Mass Effect 3 FemShep Trailer is Finally Here

A Mass Effect 3 wallpaper with an Earth being attacked by Reapers in the background and Cmdr Shepard, a light-skinned, red-haired woman, in the foreground.

Back in June of last year, in response to a group of passionate fans, BioWare announced that they would give the female version of Commander Shepard her own trailer. It was supposed to be released some time last summer, but months went by without much word. This week, on Twitter, David Silverman (edit: fixed wrong first name!) dropped a few hints about the trailer being released before the Mass Effect 3 demo is made available on Valentine’s Day. Finally, Silverman declared today to be #FemShepFriday. The long-awaited trailer is below, or you can watch it here.

Happy FemShep Friday! Brb, watching trailer again.

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Alex posts some of her sewing projects and cosplays on her Tumblr; you can also find her babbling about sewing and games and Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
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84 Responses to Mass Effect 3 FemShep Trailer is Finally Here

  1. Sif says:

    David Silverman, not Dennis.

  2. gunthera1 says:

    I love the trailer! I am so very excited that it is similar to the previous Mass Effect ones. It features a FemShep but it isn’t focused on romance options or dialogue choices. I want a video eventually that does discuss those parts of the game but I was worried that a FemShep trailer would be used as an excuse do that. It is as action oriented as the previous trailers. I am so happy that it doesn’t fall into stereotypes!

    I am very excited to see FemShep in advertising! Hopefully this is just the first of several ads/trailers.

  3. Twyst says:

    I am pleased that the trailer was all ass-kicking, and Jennifer Hale is always awesome. Also pleased not to see any ass or boobcam.
    Sad that they had to pretty her up with all that make-up and super young face, tho i should have known from the promo images.

    • LividLindy says:

      Seriously what on Earth were they thinking? What kind of military officer wears this much makeup? http://i.imgur.com/7cgSN.jpg

      She looks absolutely ridiculous, she is supposed to look like a grizzled military veteran of numerous battles who was blown apart in the vacuum of space and put back together. Not a space stripper.

      I would’ve expected this from another company but from BioWare it’s disappointing. I guess they aren’t the company I used to respect anymore.

      • Twyst says:

        She looks so young. The lipstick is really what does it – it’s so much too much.
        I tried to have a convo about it on RPS, but i should have known better. I heard “you know you can change what she looks like?” (I said i know, this trailer is obviously for people new to the series, so what i am upset about is how bioware is choosing to present the female player character) and then someone said “Sex sells!” to which i linked a study that says “Actually no, it doesn’t”, and i have made a deal with myself that i am not going to load the page again.

        I am sad that with their intentions of bringing new people to the game this is how they have decided to go. oh well – this is what happens when you hold a beauty contest in the first place.

        Bright side: Jen Hale 4 evr

      • Zaewen says:

        Bioware has never been that great when it comes to gender issues. I mean its not like FemShep runs around in a space bikini ala Terra, but they are far, far from perfect. Just look at Miranda, Samara, and half-naked Jack from ME2. Heck, I’ve seen screens of Ashley’s new combat heels and Chobot’s cameo character, and they are doing absolutely nothing to inspire confidence in me about ME3.

        • Twyst says:

          Jack = less than a space bikini. SPACE BELTS.

          • Deviija says:

            Not to mention one of the ‘special/secret’ companions that got leaked… the design is completely sexualized for something that doesn’t need it whatsoever. Or at least not to those idealized degrees. I’m not going to say any names, I don’t want to spoil it for any readers.

          • Zaewen says:

            The sad thing is, I really liked the idea behind Jack: badass, foul mouthed biotic that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what society thinks is proper. They just fumbled pretty badly in the implementation. IMO she should’ve either been completely shirtless with just the tattoos as cover or give her something that more approximates a shirt or even a sports bra. And they should’ve just said no to whoever thought those side-boob shots were a great idea.

            • Ms. Sunlight says:

              Yeah, whenever I play ME2 I do Jack’s loyalty mission ASAP just so I can unlock the alternative outfit and put a black vest on her. Jack in a black vest is awesome. Jack in nipple belts? Not so much. Just being topless would actually be more practical. A tank top or sports bra would have made all the difference.

