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Default Mass Effect 3 - FemShep vote - wrong move? @ Destructoid

August 16th, 2011, 17:11
Sophie Prell from Destructoid has penned an editorial about this - arguing that the FemShe vote was indeed wrong. Here's a quote:
Forgetting any ideas regarding misogyny or sexism, it's just plain inconsistent to allow fans to choose, democratically or not, the look of FemShep that will be used for marketing. The world of Mass Effect was constructed and designed. Garrus, Miranda, and all of our Normandy crewmates were constructed and designed. Despite being based off Dutch model Mark Vanderloo, the face of John Shepard, whom we've come to associate with BioWare's epic space opera, is constructed and designed. BioWare chose Vanderloo's face. They picked him specifically and without fan help, presumably because they felt his look would best represent the sci-fi hero saving us all from ancient machines which lurk beyond the dark void of knowable space.
Do you agree?
More information.
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August 16th, 2011, 17:11
Maybe the good, hard-working, awesome folk at Bioware have forgotten that sexism (like racism and many other things) works both ways. While giving too much attention to the male audience or the people who chose to play as a male character (when the two audiences are in equal numbers off course, and one of them is not a minority) is definitely not appropriate, giving more attention to the female audience (or the people who chose a female character) is being plain sexist as well.
If equal number of players had chosen to play as characters of both genders, a Fem-Shepard would be just as important as a male Shepard. Now that the fem-Shepard is a minority, I don't know why they chose to give her more attention than the male Shepard.
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August 16th, 2011, 17:24
Here we go again. Give fans what they want and they always find something to bitch about. People should remember you customize your shepherd.

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August 16th, 2011, 17:29
My comment;
I challenge you to find ten protagonists (main characters), male or female, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

As a nord I find some of the comments in this article somewhat disturbing. I am sorry for being born.

"Blonde, Blue-Eyed" yes. Guess what, we nords look like that (many of us). More important; I cannot say that the combination "Blonde" and "Blue-Eyed" are common. In fact, they are rare. The stereotype computer-game hero, male or female, have dark-hair and brown-eyes. Even male Shepherd is your run-of-the-mill dark-haired, brown-eyed dude, like pretty much every major computergame character out there lately.

The only female protagonist with blonde hair and blue eyes that I can remember are Samus Aran and Giana in Giana Sisters to Commodore 64. The only male is Duke Nukem but please do not compare me to that guy.

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August 16th, 2011, 17:32
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Give fans what they want
THis part of the sentence is not needed.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
and they always find something to bitch about.
Truth, and nothing but the truth. Shall we join the club?
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August 16th, 2011, 17:39
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The only female protagonist with blonde hair and blue eyes that I can remember are Samus Aran and Giana in Giana Sisters to Commodore 64. The only male is Duke Nukem but please do not compare me to that guy.
I could also name Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII and The Avatar from Ultima (even if some of the game offered personalisation the blue eyes blonde male became the canon version in the end)

-Sergorn
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August 16th, 2011, 17:41
I do agree.

There is something called an Artists vision. Ofcourse it can be influenced by fans but it feels a bit wrong when it is so direct. Democracies often end up in ugly compromises nobody ends up liking. As artists or a group of artist you can decide your groups ideal vision. Therefore a vote feels a bit iffy. Admittedly they did prepare 6 or so FemSheps so their artistry is still in each one, but evenso it feels like they didn't want to make a choice themselves.

Looking at it a different way it can also be a 'slick' way of showing how diverse the character editor is. Which makes it less of a big deal were it not that Bioware first made it a big deal themselves.

I already found it a bad move they modelled Miranda after the voice actress. I kept wondering what the character looked like before they had found a voice actor for it? In other words the original artists vision.

I have no interest in the equal gender debate. I didn't even think a FemShep was needed. But it is looks silly to act like the equal gender rights advocate and then start a beauty pageant.
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August 16th, 2011, 17:54
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
My comment;
I challenge you to find ten protagonists (main characters), male or female, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

As a nord I find some of the comments in this article somewhat disturbing. I am sorry for being born.

"Blonde, Blue-Eyed" yes. Guess what, we nords look like that (many of us). More important; I cannot say that the combination "Blonde" and "Blue-Eyed" are common. In fact, they are rare. The stereotype computer-game hero, male or female, have dark-hair and brown-eyes. Even male Shepherd is your run-of-the-mill dark-haired, brown-eyed dude, like pretty much every major computergame character out there lately.

The only female protagonist with blonde hair and blue eyes that I can remember are Samus Aran and Giana in Giana Sisters to Commodore 64. The only male is Duke Nukem but please do not compare me to that guy.
My problem with the vote isn't so much with who was chosen, but that there even was a vote. It would be the same if a male character was chosen.

But you're right, videogame's male characters are often 'Tall, Dark and Handsome'.

