I had this idea that I would praise Dragon Age Inquisition for its inclusiveness and representation in a blog post, but then it struck me. Why not just do a re-imagining with Inquisition at the hands of your Average Game Developer™, using (some) statistics and common tropes to show how great the difference actually is? Beware though. This blog posts is full of irony. And it is also full of spoilers, so if you don’t want your Inquisitorial experience to be spoilt by irony, please stop reading. I’m serious.
So, without further ado – here’s the Manquisition!
The hero of the Manquisition is no longer selectable. No, he’s a man. According to Ben Kuchera in an article he wrote for Penny Arcade Report in 2012, on average only 45% of games feature a selectable hero. A whooping 4% of games feature a woman hero, so if we’re using EEDAR’s statistics, our hero is a man.
Enter the Manquisitor, probably voiced by Troy Baker or Nolan North, and looking – like all of them do – like a carbon copy of all other male protagonists, ever.
Oh, he’s okay. Corypheus, Darkspawn Magister from the Dawn of Time remains unchanged. Possibly he might steal one of the Manquisitor’s female companions away from him as the female companion’s personal quest, but I’ll get back to that.
Well, considering that supporting characters are not very commonly women, these will have to go. In particular since they’re important characters.
Leliana becomes Leif and Josephine becomes Joseph. Cullen can stay, of course because he’s cool and has a large bearskin on his shoulders. Probably make him a bit shorter and less attractive though. We don’t want anything that might detract from the Manquisitor’s heroic good looks.
Now we’re talking! We’re keeping Sera and Cassandra. Vivienne is a bitch so we’ll probably change her gender, unless it turns out that she’s also a tease and an evil Sorceress who’s been selling the Manquisitor’s secrets to Corypheus all along. She’s got the cleavage for it. Just make her boobs bigger and let her tease the Manquisitor with promises of sex, only to turn on him at the first possible moment.
Sera is a lesbian only if the Manquisitor can turn her with his manly charms and perhaps get to watch some girl on girl action. No really. Remember God of War? Kratos walks in on Aphrodite who is getting it on with two other women, and the other women are unceremoniously dumped because Kratos wants to make love. Well. Actually he doesn’t, but Aphrodite flatters his manliness enough to make him go for it. But only because she’s begging him. And then you get to see two women… making out, I guess. Anyway, probably Cassandra and Sera making out when interrupted by the Manquisitor who of course can score with both of them, because he’s just That Manly™.
Cassandra’s personal quest, finding the Seekers of Truth, probably ends up with her having to be rescued from Lord Seeker Lucius, and in the nick of time as well, because he was just about to impregnate her with a demon fetus when the Manquisitor came to her rescue! And then her soul would have been in deep trouble!
Dorian is NOT GAY, FYI because that would hurt the Male Gamer’s Sensitivities™. Actually the rest of them are probably pretty much the same except NO ONE IS BI or GAY, due to the aforementioned Sensitivities™. They’re all probably white as well.
[I’ve removed this paragraph out of respect for trans* people. I tried – and failed – not to be disrespectful and for that I sincerely apologize. My point that I was trying to make, and failed to make, was that trans* people should not populate games as comic relief, which I think far too many games fall back on. Again, I apologize, and it will not happen again.]
The Chantry and the Divine
All priests are men, and the Divine is of course a man. But hardly called the Divine, because that sounds female, doesn’t it? He’s probably called the Godhood or something. And on the other end of the spectra the only matriarchy in the game is in Tevinter, because they do blood magic and manipulate people, and the Black Godhood (work with me here) is probably a woman. A manipulative, conniving woman, because that’s how we all are, am I right?
Is a gruff dwarven man. Very manly.
Is a gruff human man. White, of course, unless it is later revealed that he’s a bad guy, then he can be a person of color. So Mother Giselle is Father Grüber and he advises the Manquisitor on how to best be a Real Man™ (I told you I was going to be a bit… cheeky.)
Is a man.
Is a man. Empereror Carl. And Grand Duke Gaspard is a man. And Ambassador Briala is a woman, but with bigger breasts.
All enemies are men
… except some bosses that try to use their feminine wiles to derail the Manquisitor. Desire Demons are probably a lot more common in the game than they are now, stroking their bare breasts to make sure that they have the player’s attention. So, fewer female NPCs. Unless they’re tavern wenches. And there’s a mini game on how to get a wench in bed with you, of course. And then you get a notch on your belt and one step further in your achievement or trophy tree.
There’s probably more to be said…
… but this excercise has me depressed, so I give up now. What I’ve been trying to say, even though it may not have been very eloquent, is that BioWare does a hell of a good job respecting people of all kinds. Other games do not, or at least not to the same extent.
* Note that I think the way GTA V handles transexuality is completely unacceptable and my joking around about it here is to try to prove a point. Nevertheless, if I hurt anyone with my description, PLEASE let me know and I will change or remove it immediately.