            • Deviija says:

              I was so excited for Jack in the ME2 media hype. She seemed like an unapologetic hardass that was self-assured of what she was doing and battle-hardened… but then her loyalty mission melts her down to a cliche ‘I’m just a scared little girl on the inside’ and if you’re a Dude Shepard that romances her, you can help cure her with your magic penis. Because, you know, Jack just can’t be a woman that is an unapologetic loose canon/rebel/killer/criminal. No no, such roles are only for men, like Zaeed.

              Yeah, call me when Zaeed or a dude character like him gets a mission where we find out that they’re just a ‘scared little boy’ on the inside that needs sexual healing from a lady character to ‘turn good.’ :P Never happens.

            • Ari says:

              Chiming in to say I couldn’t agree more, and that my reaction to Jack/Zaeed was pretty much Deviija’s, verbatim. Girls are badasses because of tragic angst and need to be comforted. Boys are badasses because… …they are badasses. Huzzah.

            • Ermoss says:

              Male antagonists can be scared little boys inside. The main antagonist of Psychonauts, for example, although no sex came into it.

            • Twyst says:

              And of course Jack is broken. and BROSHEP YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN REACH HER. *insert Jack crying*

              WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  4. Laurentius says:

    Action in trailer is pretty good, Jennifer Hale is of course on top of things, FemShep looks so young though, it of course sticks out more because that’s what drawing viewers attention in this trailer, no one cars about MaleShep dull face because we already seen it millions of times throughout the years. As a greater picture it is another disappointing trailer that is presenting ME3 as something hardly distinguishable from another Gears of War game.

  5. Nigel says:

    I have kept myself pretty much in an ME3 blackout, with that FemShep contest a while back as my only exposure to Mass Effect 3. All I have to say is, “HOLY S***!”

  6. Ellie says:

    I am not disagreeing with any of the arguments around whether the character FemShep would choose to wear makeup nor that her portrayal is a choice by the game designers, but I would like to add that being a female in the military does not automatically preclude wearing makeup. I know I’ve seen female soldiers in that much makeup, both in person and in the media. Now maybe that’s just for photo-ops and traveling and they might not bother while on active duty, but they might. And enough must want to that it made it into an FAQ for the Navy – http://www.ocs.navy.mil/ocs_faq.asp

    I thought the comments here were interesting too:
    http://womeninthemilitary.military.com/317/maybe-shes-born-with-it/

    • SleekitSicarian says:

      Yeah; it’s not so much a “feminine != soldier” thing (and that’s worth pointing out as a problematic argument) as it is a general irritation with how limited Mass Effect’s approach to femininity is. Given the various bits of information coming out about the ME3 artbook, it’s clear that every female character is designed entirely and solely in terms of sexual attractiveness – and that along a very strict definition of attractiveness. (Shepard’s design, of course, is largely the result of a Facebook beauty contest before an audience that is rather enthusiastically sexist and racist)

      In a different context it wouldn’t matter at all that Shepard wears makeup (whether a lot or a little); in this case it’s something worth commenting on, I think.

  7. Deviija says:

    I am happy to see others raising the same concerns/dislikes about FemShep that I share (and posted about on BSN as well).

    The trailer itself? The pacing, the action, the HaleShepard lines they chose to use, the camera cuts, etc. etc. etc. is all great. A little short, perhaps, since the logos and such take up most of the trailer time, imo, but still really great!

    I would have, perhaps, liked to have seen more cuts of potential love interests for FemShep in the trailer. Not used in a romance way, but used as some of the action segments with FemShep. Kind of like a subtext/subtle reminder that FemShep does have these people in her world and they may be someone she loves. Rather than having more Miranda (‘the genetically perfect woman’) around and such. Goodness knows that’s what happens in DudeShep trailers. Ladies getting hot snogged with Captain KirkShepard, or tight boobsuit shots mixed in. I can live without the sexuality in any trailer period, so it *does* work fine as it is. Just something I thought about while watching it and thinking of the majority of past ‘iconic dude’ trailers for DA and ME.

    Anyway, the bigger concerns I have. Shepard’s appearance. She does not look like the grizzled war veteran that DudeShep looks like. If we are supposed to believe that Shepard is Shepard, no matter the gender and circumstance, then FemShep SHOULD have the same battle-worn and war-weary look that DudeShep strolls around wearing. There is obvious grit and undereye baggage/darkness and bumpy realistic skin texturing and brow/forehead/mouth lines and scars accenting Default DudeShep’s face.

