BioWare Apologizes For Representation of Trans Character in Andromeda

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BioWare Apologizes For Representation of Trans Character in Andromeda

BioWare says that the Hainly Abrams character "was not included in a thoughtful or caring way".

Mass Effect: Andromeda developer BioWare has released a statement via Twitter today regarding a transgender character from the game. Hainly Abrams, the character in question, is a scientist encountered in a minor side-quest within the game. When prompted about her past, she reveals to the player character that she used to be a man named "Stephan".

BioWare apologizes for her implementation, saying that she was "not included in a thoughtful or caring way". It apologized for anyone who interacted with and was hurt by this conversation.

"This was never our intent, and an unfortunate by-product of the iterative process of game design and a change in structure of the character's dialogue," it added.

You can view the reportedly offensive scene in the video to the right. Complaints from the LGBT community apparently arose because Abrams seems like a "token" transgender character, who very quickly and ham-fistedly reveals her transgender origins with almost no prompting.

"Once the changes are implemented, Hainly will only reveal certain information to Ryder after they have developed trust," said BioWare.

Source: BioWare

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See Bioware should just apologize for Andromeda all together. And give refunds. And then apologize a second time. And never make a Mass Effect again.

Steven Bogos:
Complaints from the LGBT community apparently arose because Abrams seems like a "token" transgender character [---]
Source: BioWare

Where did you get that information from? All sources in this news post links to the same tweet, where tokenism is never brought up.

Of all the complaints and problems people had this is the one they specifically go out of their way to apologize for....? Really BioWares priorities have gotten pretty damn wacky these days.

I didnt know she was even Transgendered. However​ do want to know how on earth this game got the final go ahead with it having SO MANY BUGS!!!

I actually missed that entirely because I skipped through the dialogue tbh. Saw her mention she had an old name but missed what it was entirely lol

Silentpony:
See Bioware should just apologize for Andromeda all together. And give refunds. And then apologize a second time. And never make a Mass Effect again.

As long as I like it nothing else matters, 9/10

PC dribble aside, did they apologise for the overall quality of the game or the mediocre main plot?

Not gonna lie, when I got to that bit of dialogue, my reaction was something along the lines of "Oh, she's transgendered. That's cool. Now where's this quest I'm supposed to go on?"

Holy crap, that's horrible and hilarious :D
No human alive acts like that, transgender or otherwise.

Wouldn't it be a grand sci-fi setting where sex changes are so easy and simple to perform that one can refer to it as casually as if it's about getting their ears pierced?

They apologize for an element in the game that no one cares about, but they don't apologize for the very disappointing game.

Bioware is terrified of some internet LGBT randos but couldn't give less of a crap about consumer confidence.

Wow. Yeah, totally didn't even realize that what she was talking about. I thought she changed her name because she was going to a new galaxy and wanted a fresh start. Didn't even dawn on me that's what that was about.

Adam Jensen:
Holy crap, that's horrible and hilarious :D
No human alive acts like that, transgender or otherwise.

You've never been to Tumblr then, have you? For some people, it's pretty much the only thing they see themselves as and the entirety of their identity. As for Bioware apoligizing, I'm not surprised. The game could be broken (it is), could have bad animations and voice acting (it does), have average combat (it does), and a poor story (it does), but God forbid a few people who played their game (or probably just heard about their game) that makes up one third of one percent of the population complains, then it's time to prostrate themselves. The actual gamers and customers, fuck them.

How odd, the reaction of the perpetually offended at everything crowd to being pandered to was to be offended. Who could have possibly foreseen that?

I'm surprised that they still haven't apologised for making the black squad mate boring as fuck for the second time trying.

Ukomba:
How odd, the reaction of the perpetually offended at everything crowd to being pandered to was to be offended. Who could have possibly foreseen that?

I'm sorry, but wasn't the shoe on the other foot with Dragonspear? All the idiots screaming about tokenism of having a transgender cleric being open and forthright? I distinctly remember it, I remember saying; "You know what ... as a trans person and familiar with D&D, I can totally see a cleric being quite forthright, open, and direct with the subject matter. Because occasionally I wish I could be so confidant and forthright with it, sometimes, and that's what D&D clerics do."

