Character Customization: The Importance of Being Represented

I wrote another piece for the blog FemHype, about how important Mass Effect is to me. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that the first and second games literally changed my life. I am so excited to get around to playing the third one. Since I didn’t get a chance to play anything this past week, I’m reposting it here. I hope you enjoy it!

FemHype

Mass Effect

RPGs are my favorite genre of video games. Part of it is my love of story; I grew up reading voraciously, and RPGs feel like another great way to receive a story. They’re like choose-your-own-adventure novels, but even better. Another reason is that they often allow you to decide how your character will appear.

When deciding what my character should look like, it’s always been an easy decision for me. Right away, I start making her look like me. People have questioned me about it in the past, and I spent some time wondering if I was vain or egotistical. Why didn’t I want to play as someone who looks different from me? Was I so wrapped up in myself that I couldn’t imagine not being me?

After some reflection, I realized that there was nothing wrong with wanting to play characters that resembles me. The people questioning me were mostly white…

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