it make? I'm not a nuclear war survivor, an orc, a woman, a cop, a witch, dead, professional assassin or space marine, and even though I play them in games it won't turn me into any of those.

The only argument I can think of is that players often create themselves in shepherds place, but even then being gay is only an option. just like flirting with the delivery boy is an option, one you probably won't take today but it's always an option.

Phaerim:
I stumbled across this information, while joyfully reading about the GW2 RvR that I am looking forward too. But sadly, my day got a hell of a lot more depressing.

Here is a link:

http://kotaku.com/5886674/bioware-writer-describes-her-gaming-tastes-angry-gamers-call-her-a-cancer

G.I.F.T. at it's finest, ladies and gentlemen.

This is reprehensible.

How in the name of holy hell is it wrong for a gamer to enjoy their game in different ways? Hmm? Because it sure as hell doesn't hurt you any! Whoever does this kind of bullshit, grow up.

BloatedGuppy:

I'm not sure that the presence of an option means that this is part of Shepard's character, though. I'm given many Renegade options during my Paragon runs that would be wildly out of character for MY Shepard, but their existence does not threaten my roleplaying. I just don't take them. In the same way I didn't sex up my same-sex compatriots in DA2, because my Hawke was straight.

I don't even disagree that having every character be every color of the rainbow is kind of lazy and boring, but it's universally lazy and boring, it has nothing to do with sexuality.

And my Shepard is still going to be straight. No ret-conning required. Even if that means having her be faithful to dull old Jacob Taylor.

The games tell us everything we know about Shepard (I thought I remembered BW spelling that differently, oops). It sets up a broad canon for the character, but a canon nonetheless.

Interacting with the other characters is a big part of the Mass Effect games. The fact that even if you want to you can't go gay, but you can bed a woman, implies that the character is not gay. You have both male and female companions, you can talk to both and you can get to be good friends with both. You can't shag both but you can shag the women, ergo Shep is straight.

Similarly, Shep kills people all day long. If you want to kill Udina though, you can't. Why? Because it's not something Shep would do.

In the paragon vs renegade example you gave the canon tells us that Shep will do anything to save the day. That difference between putting himself more at risk to ensure the best outcome and putting at risk others to ensure the best outcome is a non-issue for that broad canon. Both are ok.

--

With the presence of straight romance options in the first two games and the complete lack of any indication that this hugely character defining trait is present, the character is presented as straight.

--

It's less of a deal for femshep because the soldier-hero fantasy is a male one. I actually assume that femshep is a lesbian, or at the very least sexually dominant. It just makes more sense to me. It's just that The Soldier Hero is nearly always a man and obviously has the typical male characteristics that people find admirable in men, so for femshep I extend that proclivity for maleness to the rest of her character.

BW couldn't have had a lesbian femshep and not a gay Shep though, that would not have gone down well. So they axed both.

I dare everyone who disagrees with her to look me in the eye and tell me most Bioware games wouldn't be improved if you could skip the combat whenever you wanted.

Imagine a Dragon Age Origins where you can skip the Deep Roads.

Imagine a Mass Effect series where you can skip the boring-ass combat.

Or, hell, imagine any Bioware game where you can skip the boring-ass combat.

That would be fucking amazing, I think. You know, giving options so you can enjoy the game how you want.

Going full-on sexist fuckwad like so many people seem to be doing is certainly not helping things either.

I don't care that Shepard can become gay.
I DO care about how it's going to be handled, and if good ol' Hamburger Helper writes it, I just know that it will be shit.

Irridium:
I dare everyone who disagrees with her to look me in the eye and tell me most Bioware games wouldn't be improved if you could skip the combat whenever you wanted.

Imagine a Dragon Age Origins where you can skip the Deep Roads.

Imagine a Mass Effect series where you can skip the boring-ass combat.

Or, hell, imagine any Bioware game where you can skip the boring-ass combat.

That would be fucking amazing, I think. You know, giving options so you can enjoy the game how you want.

Going full-on sexist fuckwad like so many people seem to be doing is certainly not helping things either.

If you would leave your sunglasses off for a second, I would. I enjoyed the deeproads TYVM, and if I sped too much time out of combat or some form of action in a bioware game I start getting REALLY board. The second town in Jade Empire, the LENGHTY start of Taris. Boring stuff.