But apparently all the internet types didn't think that response merited much weigh then when they were screaming 'tokenism'...

Frankly, I don't care. I've met heaps of people that don't mind being open about being trans. I for one am on the fence about secrecy and openness. Mainly for being a pretty secretive person in general. For starters;

A: I haven't heard about it till now.

B: I wasn't planning on buying Andromeda until it was patched about 100 times and on sale. Because it's BioWare ... and Bee-dubs, like Bethesda, have been shit for the better part of about 16 years.

Guys, the old Bioware we knew and loved is gone, they're never coming back. They're now nothing more than EA's "socially progressive" unit that they can point to as evidence of their social awareness credentials.

mad825:
I'm surprised that they still haven't apologised for making the black squad mate boring as fuck for the second time trying.

More like making the human squad mates boring as fuck for the fourth time in a row.

Bad writing, bad delivery, bad animation. But then that's the game.

infohippie:
Guys, the old Bioware we knew and loved is gone, they're never coming back. They're now nothing more than EA's "socially progressive" unit that they can point to as evidence of their social awareness credentials.

mad825:
I'm surprised that they still haven't apologised for making the black squad mate boring as fuck for the second time trying.

More like making the human squad mates boring as fuck for the fourth time in a row.

Complains about trans people in video game being presented as bad writing >>> check.

Complains about BioWare correcting bad writing >>> Check

Complains how people complained about the bad writing >>> check

Complains about how people complaining about people complaining about the bad writing >>> check

Complains about people complaining while complaining about the people not complaining about fictional people >>> check

How about not buy BioWare games until they're less shit? Solves all your problems. You'll get no argument from me that BioWare is garbage, the difference is I'll only buy their game after I know it's properly patched and working acceptably, and when they are no longer making so much of a profit on it (because I'm spiteful like that).

Solves literally all people's problems.

Video game companies will not change if they know that people are just going to throw money at them anyways.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

How about not buy BioWare games until they're less shit? Solves all your problems. You'll get no argument from me that BioWare is garbage, the difference is I'll only buy their game after I know it's properly patched and working acceptably, and when they are no longer making so much of a profit on it (because I'm spiteful like that).

Solves literally all people's problems.

I've already implemented that solution in my life. The last Bioware game I bought was Dragon Age 2. I haven't bought a Bioware game at all since then because DA2 was so very, very shit, and then I waited to hear what ME3 was like with the result I never bothered buying it either. I still reserve the right to complain about their shit characters because once upon a time I loved their games, mostly for the characters and the writing.

infohippie:

I've already implemented that solution in my life. The last Bioware game I bought was Dragon Age 2. I haven't bought a Bioware game at all since then because DA2 was so very, very shit, and then I waited to hear what ME3 was like with the result I never bothered buying it either. I still reserve the right to complain about their shit characters because once upon a time I loved their games, mostly for the characters and the writing.

Then just play old games and indie published stuff. I hear good things from Lisa but I haven't played it yet.

Frankly I find it disingenuous the idea that this is merely about a shit character. Because the way you decry it out, all the right wingnuts were screaming about 'tokenism' in Dragonspear in the exact same way. Frankly this is the first time I've heard about this ... and frankly I'll use the same commentary I used during Dragonspear... that I know people who are pretty open about being trans because they legitimately want to educate people on the trans experience they run into. They give talks about being trans, they sometimes help counsel parents who might be having difficulty understanding it.

I can't speak to the quality of how well that's encapsulated in the text, but having played Dragonspear ... meh. If I was a cleric in D&D who can call down godly power and see everything as a test of faith and a quest, then I can see how it wouldn't faze them in the slightest to being kind of an open book. Make sense as per the base games, make sense in world.

But regardless of all that stuff ... if your same criticism is the same criticism for EVERY OTHER CHARACTER, then just flat out not buy it. The reason why people scream about this stuff and nothing ever gets done is precisely because people are still giving them money. Their objective is not to deliver a good game, their objective is to make money and merely look like they want to deliver a decent game.

