Sexism in Dragon Age: The Difference Between Intent and Negligence

There’s nothing worse than radio silence surrounding a game’s release date. During this time, developers usually spend their time trying to build up hype and answering whatever questions they can concerning aspects of the game they’re allowed to talk about, from expected tweaks to the gameplay mechanics to things players can look forward to in terms of characters and environments. So taking into account this “no news is bad news” mantra of sorts surrounding release, what’s a little controversy on the side?

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: Faultlines by Luc Court

“…But there is a flaw in my coal, Hespith. I will not tell them. They will not admit it. Instead, they will one day make a Paragon not out of whoever proves me wrong, but in who ‘improves’ it.”

Your lungs draw in a sharp breath automatically, though Branka is no warmongerer; she has nothing but passive scorn for the Assembly, a low-level bile that sees no need to purposefully stir up dissent. She will not walk the floor, call out publicly what she sees as heresies – though they would tolerate her, if she did. They must. It makes you afraid of what would happen if they did not.

You touch her arm.

“Hespith.” She makes your name sound like a snake. She hisses against your ear. You imagine her tongue to be as cool and dry as a serpent’s belly, but she is far more moist than that. “I am your Paragon,” she whispers. “Say it.”

You do. You say it, again and again. Everything she wants. All for her.

Sometimes, when in search of a certain type of fic, it’s easy to get swept up in the fanon instead of appreciating what’s already in canon. So, as much as I love reading about femslash that would probably be dubious at best in its canon, this week is about giving a little love to a canon pairing that I forgot about completely. I blame Orzammar.

For “wardens” who have played through Dragon Age: Origins, naming this home of the dwarves brings up almost as many bad memories as The Fade simply for the fact that it’s horridly long and, after those hours among the underground tunnels, the entire environment becomes boring to look at. However many bad memories exist, though, Orzammar houses one of the most complex choices the player can make during the game. This decision, much like this fanfiction, revolves around one person: the Paragon, Branka.

Continue reading

The Triple Goddess in Dragon Age: Origins

Ace isn’t the only one putting off a game review. Despite wanting to do a review of the polarizing Remember Me, I keep finding myself distracted by Starbound. I blame Steam. So in lieu of fresh meat, I’ve delved further into the meta of a game series that I’ve already beaten time and time again. And with me, if any series is going to get analyzed, it’s going to be Dragon Age. Usually I look more into issues with the fandom versus the events in the game, but this time it’s all lore. Before I get into it, let me get everyone on the same page.

For those unfamiliar with Wicca and Neopaganism, the idea of the triple goddess may be the furthest thing from your minds when discussing a narrative. I’m no expert myself, but I’d like to think that I know a thing or two. As counterpart to the Horned God in some practices of Wicca and Neopaganism—a representation of masculine energy—the triple goddess represents the three stages of womanhood: the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. These three stages are in turn represented by phases of the moon. The Maiden, a growing woman who has much to learn about the world, is represented in the waxing phase (going from new to full for those like me who never remember the difference). The Mother, having reached fulfillment in all aspects of her life, is represented by the full moon. And the elder Crone, facing death with all her wisdom, is represented by the waning moon as her light fades into the blackness of night. All three parts of this trinity are of equal importance, and that’s what makes a closer inspection of these characters, as well as the events they put into motion, so interesting.

Wicca Neopaganism Triple Goddess symbolAlthough there’s an interesting reflection of modern interpretations of religion going on within the setting—Pagan themes are woven through an in-game religion that is based largely off Christianity—that’s not what we’re going to be talking about. We’re going to be talking about mages; specifically, three female mages. You see where this is going, right?

Spoilers for a five-year-old game under the cut.

Continue reading