EDIT:

OT: I couldn't care less about the gay options, I won't use em personally, so It literally does not affect me. Hell, even if it's a pushy gay like anders, I couldn't care less, fuck that guy(figuratively of course :p)

kman123:
And this folks is why gaming is still not respected.

Or maybe it is...what do I care.

You kidding? This reaction is pretty common in other media.

Video Games might get more crap for it, but we get crap for stuff you can see on network TV during hours kids are typically up, too.

DVS BSTrD:

Hell my maleshep isn't gay, but I might just fuck Garrus in ME3 anyway.

It's not gay if it's with a Turian.

Of course, you've got the Fox News crowd banging on about how interspecies sex is an affront to God....

But now, I'm afraid I have to get a little bit serious again.

Phaerim:

Allright, so besides people calling her a cancer, I kept browsing, and apparantly people are also very annoyed at her writing a homosexual plotline for the male Sheperd. Because of this she is a cancer on the gaming community.

Wait, what? Can you actually link the two? All your link shows is she got shit for saying things about gaming. I don't doubt there are negative comments about her writing "gay" storylines, but is there anyone who actually said "She writes gay romances; she is a cancer?"

And while we're on what she said, I find the "If you're a woman" thing to be utterly ridiculous. I know she said "especially" if you're a mother, but it sort of sounds like women are meant to make dinner and babies. I don't hate her or think her a cancer, but she doesn't speak for women, she doesn't speak for female gamers. And to be honest, if you can't balance a career and a child, you probably shouldn't have both.

(Before anyone gets on my ass about that, I know plenty of women who can handle both. Many of them even manage to play games in their spare time, strangely enough. I'm not bashing women who seek both/all three elements, but if her complaints about the business stem from difficulty surrounding this clash, then there's a problem on her end specifically.)

Actually, I'm dubious about skipping one of the core elements of a video game in the first place, but that she first sets it up as a woman thing is fairly offensive. Especially when she lists chores.

While she doesn't deserve being called a cancer and the like, I find her fairly unlikeable already.

Wilhelm Figge:

kurupt87:

My point is that being gay is not a minor character trait, it's a big deal. It alone shapes people's entire lives. Shep is not a shrinking violet of a character. Once it becomes clear s/he'll spend a large amount of time with someone, or intends to become their friend, there'd be an up front declaration (I struggled to spell that and put deceleration first, it's sounded differently but could be the same) of the type, "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."

It is a big enough deal that if you want to include variable sexuality then you should do it at character generation. That way it is outside of the game and dialogue can accommodate it with minor tweaks, like with male/female now.

Well, it for sure is a big character trait. But i don't think Shep has to be a "shrinking violet" to not explain to everyone that he's gay. Why would you need a "I'm gay. Got a problem with that? Deal with it."-option in a future that hopefully is progressive enough that homosexuality isn't considered abnormal?
I don't know what to think of including sexuality in character generation. Sure, real people don't make their sexualities up on the fly, but the same applies to most character traits. You can't set them all there, so why single sexuality out?

The society is not described as progressive. Unless something is described as different it is assumed to be the same, otherwise authors would have to describe absolutely everything.

In fact, racism is a big issue in the first game. I know it'd obviously flare up in real life if ever there were contact but still, it only serves to illustrate how like ours their society is.

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Compare this to Iain M Banks' Culture novels, where he describes his society as pansexual and also transsexual. It is considered normal for its citizens to be sexually active with both men and women and, enabled easily via technology, to switch themselves between being male and female. He even has a character that is criticised for being exclusively hetero and one which is considered odd for being asexual and, using technology like the transsexuals have, making herself completely androgynous.

If he had not described the society as such you would assume that the majority of men and women are straight, that there is a minority of gays and lesbians and an extremely small minority of transsexuals.

When reading fiction; in lieu of stated difference, reality is assumed.

Edit: Bugger, forgot to address your point about Shep not not being a shrinking violet.

S/he is absolutely not a shrinking violet, this person kills people and is beyond capable. There is no way that character would have patience with homophobic bigots. A homo bigot is the only type of person that is protected by Shep being a shrinking violet, why would Shep protect them?

Your point about what gets included in character generation is valid, though it's handicapped by the fact that most big issues don't come up. It also has an origin system which can be used to justify being either paragon or renegade, it works for either extreme (an extreme character needs an extreme reason to be so extreme, ergo the origin justifications).

