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Great Hera!

Dragon Age Anime Feature Releases First Artwork — Of a Female Protagonist?


A full-length anime feature based on Dragon Age is in the works and is set for release in 2012. But that’s not the only thing we’re excited about: the first artwork released features a female protagonist. This, from a game that has been making a conscious effort to recognize that the “straight male default” in the gaming community is a myth. So, we’re psyched. And curious. Full picture after the jump.
First, as promised, the big picture for Funimation‘s Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker:

There she is, an as-yet-unnamed female heroine, in full armor, with a full supply of swords. As we’ve covered before, efforts have been made on the part of the game’s manufacturers to strike down the idea that gamers (at least gamers of Dragon Age) are all straight males. These efforts include offering several romance options for those of both genders and all sexual orientations. No synopsis of the movie has been released yet, but is there a chance that there could be a female lead? It sure looks like it.

(Joystiq)

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  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Efforts have also been made by the Bioware team to quiet fans who complained that Hawke should have a broader range of skintone, and that the box art need not show white, male “default” Hawke.  Complaints were answered with a lecture on how a multiracial cast compromises the integrity of their storytelling (what?) and on how it was JUST NECESSARY to pick a (white, male) default Hawke to put on the box art so that DA would have a recognizable symbol for the brand (that would, I believe, be the big red dragon made out of blood?)

    Bioware’s record is hardly spotless, their games far from problematic.  I’m glad to see a woman on the box art – but I’m not going to forget their excuses for omitting women (including FemShep) from their box art so quickly.

  • Anonymous

    I’m under the impression that Bioware, as a whole, is a more progressive and welcoming company than most other developers.  It’s not uniform, and they don’t police their employees in such a way as to always come off swimmingly (a Sr. Community Manager goofing about on his official Twitter Bioware account with an influential rape apologist who is co-host to a few cons, comes to mind), but they seem to actually care enough to try, which is fairly novel. Unfortunately. 

    I happily buy their games, as a result, knowing I’m a respected consumer by at least some portion of their staff.

  • Anonymous

    Complaints were answered with a lecture on how a multiracial cast
    compromises the integrity of their storytelling (what?) and on how it
    was JUST NECESSARY to pick a (white, male) default Hawke to put on the
    box art so that DA would have a recognizable symbol for the brand

    Whoa.  That’s shitty.  Don’t suppose that’s permanently saved on the internets in a form that can be linked?

  • http://twitter.com/g33k_gal Natalie Ferguson

    I love everything about this. Dragon Age is one of my favorite games and Bioware is becoming one of my favorite studios, as they are just so progressive, open minded, and aware of the diversity of today’s gamers.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if this will be the story of Cassandra Pentaghast, the Seeker of the Chantry interrogating Varric in the cutscenes in DA2. Could be a younger Cassandra with long hair….I love the Dragon Age world, so any further exploration of it is super exciting for me.

  • thessair

    I thought Funimation said it was based on Cassandra at SDCC. However the
    video was apparently a casualty of the accidental purge on the Bioware
    TV stream. I’m pretty sure I saved a local copy at home though, so I’ll double check when I get out of the office.

  • http://twitter.com/KomiIsDrawing Komiyan

    Just as a note, Femshep will be on the box for the ME3 collector’s edition. She’s getting a trailer, too! It took 3 games for it to happen, but at least it finally did.

  • Ceili

    “compromises the integrity of their storytelling”.

    I can agree with this just fine. They’re in a very specific part of the game’s world. I don’t want “affirmative action” in my video games just for the sake of sticking non-European characters into the world where they don’t fit.

    Sure, if Dragon Age is expanded on and moves into a larger part of the world, diversify the cast, but as it stands–Make characters in a European world look European. There is absolutely no place at all to whine about that.

  • Anonymous

    Sure, if Dragon Age is expanded on and moves into a larger part of the
    world, diversify the cast, but as it stands–Make characters in a
    European world look European. There is absolutely no place at all to
    whine about that.

    The fact that you identify the setting of a fantasy game as “European” is part of the problem.  You see people’s origins as based on the color of their skin, which is pretty silly at this point in history, and really, really silly when talking about fantasy.  In a fantasy setting, does skin color have to be related to regions of the planet?  How ’bout we relate it to the time of day one was born?  Or the day of the week? 

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    3 games isn’t good enough, and I’m definitely not placated looking at what they’re doing to Ashley Williams and Liara. I mean, really?  3 games on and you’re holding a contest to vote on how she should even look and I’m supposed to be impressed by this?  All it tells me is that no one internal has bothered to put thought into making a definitive femshep.  That’s not even mentioning the fact that the complaint about the lack of representation for femshep has in the past been met with stats on how the majority play men.

    I really can’t stand that they recieved so many accolades for saying “Gaming isn’t just for straight white men.”  They’ve been acting to the contrary for years, and I would say it’s hardly cynical to suggest that a major reason why all romance options in DA2 were available to both genders was because it was a lot less work on a game that was already rushed.