Duke Nukem is probably a bleach blonde.
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August 16th, 2011, 17:57
This article misappropriates a certain stereotype of woman and parades it as if it were somehow a given truth for everyone. I can see where it's coming from, but on the whole, I don't accept the conclusion or agree with the premises. I think it's projecting and 'reaching in the statements it makes and I can see why JemyM (and others with blue eyes and blonde hair) could be offended by it.

And Vanderloo who? I don't know about everyone else, but I made my Shepherd as subversively ugly and as uncharismatic as possible. The emphasis on appearance is ridiculous. Ultimately people will customise and make their own Shepherds regardless of what image is chosen for marketing purposes.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
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August 16th, 2011, 18:02
Originally Posted by Sergorn View Post
I could also name Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII and The Avatar from Ultima (even if some of the game offered personalisation the blue eyes blonde male became the canon version in the end)

-Sergorn
1. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
2. Avatar (Ultima)
3. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Forever)
4. Samus Aran (Metroid)
5. Giana (Giana Sisters)

Need 5 more. Only main characters are accepted.

Here's a list of dark haired heroes I created myself on the top of my head, started 17:56.

1. Drake (Uncharted)
2. MaleShep (Mass Effect)
3. Desmond (Assassin's Creed)
4. Marcus Fenix (Gears of War)
5. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
6. Jade (Beyond Good and Evil)
7. Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
8. Sam Fischer (Splinter Cell)
9. Point Man (F.E.A.R.)
10. Isaac (Dead Space)

… 18:02.

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August 16th, 2011, 18:15
Honestly, why should anybody care what a customizable character looks like in advertisment?
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August 16th, 2011, 19:34
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Need 5 more. Only main characters are accepted.
Then let's continue with the Final Fantasy blondies: VI - Terra; IX - Zidane; X- Tidus; XII - Vaan, Ashe and Bash all qualify (I listed these three because I'm still not sure which one of them is supposed to be the main protagonist).
So. In Rise of the Triad, the default character was Taradino Cassatt, and he was blond. Can't think of any more right now. Later, perhaps.
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August 16th, 2011, 19:55
I think it's great, put a tremendous smile on my face. Blonde, blue eyed. Tho not my type, it's wonderful to get so many female and fem-male panties in a twist in one fell swoop.

Eat it, whiners
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August 16th, 2011, 20:23
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
Then let's continue with the Final Fantasy blondies: VI - Terra; IX - Zidane; X- Tidus; XII - Vaan, Ashe and Bash all qualify (I listed these three because I'm still not sure which one of them is supposed to be the main protagonist).
So. In Rise of the Triad, the default character was Taradino Cassatt, and he was blond. Can't think of any more right now. Later, perhaps.
I actually continued the Final Fantasy series myself and realised that it's one serie in which blondes are very common for some reason.

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August 16th, 2011, 21:04
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I think it's great, put a tremendous smile on my face. Blonde, blue eyed. Tho not my type, it's wonderful to get so many female and fem-male panties in a twist in one fell swoop.

Eat it, whiners
I agree its amusing isn't it.

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August 16th, 2011, 21:20
You just knew when the vote thing was announced that there would be a half dozen editorials by women about how horrible it is.
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August 16th, 2011, 21:28
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
My comment;
I challenge you to find ten protagonists (main characters), male or female, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

As a nord I find some of the comments in this article somewhat disturbing. I am sorry for being born.

"Blonde, Blue-Eyed" yes. Guess what, we nords look like that (many of us). More important; I cannot say that the combination "Blonde" and "Blue-Eyed" are common. In fact, they are rare. The stereotype computer-game hero, male or female, have dark-hair and brown-eyes. Even male Shepherd is your run-of-the-mill dark-haired, brown-eyed dude, like pretty much every major computergame character out there lately.

The only female protagonist with blonde hair and blue eyes that I can remember are Samus Aran and Giana in Giana Sisters to Commodore 64. The only male is Duke Nukem but please do not compare me to that guy.


As one who used to be blond (alas age changed that) and is blue eyed I understand and agree. There is a strong anti-nordic resentment in the game and entertainment industry, down to Comics heroes and movie heroes.

Superman, Batman, Harry Potter, Frodo, look at ANY popular hero of the last 20 years and the VAST majority are black haired or brown haired. Most blonde people are shown as dumb and arrogant.


That aside, yes indeed game industry is so chauvinistic and lost in super old fashioned stereotypes, always female with biniki chainmail. That is so childish and nerdy! A gentleman should value a woman as strong and honored equal not as as show—girl puppet!
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August 16th, 2011, 21:48

Why does anyone care again?
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August 16th, 2011, 21:56
Originally Posted by Jack View Post

Why does anyone care again?
WOW, that means 50% of the people who started ME2 were not insterested enough to finish it! :O
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August 16th, 2011, 22:19
Originally Posted by Sophie Prell
misogyny […] sexism
Oh boy, grab your umbrellas.
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