Your Bioware Crushes & Squishes: ‘Mass Effect’ Friendship Edition

Mass Effect

Welcome to “Your Bioware Crushes & Squishes,” where I report on the FemHype crew’s favorite Bioware romances and friendships! Both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series are near and dear to many of our hearts, so I thought I’d throw a virtual sleepover of sorts where we talk about our ~tru luvs~ and brush each other’s hair. Romance not your cup of tea? No worries! We’re gonna talk about our best buds, too, since friendships are just as valid. After discussing heavy theory and social issues, sometimes it’s nice to just kick back, relax, and cry about video game characters.

This time around, we’re taking a look at your favorite Mass Effect characters to befriend after conducting a poll with 485 total respondents. (My apologies to those who had to deal with the initial technical difficulties, by the way.)

Keep in mind that this time around, we’re focusing on a larger cast of characters in response to previous feedback, and like last time, respondents could choose multiple answers for the same question.

Continue reading “Your Bioware Crushes & Squishes: ‘Mass Effect’ Friendship Edition”

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Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Pronouns

Read Only Memories

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4] [PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Use of Pronouns

Querying the community about their favorite use of pronouns in games saw mixed responses. Some wrote enthusiastic essays about their favorite and least favorite examples of how pronouns have been used, while others seemed to indicate uncertainty at what the question was asking. Some suggested that they did not have a response because they had never really thought about it, but that they saw the importance of including diverse or gender-neutral pronoun choices in games and, after completing the survey, were interested in paying more attention to this type of representation.

One respondent answered the question by saying, “She/he will do just fine imo,” demonstrating a lack of understanding regarding how exclusionary only offering he/him and she/her pronouns can be to those who identify with a gender or genders outside the binary.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Pronouns”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Relationships

Mass Effect

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4[PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Representations of Relationships & Relationship Management Systems

The opinion of respondents to the queer representation survey was mixed when people considered their favorite relationship management systems. Some respondents prioritized systems that mirrored reality with unmarked flirtation options and invisible systems that were challenging to figure out. Others sought the opposite—praising games with relationship systems that were clearly defined and that warned when you accidentally made decisions that would have negative impacts on the relationships you were pursuing.

Still, respondents mostly agreed on two key points. Firstly, they were unhappy at even the strongest relationship management system if there was inadequate representation of queer relationships or poorly handled representation of polyamory.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Relationships”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Gender

Dragon Age

[PART 1] [Part 2] [PART 3] [PART 4[PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Representations of Diverse Genders

Discussions surrounding improved representation of women in games have become more prevalent, and were a trend in responses to the queer representation survey, but my higher priority was to learn about respondents’ favorite examples of other diverse genders in games such as transgender and nonbinary representation. This desire was reflected by respondents, who indicated that they would like to see more positive representation of trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people in games.

Survey respondents’ favorite representations of diverse genders are listed below—ordered from most common response to least common.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Gender”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Sexuality

Dragon Age

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4[PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform this five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey—often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody, and as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Representations of Sexuality

Respondents to the survey had strong opinions regarding representation of sexuality, expressing exhaustion with the overwhelmingly heteronormative themes that have been prevalent in games until quite recently. Many respondents wrote paragraphs explaining why particular representations were important to them and their own identity, and expressed a desire to see more characters who resembled themselves or people they know, or identities that they simply felt were under-represented in media more generally.

When asked what forms of representation people would like to see more of, asexuality was the most-mentioned sexuality. A general desire to see more characters who have their own assigned sexualities rather than being ‘playersexual’ was also frequently expressed.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Sexuality”

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