They actually did racism in the first game, and did it badly too. They tied it to the paragon/renegade system, which I don't agree with. That defeated the purpose of the bar, which was stated to not be a good/bad system but a merciful/merciless one. There is a relationship there, but not one that would hold up in reality; especially not given Shep's aim of doing the best for humanity.

Though I s'pose he is about protecting it rather than doing the best for it, so you could use that to justify it (seeing alien culture as a threat to combat yada yada). But either way, it shouldn't have had anything to do with the para/ren system.

Sorry, tangent-ed myself.

I think they should've had racist or not in character generation, since they dealt with it. That's much more controversial though, since it's making the player the perpetrator rather than the victim. Maybe dress it up as pro-Human/pro-Alien.

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Whatevs, these things affect your life and would that of a character. And since ME is a game with a large focus on socialising/shagging with your (alien in ref. to my racism side topic) squaddies it really should be apparent.

Phaerim:
**snip**

Hey there.

As a "gay-mer" (that's gay/bisexual gamer to those unfamiliar with the Escapist gay-mer group), having read through the Kotaku article... that really isn't people's main issue with her. Yes, idiots will bitch about gay Shep or gay Anders, but... whatever.

Also - to all idiots who say that Shep was never gay - Shep is a character you ROLE PLAY. If MY Shep has always been gay, but has never been allowed in a relationship, then all ME3 is doing is giving me OPTIONS. FREEDOM. If YOUR Shep isn't gay, then don't be gay. It's that simple. Bioware isn't crowbaring in anything - they're giving players the Freedom to be the kind of Shepard they want to be.

Ahem. Anyway.

Back to the main topic. What people seem to be upset about is Hepler's opinion that gamers should be given the option to skip some of the combats. Why? Because she is a busy person who likes games, but doesn't have much time to play. She doesn't want to spend 100 hours trying to get the "good ending" - she wants to play as much (or as little) as she wants, and get to see the ending she wants to see.

And you know what? Good for her. I completely agree. I LIKE me a 100 hour RPG, but I've also played a few BAD Rpgs in my day... and let me tell you, if I just want to see the end, having to grind in a game that isn't fun... that's fucking bullshit. Screw that.

Yes, I can You-Tube it. I've done so with games I just didn't like, just to see the story. But in a good game, a lot of the story happens outside of cut-scenes during gameplay. So yeah, I could watch a Let's Play... assuming I can find one, and assuming that some jack-ass isn't talking over the in-game dialogue. Or even some cool, funny guys - I love watching Paul and Graham's Let's Play videos on the LRR site - but if I want to hear the game, not them (which, considering the games they play, hasn't been an issue yet) I can't because they're talking over it.

So, really, why can't I have the option to just go rent the game and skip the actual GAME part of the game if I want to? Is it required that I enjoy my games just like you enjoy yours? What if I don't WANT (or have time) for a challenge?

Which reminds me - if a game doesn't have difficulty settings, I'm probably not playing it. I play on Casual or Normal - because I want to see the STORY not replay battles over and over again.

So yes, the bile being vomited out against Jennifer Hepler is unwarranted and awful. She is an awesome writer. If I thought I could get a message to her through the massive pile of stupid hate, then I would tell her that I agree with her completely and that the internet is full of idiotic dipshits who can't understand that not everyone enjoys the same things they do.

I have just sent Ms. Hepler a message of support. I hope other Escapists will join me in doing the same. Ms. Hepler does not deserve this - we should show our support for her.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2010/02/08/bioware-shepherd-is-heterosexual-by-choice/1

here is something i found on the internet...i interpret as meaning that Shepard is an established character that you control and dictate his actions. for instance you can make him drink but Shepard is not a alcoholic...im not a fan of this gay romance stuff in this game because i think it could turn out like this

Garrus: Shepard can we talk

Shepard: Sure Garrus, finish that calibration?

Garrus: Yes and i wanted to tell you something remember that story i told you when we worked for Cerberus?

Shepard: Ya that one about you having reach but she having flexibility?

Garrus: Ya well she was a he...im gay

I fell it will be done in a similar way. im not against gay romance in games it just right now it fells like their pandering to an audience that was angry at no gay male on male romances in mass effect 1 and 2

If i am not making sense please quote me i think i make sense but im not the best writer

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