After having watched nearly all of the trailers for Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2, I must say that I’m pretty disappointed with some of the characters and the way the games are being marketed. There’s a disconcerting focus on sex, gore and bad attitudes that feels out of character for BioWare. I’m worried that it signals a shift toward catering to a younger, more “mainstream” audience.

Sexualized female characters and subtle (or not so subtle) innuendo is nothing new to the gaming industry or to BioWare.  In their previous titles Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, its sequel, and in the first installment of the planned Mass Effect trilogy there have been female characters you can form a “relationship” with and eventually get an opportunity to bed.

Oh baby, your normal mapped bra texture gets me so hot!

Oh baby, your normal mapped bra texture gets me so hot!

While not being the first game from the studio to have such content, Mass Effect went a little further with its content than games before it had and as a result garnered much attention from sensationalist media and parents with heads firmly implanted in ass. The source of misguided moralist rage was a single, short-lived “sex” scene which can barely be classified as such. The scene in question takes place between the main protagonist and one of two female characters. All are consenting adults with one of the two females being a blue-skinned Alien. The scene consists of suggestive camera pans, side-boob and excessive fades to black. News outlets got their ratings spike and outraged parents retreated to their moral fortresses to hibernate until the next pox on humanity rears its ugly head.

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