    I don’t see ANY of that character on FemShep. Quite the contrary, I see smooth skin so umblemished by skin texturing and natural facial lines that it makes her look unrealistic. Like she has no texture at all. No detail. Painted like actresses for high definition tv/movies, where every natural line and contour is airbrushed out. It is doll-like.

    There is no law against soldiers or warriors having makeup. However, the bigger go-to point is that DudeShep has all the marks and haunted look of Commander Spectre in this relentless war against Reapers. FemShep does not.

    Besides, after sweaty life-threatening battles day after day, do many people really care about whether their makeup is still making them look flawless? :\ We can say “oh poo, it’s just a game, stretch that disbelief.” But it’s the portrayal of women, of Shepard as a woman, that sets the tone. And that is concerning to me for ME and the industry at large with female heroines.

    Though this leads me to the second issue. Her makeup. As I said, if backed up into a corner, I don’t really mind makeup. Warriors and soldiers can wear it, etc. etc as I said above. But part of the problem, I think, is also because FemShep’s makeup is so harsh and severe for her features, skintone, hair, and eyes. It really starkly stands out. Not in a really flattering way either. Most of those shots of FemShep, I only could see black eyeliner and dark lipstick and light-colored planes of skin without detail. Some basic eyeliner and a nude lip (not pinky or rosy satin, actual nude lip blending colors) would look much better on her for a more understated, subtle, and natural appearance. It wouldn’t clash so sharply with her dark reddish hair and eyes.

    And again, the face texturing and lines and undereye shadows and contouring needs to be there as well.

    • Laurentius says:

      Now, MaleShep doesn’t look like that all war-weary, battle worn veteran like, nope, it’s handsome dude with buzzcut military hair that doesn’t shave, like a model on a military fashion show.

      • Deviija says:

        I don’t know about that. Default DudeShep’s face is scanned off of a (often shaved-headed) model, Vanderloo. I don’t know if there will ever be any getting around that supposed-to-be-attractive base appeal. However, each game sees that default Shepard looking more and more grizzled and ‘macho’d’ up in marketing trailers and the art and in-game, imo.

        How Default DudeShepard was portrayed in the ME2 CGI trailer: http://gamerslove.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/mass-effect-2-wallpaper-1-1920×1200.jpg

        A picture of Default Shepard in-game from ME3: http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/9574/screenshot20110608at125.jpg

        There is that aforementioned appeal, sure, but they made all these lines, bump marks, contours, and facial lines like any 32+ year-old human being has. In contrast for FemShep:

        http://cdn.ientry.com/sites/webpronews/pictures/femshep_320x245.jpg

        Everything is so smoothed and doll-like, no texture, no contours, no lines, it all appears very cartoony/plasticy in-game.

        If Default DudeShep ran around looking more like this in-gaame: http://www.mostbeautifulman.com/misc/markvanderloo/images/pic03.jpg Then I’d agree that he is just looking more supermodel than war veteran, but Default DudeShep in-game and in CGI doesn’t look like an airbrushed model to me yet.

        • Laurentius says:

          Well in comparison to FemShepard from Bioware trailer and all these previous contests, you are right of course, there is shockingly huge difference but I wasn’t referring to that, because I agree with you on this. Though analyzing default MaleShep as it is, I still hold my opinion, he is handsome dude, let him grow his hair and shave and bam! You have, yes thirty something very handsome model, but being 32+ doesn’t automatically means you are war weary veteran ( as Vanderloo isn’t one).
          PS. Ok I am mostly tired with default MaleShep and his jumping from every ME trailer and ads and personally I am disappointed how young FemaleShep looks in this trailer but “supposed-to-be-attractive base appeal”, oh come on, the guy is attractive, I know people have personal preferences but some basic appreciation for human attractiveness ? I played first ME game as default MaleShepard because this entire customization appearance thing was new to me then and I can testify the PC is most handsome male character that can be encountered in ME ( all Western RPG ?) , like the rest of men just fade in the background when he enters the scene.

      • Violetta says:

        Because he is, indeed, based on a runway model. I don’t think he looks grizzled at all. He’s extremely handsome, but I noticed has more of a grumpy, scowling expression than FemShep…maybe that’s why people think he looks more battle-hardened(?)

        • feministgamer says:

          I think it has a lot to do with the details on the face, he’s allowed to have wrinkles, pores, cracks in his lips and skin, and like you said, war-like expressions. He’s wearing no makeup and has no stylized hairstyle – it is standard military cut, and I know woman are required to keep their hair above their collar at all times, so this FemShep does not reflect current military hair styles. Also, an intense 5′o’clock shadow is grizzled, even if it is used on runway models, because it’s grizzled there, too. It’s supposed to be that edginess.

