When I younger, I really enjoyed the science fiction video game Mass Effect. The game had a great story that made you really feel as if you were a part of a great interstellar adventure. Back then I was completely onboard with buying any BioWare game due to their quality of storytelling; another example of their mastery was developing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 2003. BioWare has a reputation for bringing quality video games to the masses.
I lost track of what BioWare has been up to in the past four or five years, so it took me off guard when I heard that Bioware was just about to release their fourth installment called Mass Effect: Andromeda. Immediately upon the release, a wave of memes flooded the internet of the games terrible facial animations. Looking further, there was a substantial uproar leading to the release of BioWare purposely making their female characters look ugly. I’ve heard rumblings of the uptick of feminists going after a male-dominated industry of video games, by protesting the sexualization of women in them. With Mass Effect: Andromeda it appears their concerns have been heard. Yes, BioWare, once a great developer capitulated to the need to placate a small but vocal minority of women, who probably don’t even play the game.
Here is the actual model again:
In contrast, the male character looks very close to the actual male model he portrays:
I can see how this is also a non-story. After all, BioWare is completely free to make their characters however they want. It’s up to the customer to embrace or reject this. Purposely making their female characters ugly to raise the flag of feminism and PC culture is their prerogative. Honestly, I wasn’t distraught at all by this, especially as hypergamy and the Female Imperative are so prevalent at this time, this is a minor drop in the ocean that is the encroachment of feminism in male spaces (video games). I think most of my readers are well inoculated to this fact, so I don’t want to bore you.
This isn’t new, remember, hypergamy dictates that the female sexual strategy has to be prevalent above males. In this sense, video games, women sexualized or rendered in a way that is more beautiful than they hope to conceive is a threat to optimizing their hypergamy. In layman’s terms optimizing hypergamy is shaming men for their objective standard of wanting a woman to be beautiful and fertile so they can better control the sexual marketplace. In essence, they would rather you be thanking your lucky stars for committing to an overweight woman with Dorito dust in her cleavage than being attracted to thin, beautiful women.
There is a lesson somewhere in all this. I believe it’s the idea of capitulation; the idea of simply giving up in the pursuit of an amazing story to please a small group of individuals who want to force you to support their twisted worldview. We’ve been here before, and we’ve seen it time and time again, a once great series or character is twisted from its original intention to placate PC culture, and otherwise destroying everything meaningful about it. A good story doesn’t care about the need to soothe the fears of a toothless enemy in the real world. A good fictional story is meant to take us to another dimension, another place in the universe, and to show us conflict and resolution. A good story is destroyed when it has to go out of its way to shove a false ideal into its viewer’s face. It’s distracting, and people know when they are being played.
When BioWare and other storytellers purposely make their characters ugly to please a small group of people, they’re not being noble, they’re being mediocre. They are willingly embracing the sub-standard and saying it’s beautiful. When storytellers do this, you know it’s the beginning of the end. They’re no longer qualified as storytellers, because they have to lie to us, the viewer, to please the non-viewer. When as individuals, we give up and embrace mediocrity and the plain, we’re no different than the storytellers who do the same.