Oh, Mass Effect, my problematic love.
As an entirely new audience discovers the joy of the original trilogy via the Legendary Edition, I’ve been thinking about what drew me back to the series again and again. Sometimes when we talk about this series, it’s easier to focus on what we don’t love about it. As Kael’s Diary of a Hardline Shep points out, Commander Shepherd’s “extrajudicial space cop” status sure hits different in this decade. It’s worth thinking critically about why even Shepherd’s diplomatic duties typically involve guns. It’s certainly worth thinking critically about how (and why??) sexual dimorphism in aliens is represented—not to mention human and alien sexuality, and the mysteriously limited romantic options for a gay male Shepherd. And as Zainabb said in last August’s roundtable, the pleasure of exploring the discoverable universe is interwound with the pleasure of controlling and/or colonizing it: the space cantinas are Shepherd’s to raid, the space crates are Shepherd’s to loot, and the Krogan coming-of-age ceremony is simply waiting for Shepherd to crash. (more…)
Sara Davis is a recovering academic and marketing writer who lives in Philadelphia. Her PhD in American literature is from Temple University. She blogs about books, games, climate change, and other obsessions at literarysara.net.
September often feels like the year is winding down, but, if you’re anything like Sidequest’s editor in chief, it’s also one of the most exciting times of the year. No, not because pumpkin spice is here. No, it’s not even because Halloween is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to pick up “seasonal decor” that just becomes year-round decor. It’s because it’s the beginning of the school year, and nothing fills us (okay, me) with joy like new pencils and books and a bunch of learning to do.
But we already did a back to school roundtable, so we’re not talking about school. We’re talking about beginnings. What makes a good beginning? What makes a bad beginning? Let’s find out.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.