Honestly, I'm legitimately annoyed they pretend to use transgender criticism as a crutch. Nice that they want to deliver a little transgender representation, but if they were interested in doing that then they'd just talk to a few trans people and get their take on something and stand by the quality of their work based on real world experience of human agency and behaviour. But hey, what was that GG thing that they seem to forget nowadays? Oh that's right, #NotYourShield ... but that doesn't apply in this case for something-something-SJWs.

So, just checking, but to be clear, the perpetually offended are being offended that Bioware apologized to a different set of perpetually offended?

Addendum_Forthcoming:

infohippie:

I've already implemented that solution in my life. The last Bioware game I bought was Dragon Age 2. I haven't bought a Bioware game at all since then because DA2 was so very, very shit, and then I waited to hear what ME3 was like with the result I never bothered buying it either. I still reserve the right to complain about their shit characters because once upon a time I loved their games, mostly for the characters and the writing.

Then just play old games and indie published stuff. I hear good things from Lisa but I haven't played it yet.

Frankly I find it disingenuous the idea that this is merely about a shit character. Because the way you decry it out, all the right wingnuts were screaming about 'tokenism' in Dragonspear in the exact same way. Frankly this is the first time I've heard about this ... and frankly I'll use the same commentary I used during Dragonspear... that I know people who are pretty open about being trans because they legitimately want to educate people on the trans experience they run into. They give talks about being trans, they sometimes help counsel parents who might be having difficulty understanding it.

I can't speak to the quality of how well that's encapsulated in the text, but having played Dragonspear ... meh. If I was a cleric in D&D who can call down godly power and see everything as a test of faith and a quest, then I can see how it wouldn't faze them in the slightest to being kind of an open book. Make sense as per the base games, make sense in world.

But regardless of all that stuff ... if your same criticism is the same criticism for EVERY OTHER CHARACTER, then just flat out not buy it. The reason why people scream about this stuff and nothing ever gets done is precisely because people are still giving them money. Their objective is not to deliver a good game, their objective is to make money and merely look like they want to deliver a decent game.

I think you're talking to the wrong person here. I simply reminded people that Bioware's human squadmates have been flat and dull ever since Mass Effect 1. I don't care that a character is trans, and I haven't said a word about tokenism, though I guess I'm about to now. I do care that Bioware no longer write interesting characters, instead they write a bunch of "socially aware" tickboxes. Their characters' identity politics is now pretty much their entire characterisation. Just FYI, I have been dating a trans girl for more than five years now, and she is a unique and interesting person in her own right without any reference to her being trans. If a character's only defining aspect is that they're trans, or gay, or whatever else, then Bioware have not only failed to write an interesting character, they have also failed to successfully represent trans people, or gay people, or whichever.

I, like everyone else, don't know why they're apologizing for this smallest of slights (you have to act a certain way to be a proper transgender now? PC knows no self-awareness,) when they could just have said they were sorry for the whole game and saved time.

Not buying this game. Since the very beginning when there was but a whisper about Andromeda succeeding ME3, I knew it would be nothing but a painful resurrection of a hopeless franchise just for cash. Turns out to be 100% true.

altnameJag:
So, just checking, but to be clear, the perpetually offended are being offended that Bioware apologized to a different set of perpetually offended?

With some tumblr bashing to spice things up. Some things never change.

infohippie:
I think you're talking to the wrong person here. I simply reminded people that Bioware's human squadmates have been flat and dull ever since Mass Effect 1. I don't care that a character is trans, and I haven't said a word about tokenism, though I guess I'm about to now. I do care that Bioware no longer write interesting characters, instead they write a bunch of "socially aware" tickboxes. Their characters' identity politics is now pretty much their entire characterisation. Just FYI, I have been dating a trans girl for more than five years now, and she is a unique and interesting person in her own right without any reference to her being trans. If a character's only defining aspect is that they're trans, or gay, or whatever else, then Bioware have not only failed to write an interesting character, they have also failed to successfully represent trans people, or gay people, or whichever.

