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Blonde Female Shepard

August 3, 2011

I briefly considered titling this “Sticking My Nose In Where It Doesn’t Belong”, but I think I have enough features for a while. A lot of people are upset that voters on Facebook picked the blonde Shepard to be BioWare’s canon female Shepard.

Why?

This is a serious question, why should it matter what the “canon” version is? Especially in a game where you can customize the character to your own liking. If a choice is ultimately up to the player, then canon becomes meaningless. If the Shepard in your game is a black haired, brown eyed woman, or a brown haired, green eyed man, then none of the canon matters. It didn’t happen in “your” universe. And it’s not like this is something new to BioWare: In Knights of the Old Republic, the canon Revan was male. Did that stop people from making female Revans? Hell no!

And honestly, I think that blonde FemShep is ultimately going to be good for the game, being the most popular option. Just hear me out on this. More people are going to play FemShep that wouldn’t normally, and the people already inclined to play FemShep won’t just start it up and roll. They’re going to customize their character, and that’s going to lead to a richer experience for them.

This was the result of a vote taken on Facebook. Anyone who couldn’t have guessed that people on Facebook might just choose someone based on looks is not nearly cynical enough about the internet. It’s not like the people complaining about blonde female Shepard are completely blameless either. They’re viscerally reacting against a blonde because of all the stereotypes related to blondes. Everyone’s a hypocrite. I like to think of myself as politically active, and the only thing I’ve done since 2007 is vote. The people who voted for blonde Shepard voted based on looks, and so did the people who voted for the other Shepards, despite what they might want to tell themselves.

And if you don’t think that blondes can kick a little ass, 1980s Samus Aran might just have a little something to say about that.

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