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.
It’s August, which we refuse to think too deeply about. But you know what’s great to think too deeply about? Stars. On nice, clear summer nights, you can see all kinds of stars if you’re lucky, even if those stars are in games. So let’s talk about them! (more…)
Emily Durham is a freelance writer by day and a Sidequest copyeditor by… also day. When they’re not editing or playing with cats, you can find them playing Celeste or Hollow Knight, sewing korok cosplays, or… playing with cats. You can find their tweets at @sedimentalvalue.
“My Dearest BioWare:
“The time we spent together in Mass Effect 2 were the best 386 hours of my life. And even though you never gave me Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III or Jade Empire II, I still keep Star Wars: The Old Republic updated on my PC with plans to complete every class story one day.
“You’ve taught me so much, BioWare. Before I met you, I never truly knew how to love. Now I can’t play any other game without trying to flirt with every NPC I encounter. I never knew aliens and robots could be so attractive. But you have opened my eyes to enchantments I never dreamed could be real. You made me understand that games are more than just L33T stats and the best armour. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have known about mods. You taught me that choices kind of matter, and when it turns out that they really don’t, I know now that fanfic and fan art and headcanon can fill every hole.
“Well, almost every hole…” (more…)
Mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order. Publisher at WomenWriteAboutComics.com
At Sidequest, we have a flexible staff of some 40 contributors. Publishing a Game of the Year list for each of us is simply unfeasible, and there’s always a lot of overlap. Instead of giving you another (late, even!) list of the top ten games we played this year and why, we decided to turn it over to someone else.
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.
RYDER FINALLY GOT LAID, Y’ALL. But, ahem, I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself here. After what felt like an eternity of flirting awkwardly, making my feelings known, taking him on every mission in the hopes of impressing him when I managed to use my jetpack successfully, I finally triggered the romance for Good Boy of Andromeda, Jaal. I was pretty sure, before I even started the game, that this was the romance I was going to go for (dem thighs), and while I did flirt with pretty much everyone at least a little bit, it didn’t take him very long to completely win me over. Vetra put in a REALLY GOOD EFFORT though, and I’m currently starting what I will refer to as my “spiky girlfriend” playthrough. I’m VERY VERY excited that Jaal is being added as a bisexual romance option in the future (as was originally intended), not just because he is obviously bi, but because he is so Good and Pure. Everyone should get to experience that. (more…)