    • feministgamer says:

      I agree that M!Shep looks like he’s seen a lot of battle, and F!Shep, a woman whose hair is loose, with heavy makeup and actually looks young … does not. Nothing says “I’ve never seen a companion die in cold blood beside me right before the sting of a bullet caused me to have a near-death experience” than applying lipstick right before battle. Who are they trying to impress? Why? It’s just because this is the developer’s representation of what women should look like, not the character.

      • While I obviously can’t speak for Bioware’s intentions, there are people who consider makeup to be a matter of ritual (Is there a more appropriately generic term than warpaint? I want to refer to such preparations in general, not any particular culture’s version of them). Lipstick in particular, more so than generalised makeup or wild flyaway hair, is definitely something I can see some soldiers putting on to make themselves feel strong, powerful, in control, and not cowed by current events.

        That said, my femshep is designed older and more battleweary. :) It felt totally wrong for the character to me to have her be super young.

        • feministgamer says:

          All right, I can see that. :) I don’t wish to judge people who really do this, but Shepard IS a controlled, created character, and instead of designing a character that more readily matched her male counterpart, they chose to design a character that perpetuates the “readiblty of women” in games (like in that LoL article) that if she didn’t wear thick gobs of make up or have long, flowing hair, she’s somehow not enough of a woman. It’s that pandering weirdness that anything for girls gets gobbed in pink. Lots of women like pink, including me, but I like other colors, too.

          • Twyst says:

            And that much make-up wasn’t even available in previous version of the game. She was such an afterthought that it didn’t matter. But now that she is being pushed in the media, suddenly we can have ALL THE MAKE-UP. It would be fine if it was available from the beginning – but this character is a stranger to everyone – no one’s femshep looked like that because they couldn’t.

        • Shannon says:

          I’m one of those ladies – I literally consider it my warpaint.
          But uh…. Only for when I’m going out to be a social butterfly. If I’m coming back early in the morning after days out, I literally do not care what I look like.
          I consider myself good with wearing lipstick – some people can’t because they touch their face too much, or bite their lip when stressed etc – but my lipstick doesn’t last more than four hours tops. And I nearly always need to touch up every 30 minutes if I’m wearing a dark colour so it doesn’t go all over my face.

          Where is my suspension of disbelief :(

    • idvo says:

      “Quite the contrary, I see smooth skin so umblemished by skin texturing and natural facial lines that it makes her look unrealistic.”

      I’m having one of those “a-ha!” moments where things start to fall into place. This is exactly how I feel about most women characters in games. They just look like they fell out of a makeup ad, regardless of the context of the game. Sometimes there’s more balance between how men and women look, like in Final Fantasy games, for example (though even there it’s not perfect). And when a character does break out of the stereotype (like a prettier man or a more rugged woman), well, we all know the “fan” reactions to that.

      Is it so much to ask that a character’s appearance makes sense for the game? Why is this hard to accomplish?

      • Deviija says:

        Yes, indeed. I understand what you are saying! The art design for something like Final Fantasy has people looking similar since they tend to be uniform in the approach of appearance. Everyone is youthful and airbrushed looking and vaguely non-human/ethereal. Men and women alike. Rare do I see a JRPG or FF game with characters that have undereye baggage or laugh lines (even when smiling) or wrinkles on their forehead when raising their brows, etc. It comes off as ‘that’s just how everyone looks’ in this design scheme.

        Whereas in games where there are grizzled, haggared, haunted looking warrioristic men and unblemished airbrushed women… it can come off looking like two separate entities, different base art style. IMO, that is. :)

        Anyway, came across a higher resolution shot of FemShep from the Trailer next to Kaidan. Thought it was worth putting here as well for a close-up look at FemShep and illustrating what I was (trying) to describe in my posts before:

        http://tinyurl.com/7fpbzgx

        Kaidan has eyelines, mouth lines, contours. He looks pretty tired to me. FemShep has soft planes, barely visible lines, no skin texture (bumps, lines, furrows etc, not that she lacks any an actual skin on her model). It is what it is now.

        Those concerns aside, again, I love the trailer’s contents and that I am finally seeing FemShep marketed after 2 games. So I do appreciate it.

