Great treatment of trans characters in Dragon Age Inquisition


#1

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#2

Damn right! That’s how its done!

Also: Badass horns and voice acting.


#3

A few years ago I was thinking the same thing about ME3’s handling of a crew member on the ship being gay. Just a dude who had a husband, lost him, missed him, and a (depending on your choices) compassionate, understanding commander. Just a human reaction without trying to beat you over the head with the politics (which, at the time, were slightly more caustic than today).

Also, for someone who never played DA1 or 2 but wants to try DAI, should I play through either of the first two games, or are the various lore primers enough? I tend to enjoy diving into the created universes of games; one of my favorite things in the ME series was reading about the histories and cultures of the non-human species.


#4

I’m in the same boat as you - I’m an avid gamer who inhaled the MAss Effect series, but somehow missed out on DA. I asked several gamer friends, and they said that skipping the first two games is possible, but you may be somewhat confused during the first leg of the game as you’d have to slog your way through a fair amount of name-dropping and info-dumping to really get into the world.

I just ended up buying the first two games and am making my way through them. The gameplay and graphics are a bit dated, I’ll grant you - but the lore, history, and world building are still quite excellent. Pair that with online delivery, and the current [color]-[day] sales, and you could probably grab them both for less then $20 (ignoring the various DLCs).


#5

Each Dragon Age game features different protagonists and locales, but a shared universe and history.

So you’ll get a proper introduction to the characters you’re playing as/with, but you’ll be dropped into a pretty densely constructed world with a long pre-existing history, including some major social/political/military turning points that would have been effected by your choices in the first two games, had you played them.

So more new-player friendly than a serial franchise like Mass Effect, but you’d still be missing out on a lot of (not strictly necessary) backstory.


#6

Wait why are people playing this game? To be taken away to a fantasy world or to tackle real world issues? Man i miss the days of pacman…


#7

Yeah, this is why I don’t like games where there’s war in them. Stupid real world issues have no place in a game.


#8

I also don’t play games with biological characters or a coherent narrative or comprehensible rules. Only abstract modernist impressionist shape-games with no identifiable people or storyline where button presses are only tangentially and arbitrarily related to in-game outcomes for me, thanks!


#9

It really rings true, that last line of dialog. “I can get worked up about a group or a nation just fine, but people… It’s too much work to hate them one by one.”

I wish that more of us would keep this in mind during debates and discussions. It’s not easy to hate an actual person, if you think of them as a person. But it’s much easier to hate when one discards the hated’s humanity and views them entirely in terms of their group association. We’re all guilty of discounting the person in favor of their associations, and it’s a shame we don’t keep that in mind more often.


#10

No need to miss them. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ is considered to be an excellent follow-up. It’s on sale on Steam right now too! Why not go and play it, instead of making inane comments on forums.


#11

Also, even in the 80s, we all knew: Ms. Pacman was just Pac-Man in a bow. And we were cool with it, Pacman’s got to be what feels natural at any given time.


#12

The very nature of your question suggests, perhaps, a certain fundamental misunderstanding of the role that gaming plays in contemporary society. And to be clear, this misunderstanding is shared by significant swaths of the gaming community.

We’ve arrived at the point in society where an individual character’s personal alignment with any group that might be categorized through one or more sets of “defining characteristics” is simply & completely inconsequential.

As it is in the real world, so it is in the game. This understanding renders the game itself tangential to the experience, with the game often becoming nearly meaningless.

In today’s world, the entire point of playing games is so the gamer will be able to determine if media coverage focused upon the game has been executed truthfully, with the journalists integrity remaining intact.

All that said; yeah, I can really see your point on how stupid, ultimately meaningless stuff can work to strip away any fun that the game might offer.

It can work that way in the real world too! It’s a bummer.


#13

Yeah! Why does art have to go and be about things? Can’t I have my entertainment without it reflecting the human experience?


#14

Dragon Age Inquisition just showed a world where apparently many trans gender people are accepted as they are without a lot of questions asked. Unfortunately, that IS a fantasy world.


#15

Wow, Bioware has sure come a long way when it comes to dealing with trans issues since the days of Edwin(a).


#16

The lore primers are probably enough, but I’d recommend playing through them both if you have the time. The first is an excellent RPG in the classic style and has tons of interesting little lore tidbits that you’d have to read the entire Dragon Age Wiki to get otherwise. Mages are way OP (the Arcane Warrior specialization in particular, which is reflected in how insane the Knight-Enchanter specialization in Inquisition is) but the world is one of the better fantasy settings, the combat’s good, and the characters are good, if kind of archetypical. I think Inquisition does a better job in terms of writing than Origins, but Origins is still great on that front. I love Alastair and Shale.

Dragon Age 2 you should probably play to get to know Varric if nothing else. The story’s actually pretty good for a BioWare game (who as you know do better character work and worldbuilding than plotting). You are kind of majorly railroaded, which is a problem for a game, but arguably your inability to take a third option that results in a good outcome is kind of the whole point. It’s not as awful a game as people say. Play it on easy so that you don’t get frustrated by the new combat mechanics (which shows its flaws much more on higher difficulties).

Once you get to Inquisition, give it some time and remember to get out of the Hinterlands (the first major open-world area) if you’re getting bored. I enjoyed it at first, but everything really clicked at the end of what’s probably best called the first act of the game. Anything more is a spoiler and this is one game where you don’t want spoilers. There was one scene that I felt was executed amazingly well and that in combination with some of the really nuanced character interactions and reactions up to that point completely sold me on everything about the game. Have fun!


#17

I actually find it remarkably appropriate that the Qunari of all cultures are the progressive ones on transgendered people. Remember back in the first game where Sten gets very confused by a female Warden who is clearly a warrior and eventually decides that the Warden must be a man, all biology to the contrary? I hope I’m remembering that right. Qunari culture’s extremely rigid gender roles would leave any (biological) woman with strong martial inclinations or (biological) man who is better suited as a teacher without a place in the Qun. Sure, most people would go along, but given how dedicated the Tamassrans are to the order of everything and how pragmatic they seem to be, it seems a small step to allow a biological woman to live as a man or vice versa, if their testing shows that the person is inclined that way. The Qunari have a place for everything and everyone so long as they submit to the Qun and they don’t have a tradition of marriage and lineal descent to mess with things. Why is it so surprising that they have a place for trans people? After all, “To call a thing by its name is to know its reason in the world. To call a thing falsely is to put out one’s own eyes.”


#18

“We have a dog in the party now and Alastair is still the dumbest one.”

Shale speaks like stoned, but totally rocks.


#19

If this were a lecture series, I’d be THERE.


#20

I haven’t played the new one yet, but I’ve been replaying it all from the beginning the last few weeks to prep. I’ve been doing this with Bioware games since they started. Its always been a great way to make sure you are super amped up for whatever’s new. But worst case scenario you’re now super bored on the game play front (and your wrist hurts). So I’d say it’d be worth it if you’ve never touched the series before. But from what I’ve seen of it it Dragon Age Keep website and a couple of lore roundups/ summaries would be enough to catch you up.

As an added bonus I’ve always found that replaying previous entries in a complex RPG series right around release gives you just about the right amount of time to wait out early release patches. Sort of a classic PC gaming concern/problem/tradition that the console side has been getting the last 5ish years. By the time you get all caught up all the launch day woes should be mitigated at the least.