My annoyance is the fact that they use the trans character as a crutch. It's easy enough to talk to actual trans people whether they're out or not. Then stand by your work. If you're concerned that you didn't do a good job, then talk to people before you bother to release a product. The difference is that with the same narrative as with Dragonspear cropping of the talk of tokenism, I find it hollow conversation ... if the dilemma or participation in the story was about trans-related issue, why not? At the same time frankly it shouldn't matter if the character is known to be trans or not. Because why does it matter? And I think that's an equally compelling argument.

If we're going to make the argument of someone doing it just because of 'social awareness' or the critique of 'tokenism', then at least let's assume a metaphysical framework of the argument where the horse, indeed, goes before the cart.

I mean does a side character, by default, need to be interesting? How interesting is interesting? If we can agree there's good and bad representation, then there is no man's land of acceptability it seems for LGBTQ people in videogames. For example, if I decide to come out to someone at work because I feel like it's just going to eventually be something known if we continue working together, or because we persist with a friendly out-of-work relationship that extends to drinking, meeting with mutual friends, etc ... how interesting is that really?

Pretty boring. Not the least bit interesting. Unless you like exceedingly crushing real life mundanity on display. And in truth, nobody truly confronts the horror with humans being human very well. Even in life we look at people and refuse to see them as much more than above or below in the various social categories ... rarely do we confront the horror of looking at someone and seeing the same night of the world suspended in their eyes, as if the madness inherent to all lonely selves.

Life in general is an exercise in fighting boredom. Frankly I think there's a far better argument in why some trans people can't expect someone who is at odds with this humdrum existence of balancing fear of rejection, hostility, and being genuinely open and engaging with others likewise ... than a trans person being told they can never be seen as anything but a bit timid, or as if need to juggle the invisible weight of expectancy.

There's good and bad representation. But neutral is not bad, and bad is not bigoted.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
...

I'm not totally sure, but I think we are actually saying pretty much the same thing.

erttheking:

altnameJag:
So, just checking, but to be clear, the perpetually offended are being offended that Bioware apologized to a different set of perpetually offended?

With some tumblr bashing to spice things up. Some things never change.

It's not being offended, just stating the painfully obvious. Yet again. This stuff always happens and developers are always surprised when they trigger one group or another. I honestly find it funny when the other side eats their own, as it's a rare occurrence.

This seems a little backwards to me.
Sometimes trans people will be background characters, sometimes they'll be major characters.
Not everyone needs to be a major character.

The weird thing is it could've been solved if they'd just asked a Trans person about it before writing. 'Hey, do trans people ever casually dead-name themselves? No? Alright, cool, thanks', problem solved.

Ah well, was a lazy-game overall from the feel of things, fucking up a simple question isn't surprising.

as someone who is transgender. i have actually met other trans people who are that blunt and in your face about it. i dont know why and im sure as hell not like that but there it is

ah bioware they know better... they did a much more better transgender npc in inquisition that was much more subtle and realistic which also made the character more interesting. they were a fully formed person rather than just token transgender character 702

to me this game suffers from star gate universe syndrome.. something you start because you liked the previous things, that you like a character or two, you force yourself to play hoping it gets better until it hits you.. im not enjoying this at all

Souplex:
This seems a little backwards to me.
Sometimes trans people will be background characters, sometimes they'll be major characters.
Not everyone needs to be a major character.

Was there ever a trans major character? I'm blanking.

EDIT: well, I suppose there was that gal in Catherine.

infohippie:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
...

I'm not totally sure, but I think we are actually saying pretty much the same thing.

Dead naming thing was dumb, but the idea of tokenism automatically because arbitrary interest level I feel like is way too much stress.

IF they added me as an adjunct character into, I don't know, Mass Effect: Back to the Future, then potentially after two or three associations with the main character I'll likely tell them I'm trans .... or hell, maybe the first time we meet depending on circumstances and how much I trust the main character. But it's not like this is interesting. It's just something that happens to me. I know it happens to me. It's normal. I'm boring in how I handle it, and the reason why I handle it at all the way I do is because of a fear of naked hostility, rejection, or because I trust someone enough to open up to them.

The idea that LGBTQ character have to either be invisible or 'interesting' ... but it seems like a pretty false dichotomy to me.

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