        • idvo says:

          Yeah, I agree. It bothers me on a “this is sexist and wrong” level, as well as an overall aesthetic level. It’s like trying to take two design schemes and put them in the same game, and that’s jarring.

          You link doesn’t appear to be working, at least on my end, but I understand what you mean. That said, like you I’m excited that they’re finally giving FemShep some official attention, and that’s why I preordered the game. Though I still think it would’ve been better to do a whole, “you are the hero!” type ad campaign, featuring a bunch of different Shepards, women and men (like the awesome “The Many Faces of FemShep” video [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0McQvKVrzk ]). It would’ve emphasized the level of choice one has playing the game; no two Shepards are alike, after all. I just hope BioWare does better with it’s marketing in the future.

          • Deviija says:

            What you suggest as a marketing stragety is something I have forever been advocating and encouraging BioWare to do on the forums. For years. This ridiculous ‘need for a recognizable iconic hero’ for marketing a game, so as to make it ‘less confusing for the audience/fans to understand,’ is a tired excuse. It’s not even a real thing.

            Skyrim, New Vegas, Fallout 3, Dragon Age Origins, I could go on and on, never had a problem with marketing their games without an ‘iconic hero.’ Not to mention how that iconic hero somehow must be default (white) man. They all raked in gobs and gobs of money! It’s selling the audience’s intelligence short, too, that people cannot see a trailer that showcases different sexes, different races, etc. as the role of Shepard and then revolving the entire campaign around ‘This is Shepard’s story. YOUR story.’ Play how YOU want. It would work just as well.

        • Ikkin says:

          Final Fantasy is an interesting example, because before they realized how badly it clashed with their core aesthetic values, Square pushed for verisimilitude harder than anyone (with Hollywood-level tech, even) in The Spirits Within. They actually had a female space marine of their own — and even with the improvements in 3D modeling over the last decade, the difference in complexion and facial structure between her and CG FemShep is night and day.

          Of course, Final Fantasy characters don’t look like that anymore, since nearly-ubiquitous beauty is what Square Enix’s Visual Works is best used for and it’s easier to make fake people beautiful when their human imperfections are downplayed. Aesthetic appeal is the name of the game — characters can get temporarily icky depending on the project (for better or worse), but there aren’t many guys with harsh lines on their faces, either.

          From the other side, though, western CG women from Bioware and Blizzard are looking more and more like Visual Works’ creations even as their male characters grow ever more gritty and realistic. CG FemShep and Kerrigan wouldn’t look all that out of place next to Lightning (outfits aside), but their male counterparts sure would look out of place next to Cloud. It makes it pretty obvious where they find aesthetic appeal important and where they don’t. =/

      • Korva says:

        “I’m having one of those “a-ha!” moments where things start to fall into place. This is exactly how I feel about most women characters in games.”

        Yeah, me too. Devija sure nailed this issue with her post. And many of these concerns were raised already back when they ran that beauty/popularity contest — hell, the fact that they HAD a contest like that for female Shepard was mind-boggling enough. Once again, a male character is allowed to look like his part, look like a person, while the female has to look like a plastic sextoy. No one would *ever* guess they’re supposed to be the same person in the same role.

        Blizzard does this a lot, too. The SC2 trailers were incredibly jarring because on one hand you had the grizzled, dirty, ragged guys — and then you had the thin, pale, squeaky-clean, glossy anime-like girl-women who lack even pores, nevermind wrinkles, grime, sweat or any other sign of them being a living person with a history of warfare …

        It’s seriously off-putting for me on many levels, including not only the sexism issue but also an artistic “divide by zero” issue. When male and female character design differ so grotesquely, it’s like combining an M-rated war movie with a Sunday morning children’s cartoon.

  8. idoless says:

    I’m torn because I’m so happy to finally see Femshep recognized in the marketing but at the same time I can’t believe how much MORE makeup they put on her from the original facebook winner.

    It’s an odd feeling. Why does BioWare always do this? One step forward and several back.

  9. melponeme_k says:

    The lipstick was ridiculous.

    It plays as if some of the powers that be were worried that she would look too butch. So they forced the animators to pile up the lip paint on the model.

  10. Norah says:

    I’m glad there is a FemShep trailer now and all, but when I look at her I mostly think “Well thank goodness I can at least edit Shepards looks myself, in-game”.

