"David Gaider confirms that romance options vary depending on player's race."
Im calling ot now. Bioware is racist like Ubisoft is sexist. They have restricted romance to particular races. Forget that it must be in context or make sense, this is absurd. Just b/c I am a kunari, I cant daye who I want? Just kidding obviously but with the rampant political correctness and desire for website hits, this will b a story.
I don't see how incompatibility of romance options between Kunari and Dwarfs is in any way reflective of some of the crap we're still seeing from the industry. The term "Political Correctness" gives a negative connotation to activism against a serious problem in the world.
No it doesn't. There's a world of difference in ensuring someone has the ability to go about their life without fear of being socially and economically excluded and harrassed because of the way they were born and demanding that mega-budget AAA games cater exclusively to these small groups. The former is a noble fight against intolerance, while the latter is a contemptible example of such intolerance. I imagine most leads are pretty homogenous because the people who spend the most money on games are pretty homogenous. This is not crap, but rather the statistical act of being fair and proportional, where AAA companies don't spend tens of millions to appeal to several thousand customers rather than the other several hundred thousand. Niche games for niche audiences can reasonably be made by indie studios; hey why don't you start one yourself to cater to such audiences? Nobody's stopping you.
It's an ill representation of the world, unbalanced. You might say that it's for marketing or appeal reasons, but then so is this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h... Just because your dominant audience is male doesn't mean you should alienate female gamers from the world. On top of that you have this - the portrayal of relationships, religions and orientations of people in video games inevitably leads to social impressions. For instance, if there are no games and no films that tackle homosexuality, and show it as a normal type of relationship, it indicates that the industry believes that homosexuality is not normal. That in turn has an effect on how others think about it. Producing products for the mass market carries a lot of responsibilities, and you can't neglect those in favor of "our dominant market", since you are, consciously or not, making a statement on the issue.
No it doesn't. Markets generally reflect social views (unless devs have a personal agenda) and they do not have a 'responsibility' to change them to any arbitrary definition of what they "should" be. Homosexuality is normal+natural (though not 'the norm' - big difference here) , but part of that is just letting it be treated normally and not overrepresenting it (high estimates are that 5% of the population are LGBT). The more people call for things to be disproportionally representative of minorities, the more people who believe in proportional representation and fairness turn against the cause of social justice, as it becomes in the eyes of many social injustice (one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter). Straight men tend to like looking at the bodies of women in their fantasies. They can distinguish between fantasy and reality, but we buy games for our fantasies. I agree that if I were a woman I would want to see more armour, but I'm not (also, perhaps women would like to see more men sporting the Conan look? I'm not going to judge such games aimed at women wanting to explore their fantasies). Let's persuade more women to play high-spec games, and have more games overall (more money in the market) with more diversity! Also, you can't force people to buy video games, and the people who need to understand that homosexuality is normal simply won't buy games where it is explored. Indeed, the best way to teach people tolerance for such relationships is in school, and through pleading with them respectfully in private rather than forcing them to do understand (they then view us as an enemy, and could even become more homophobic). My point is that the bigger a deal is made of social justice, the more people take a side on the issue, some becoming more homophobic. The best way to push through acceptance is to broach the issue privately among indie developers and then have AAA devs affected by those media put fair representation into their games (and even explore such topics exclusively - I have to admit I've found myself subconsciously turning against things I used to be a strong supporter of, which sucks!) Bioware have done this to appease a vocal minority, and as their game is now disproportionate, people like myself are going to punish them for it by boycotting the game until it sells on the cheap (though I must stress that it's not that there are too many homosexual options that bugs me (there aren't necessarily) but that there are too few heterosexual). I'll save my money for the Witcher 3 instead!
Bioware is way too much into romances, unless the target market is teenagers and MTV consumers.
This is a sensible decision.
"ensure that there's no overall slanting towards a particular group " See, this is the thing I can't understand about Bioware's new approach to romances. IMO if 70% of players play a homosexual female dwarf, 70% of romances should be aimed at homosexual female dwarves, simply so that their effort is distributed evenly across all players. What's the point of making a game where 80% of the romances will only be experienced by 10% of the player-base? I don't have a problem with them making this choice, as it's their right, but when you skew things like that, it's clear you have a strong political agenda. I'd very much like for them to monitor player decisions (what race people play and who they choose to romance, homosexual or heterosexual in this case) like Telltale do with the Walking Dead, and hopefully use this data to make their next game more optimised towards their market. Listening to populist articles which lack any robust data to back up assertions is neither the way to make fair games nor to increase your sales potential in the long term. Not slanting towards a particular group, I can safely say with a statistical education, implies ensuring that 70% of the choices available are taken exclusively by 70% of the audience, 25% by 25% and 5% by 5%. Any mismatch to this is slanting towards a particular group, and I think that Bioware in misunderstanding this may in fact be doing what they claim they hope to avoid.
I really enjoyed Dragon Age:Origins and played through it multiple times, but when I saw the changes that they planned for Dragon Age 2, I passed. The only relationships that mattered much to the story in Origins were those with Alistair if you were a female character and made certain decisions, and Morrigan if you were a male character and made certain decisions, but the fact that these were glossed over in the sequel caused them to become inconsequential. Now, BioWare again seems to have decided to focus on social issues and relationship aspects rather than the story. I think I'll pass on Dragon Age: Inquisition too and probably any other BioWare game that comes out.
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