BioWare continues its mature, sophisticated gaming crusade
Prototype Bishoujo Liara figurine (very) revealed. Mass Effect fans confused.
I like BioWare games (except Dragon Age II, of course), I really do. The studio deserves its reputation as one of the best in the world today. But there’s something about BioWare that really bugs me, and that’s the way it’s often presented as some kind of standard bearer for maturity and sophistication in games.
Now, there are scenarios in BioWare games that do attempt to reflect real-life issues in a relatively mature way. In both Dragon Age and Mass Effect you will find yourself in situations where there is no clear right course of action. This, in fairness, expresses a more grown up world-view than the usual simplistic ‘good versus evil’ plot lines you get in most games.
But BioWare also claims to be mature and sophisticated when it comes to dealing with personal relationships and sexuality. Again, credit is due for at least attempting to deal with relationships in any kind of depth, and for creating games that offer homosexuality as a choice. But a lot of people (including key BioWare staff) don’t seem to know the difference between being less immature than other games and actually being mature. It should be obvious to any mature person that BioWare games still have a very adolescent view of sexuality.
This new Liara figurine is a great illustration of what I mean. It doesn’t surprise me at all that BioWare is getting one made – I’m sure there’ll be a market for it. But some fans are acting as if this is some kind of betrayal of Liara’s character. Sorry folks, but the entire Asari race has always been a really obvious sci-fi wank fantasy from the start.
The Asari are an entire race every member of which just happens to look a lot like a human female glamour model, and has a really open minded attitude to sexuality and self-exploitation. And people are trying to claim they weren’t already obviously sexualised. Really? I mean, really?
This figurine is not a u-turn on BioWare’s part. If anything, it’s an admission.