  11. Ari says:

    Shepard… likes to feel pretty before battle? Idk, I know women in the military who love their makeup and wear it almost every other time, but not a single one of them wears in it the field. Maybe future!makeup doesn’t come off when you sweat?

    That said, boy am I ever glad you can edit your Shepard’s appearance. Anyone else have max-aged buzzcut fem!Shep? With full Renegade scars, she looks badass.

    • Deviija says:

      Me, me, me! I don’t have the glowy Terminator scars, but my canon FemShep is a (dark) black-skinned woman with shaved head, and facial scars (lip, chin). Renegade Vanguard lady, and she is the most badass force to hit my ‘verse’s galaxy. :)

    • Corbiu Geisha says:

      Maybe the makeup is a tattoo? That’s how i justify my Shep looking like she came out from the Addams Family. I so wish that scars were tied to the Renegade meter. I want to have full scarring.

  12. Alex says:

    I really need to ask everyone to be careful about what you are saying when critiquing Shepard’s appearance here. We can criticize BioWare’s (and the fans who voted for this particular appearance, remember) choices without buying into sexist stereotypes that women who are conventionally beautiful and/or wear makeup can’t be tough and can’t be soldiers. That’s not true at all. Saying she doesn’t look tough or like a soldier is based on sexist stereotypes. But it IS worth criticizing that the choices BioWare offered in the first place were so limited, and the fact that it was up for a popular vote obviously resulted in the most conventionally beautiful option being selected, etc etc (although that was pretty exhaustively covered in the last thread.)

    • Deviija says:

      Very true! Some of the discussion is problematic and difficult because what we’re holding court about is a fictional character. Unlike the real world, fictional ladies have NO free will, agency, ownership of self, or choice to be presented how they wish to be seen. They are designed by (mostly hetero men) artists.

      It also is a mixed bag since heroines tend to be feminized for the purpose of sexualization to sell it to men. The Beauty Queen contest with limited range of looks (not to mention skin tones and bone structure) for FemShep’s iconic appearance is a good example of the limitations seen in the industry of what a woman/heroine can be and should look like.

      I’m definitely not criticizing makeup and the use of it, nor am I saying warriors and soldiers that happen to be women cannot wear makeup in battle. But what I am criticizing is how limited in scope artists and designers are when they approach creating a woman heroine character. Like Ashley Williams’ new art redesign for ME3 to, as art devs said in an interview, make her more ‘attractive/sexy.’ And it does make me wonder what that says if all we ever see for heroines is one type of bodyshape and one shade of femininity.

    • Violetta says:

      Yes! Thankyou! Someone above even used the term “space stripper” in a really derogatory way. As someone who works as a dancer(albeit an Earth-bound one!) I find this extremely problematic and absolutely reeking of slut-shaming. Yes, I agree that the female character designs in the ME series are limited in scope, but can we discuss this without snarking on other womens’ appearances and body-types, please?

  13. Doone says:

    On some level I think we have to understand Bioware has no interest in what their underrepesented female fans want. We really have to accept that. They are clearly more invested in their fantasies of pretty women, less invested in portraying a battle hardened FemShep.

    Some would say we should applaud them for “trying” …but this isn’t difficult, people. It doesn’t take effort to leave make-up OFF the hero. It takes effort to put it on there.

  14. Maria says:

    I rather hate the fact that BioWare had people vote on FemShep’s face. DudeShep default look is BioWare’s ‘vision of the character’ while FemShep’s default look is a public commodity.

    • feministgamer says:

      OH, eww, you hit the nail on the head with that. :(

      • Doone says:

        To clarify, when I say accept I don’t mean give up. I means top buying the games. Honestly, none of this is changing until we talk with our wallets. That’s the bottom line. Sure, venting here feels great and it’s awesome to have a supportive community with shared ideals …but none of this is changing until we show them how much fewer games they sell when only their “target audience” buys the game.

        Money talks and we all know what they say about bullshit.

        • Kasey says:

          Well said. The reasons to boycott BioWare (and EA in general) are really piling up these days. I’m skipping this one.

  15. Ms. Sunlight says:

    While I won’t say that the relative portrayals of Femshep vs. Sheploo are unproblematic, I have to say there’s nothing unrealistic about someone wanting to wear makeup in their professional setting, even if that setting is military.

    Besides, it’s the 22nd century. Futuristic space makeup, people! It might be something you put on once a week, it might be like a stain that stays on. You can already get cosmetics that will stay on all day, that you can swim in, that won’t come off without special removers. What do you think synchronised swimmers wear?

