Saturday, August 20, 2011

While I'm Busy

Working on the next post with actual content.
Until then, enjoy these!

SNSD - Gee

SNSD - Oh!

Girl's Day - Twinkle Twinkle

Girl's Day - Hug Me Once

Okay, enough K-pop for you!

Kai out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mass Effect 3 and Stereotypes

I had posts I wanted to publish before this.
But this has my utmost attention today.

Let me start first by saying that I love Mass Effect, I spent countless hours on it. I spent hours sculpting clone Shepards on their character builder. I've built two of both male and female Shepard, one Paragon and one Renegade. To me, a Paragon and a Renegade had to look different. I loved playing Mass Effect and its sequel, I used so many hours just to explore and strip mine entire galaxies for all that they were worth. I played through the game multiple times to see the different endings, from everyone living happily ever after to the Joker ending. I honestly love this game and all that it has to offer.
So when Bioware announced that Mass Effect 3 would grace the world with its holy presence, I was excited to say the least. They also announced that aside from default male Shepard being immortalized on the box, they would also utilize the other side of the box for female Shepard.
Here I was thinking, "oh, they're going to use the default one. That's cool." Silly me, that's just a foolish idea. They are making a new female Shepard for the Mass Effect fans to drool over. My response? "Okay, that's cool too. Default female Shepard was kind of old anyway. And they're going to let us vote, that's pretty sweet."
I have nothing against Bioware and Mass Effect, let me make that clear. Bioware allowing their players to vote for the female Shepard that would appear on the box art was an awesome move. That's like letting bros decide what Master Chief looks like under his helmet. I dig that, go new female Shepard. Let me vote! These were the choices(click on for full view).

And so I did, I gazed over the choices, delighted at each of them. I made my choice, the blonde one. Why? Don't ask me that, of course I'd choose the blonde one. I like blondes, my Paragon female Shepard was a blonde. And out of the choices at the time, the blonde had the best hairstyle in my opinion. And then we start slipping into the downward spiral.
After the voting was over, my choice-blonde female Shepard- won by a long shot. I rejoiced, I was about to preorder my own box of Mass Effect 3. Then the forums and any other form of social media started to bitch and whine about it. "Why would female Shepard be blonde?" They said. "What? Is she going to carry around a stylish handbag and purse too? She can't fight, she will be too worried about breaking a nail. Let's not forget she's blonde, so she must be as dumb as rocks."
I just could not reply to that. Stereotyping in my games, that hurt. But I was willing to let it go and move on. Either way, blonde version was going on the box. All the stereotyping insults aside, I did find it rather hilarious in a mean way. I laughed it away and continued on with my life.
Then it escalated. The same idiots who cried out their little generalized remarks about blonde Shepard actually managed to convince Bioware that somehow, people did not want blonde Shepard. And so, Bioware in their infinite wisdom, decided that a second voting round would put an end to the entire debate. Once again, nothing against Bioware, they are just doing their job and listening to their fans. Nothing wrong with that. So here are the options for round numero dos.

The one thing they did do wrong was the choices for the second round. Same design for blonde Shepard, and the rest of the choices are just duplicates of her hair design with different color schemes. This was stemmed by an overall agreed upon comment that blonde Shepard's hairstyle was the best. So all the choices have the same hair getup. At the time of this post, red-haired Shepard is winning by a long margin. As much as I am disappointed that my choice will not survive round two, I'll admit defeat to the reds. Default female Shepard was originally a redhead.
That isn't what gets on my nerves. What got me irked is the reason that the red haired one was chosen. Simply because of the fact that redheads are stereotyped as being a firebrand. So, they usurped the first popular choice by using the blonde stereotype. And then, they use another stereotype to defend the second choice. Good job guys, you're fantastic. Either way, you're stuck with the blonde's hairstyle.
I could just be bitter that my choice didn't win, I most likely am. I could be drunk also, maybe even wasted. But that doesn't change the fact that stereotyping is wrong. Nobody said anything when default male Shepard was chosen. The fact that he looks like your typical marine with a buzzcut and scars was fine by everyone. And also, nobody cared. Because everyone made their own version of him. And that's what everyone will do again. And that's what I'll do for my female Shepard. I won't mind having a redhead on the cover. It will only remind me of the ignorant morons that made it happen every time I glance at the cover. But that's okay, those idiots make the world go round. I'll live, and they will probably live longer.
But that does not mean stereotyping is okay. I'm pissed that blonde Shepard was dismissed because everyone thinks that they're the ditzy, cosmopolitan, frail, and stupid type. I'm also pissed that every single hot-headed, ready-for-action firebrand has to be a redhead. Male Shepard remains his stereotyped self, and now female Shepard is too. The defenders for the redhead said they want to avoid the stereotype of having the female being presented as a blonde which is predominant in American culture. They don't want an American stereotype representing their Mass Effect mascot. Congratulations, they replaced it with another. God bless America, we still win.
All that said and done, I'm still looking forward to Mass Effect 3. Maybe I can get Bioware to make me a personal box with blond female Shepard(yeah, right). I can't wait for it, the action and the excitement. I want to play as Joker. I'll just leave this trailer here.

(Also, I voted for blonde Shepard twice. Hah!)

Kai, outta here like a tree!