    Now, there is much to be said about beauty work and how it is unrealistic to assume that gender roles and visual gender presentation will be identical in a future society. For example, if FemShep is wearing makeup, do the male human crewmembers – or at least some of them – not do the same? Wouldn’t we expect at least as much change between now and then as we’ve seen between 1900 and today? Is this a failure of world-building, or is it just that BioWare don’t want to scare the horses?

    • Meishuu says:

      I say is the latter. It is very obvious to me that is the latter.

      And yes, some women probably like to wear make-up even if they have a military-oriented career, but I doubt they would do it (and I know a few military women, they don’t usually wear make-up while on duty, much less in battle), and even if they did, the nature of their work would make it pointless. Plus we aren’t talking about real people here, but a female character that really has no control of what she wears or how she dresses; her “looks” are being catered to the white, straight male demographic.

      Also, the comments on the youtube page: *barfs*

  16. Ike says:

    The term “FemShep” annoys me.

    • SleekitSicarian says:

      Right? It’s an extension of the issue of folks using ‘female’ to describe women all the time; she’s not Shepard, she’s Female Shepard, the Female Space Marine. A variation on the normal.

      I’ll admit to using it and “DudeShep” to differentiate, though, since at this point it’s everywhere.

      • Ari says:

        I use (and see) m!Shep or Meer!Shep all the time to differentiate male Shepard, since fem!Shep seems to be vastly more popular in my section of the interwebs.

  17. I’m really not feeling this Shepard. It’s nothing but a reflection once again of how white = default.

    This is not my Shepard. My Shepard is a black woman with natural hair, scars and a give no fucks attitude.

    This little barbie clone is not what I root for.

    • Nigel says:

      Where did you find natural hair for a black woman on FemShep? Of all the hairstyles in ME the only natural one I found is the afro for DudeShep. Don’t even get me started on how the afro isn’t available for FemShep or Why. The. F! all hairstyles aren’t available for all Shepards.

      • I gave her the close cropped hairstyle and called it an afro.

      • 0thello says:

        Natural hair… That can mean any damn thing now-a-days. I’m guessing it’s that short ‘curly’ hair my woman always picks for her Femshep, the one that looks a little bit like the 90′s salt & pepper music videos. It’s either that or the level 1 buzz cut. However everybody has that one.

        • Natural as in NOT the bone straight Garnier Fructis shampoo advertisment model hair that you ALWAYS see on video game female characters.

          Braids, twists, locs, afros, straw sets, etc. Those are the hairstyles that game developers STILL TO THIS DAY refuse to fully integrate into the games for customization.

          • Ohma says:

            Augh, I KNOW right?!

            It’s MADDENING for me personally because I would be totally fine playing either a male or female character in a game if I could get them to look even close to how I wanted, but frequently end up thwarted right up top at the hair. Like, on the plus side with men, game designers care at all so they actually get some amount of variety but it’s still variety as seen through the bro-lens (I think that’s like, a monocle that makes energy drinks look good) so that’s automatically dismissing most of the options that would make it look more like my guy char has ever seen a shower. And then on the other side, because games by and large are catering to/made by people who make me incredibly sad to remember exist there is maybe *one* option to make a female character that doesn’t just look like one of the underwear models the devs used as reference. :(

            also because it’s something that gets to me usually and I’ve been watching too much star trek lately I apologize for using the word ‘female’ so much here when I could’ve reworked my phrasing to use women instead

            (LATINUM PROFITS BUSINESS FEMALESH IMA FERENGI HURP DURP)
            /
            8V

  18. Doone says:

    Have any of you been part of a boycot? Have you every tried to boycot a game?

    • Kasey says:

      I think that’s a really interesting idea. There’s a danger in that not enough people would participate to make it meaningful, but with the right kind of coverage a boycott could be a really effective way to communicate.

  19. Jonathan says:

    I had look at the demo this morning. I’ve got to say, I think the default Femshep looks far better in-game than I was expecting from the original poll pictures. What does really annoy me is Bioware’s tendency to give their default characters features that can’t be selected in the character creator. I distinctly remember thinking that the original default Maleshep looked better than anything I could come up with myself. The default Hawkes of DA2 had unique hairstyles and the new default Femshep has unique hair, a unique lipstick shade and freckles. I know they’ll be modded into the PC version, but why restrict them in the first place?

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