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    BioWare specifically based DragonAge’s setting on Europe. We [the fans] don’t identify the setting as European. A majority of the game lore and settings are based on Europe and European history. http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Nations

    Orlais? Based on France
    Antiva? Spain
    Ferelden? England

    While it is true that skin color need not be a thing in Fantasy, the creators of this game chose to base it on something relatively familiar.

    Did anyone complain about the lack of white skinned individuals in Jade Empire? Probably. But the story was inspired by the Chinese. Should BioWare have put in white and darker skinned individuals for affirmative action?

    People tell the stories they want to tell. And for those who have a problem with those stories, well, they can tell their own.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    If you can suspend your disbelief enough to admit the existence of elves, dwarves, and dragons, I daresay that Asian people are not going to break your immersion.

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    The interview with Gen and Chris from Funimation did mention Cassandra. Or someone tweeted it during the con. You are not alone in this recollection.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     Moreover – we have dark-skinned elves, humans and dwarves canonically.  The only one they ever feel the need to “explain” is Isabela, and from her we know that a nation of presumably dark-skinned people exists within sailing distance.

    Then, we have Seheron, home to the Qunari, or “Islamist Borg” as Bioware staff have referred to them.  Putting aside for the moment the actual extent to which they’ve been racialized, there is also the dark-skinned Fenris, who hails from this part of the world as well and is obviously in travelling distance. No good reason why we couldn’t see more people from here.

    It’s also worth noting that Tevinter is supposed to represent the Byzantine empire – fantasy Turkey, if you’re keeping track.  So, even if we are playing by the ridiculous rules that every place in this fantasy world must have a real-world analogue, why would Tevinters not LOOK Turkish and have different features and skintone from the English-esque Fereldans?

    Even playing by the (completely arbitrary) “rules” of the universe, it’s easy to see that the range of analogue nations covers enough to cover a variety of looks and skintones, so no, there’s no weight behind the argument that everyone should look English or Nordic.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     You’re a respected consumer by at least a portion of almost any staff.  Is that really what you’re going to settle for?

    If you want to buy your games because you like them, then by all means.  Don’t kid yourself into thinking that because one guy stood up for you publicly that this is a more progressive company than, say, all the ones that DIDN’T have community managers cavorting with rape apologists (though if you’re referred to the PA incident, I would say that is perhaps an incendiary way to put it).

  • Anonymous

    You were doing ok until here:
    Did anyone complain about the lack of white skinned individuals in Jade
    Empire? Probably. But the story was inspired by the Chinese. Should
    BioWare have put in white and darker skinned individuals for affirmative
    action?

    You need to think about the difference between minority races/ethnicities and the default “white” of North America and Europe, where Bioware markets their games.  A game full of people with light skin is adhering to the defualt that privileged white people expect, whether they realize they expect it or not.  Making a game entirely of people with a different skin tone than “European”, “pale”, “white”, whatever, is challenging the default.  I don’t give a care about a game entirely of folks who are one skin tone, as long as that skin tone is not the default, as making a game with folks who fit the default only reinforces the problem in society.

    And once again, because a certain setting is based on some country or another in Europe, should not dictate that those people have a certain skin tone.  This is fantasy, one of the best forums to challenge the default and force those with privilege to address their own bigoted expectations.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Oh, and – is it just me or is she in a miniskirt?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7G4SWUX2MCWWXLMYNN347JMIZY Frodo Baggins

    Yep. And she has a breasts-plate.

  • Anonymous

    Settling.  Hmm.  Guess that is what I do.  I don’t exactly have high expectations for a company run by a bunch of straight white men, owned by EA, and inhabiting any section of media entertainment.  *shrugs*

    though if you’re referred to the PA incident, I would say that is perhaps an incendiary way to put it
    I strongly disagree.  I followed the months long behaviour of that douchecanoe, and I think I’m being mild.  He’s a terrible human being.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and – is it just me or is she in a miniskirt?
    *sigh*  I definitely have a lower opinion of Bioware now than before I read this thread.  Which is a good thing, honestly; it’s more realistic.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Rivain?  Unclear, possibly the Mediterranean or Lebanon, but certainly home to non-anglos.
    Tevinter?  Byzantine, which is definitely Mediterranean or Turkish.
    Seheron? Who knows – wildcard.

    This is not even considering dwarves and elves, who are definitely under no mandate for whiteness, and the fact that people could and would travel.

    Bioware can tell the story they want to tell – and I can criticise them for it.  If you aren’t interested in discussing stories, why are you even here?

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     Eh.  Cynicism isn’t always a failing and refusing to accept compromise isn’t always a virtue.  I’m obviously glad if you’ve come around to my perspective, but you don’t need to thank me for anything.  What’s really chapping my hide about the whole thing is that Bioware has been getting some seriously undeserved credit lately.

    As for the PA thing, yeah, I totally sympathize with that perspective – it’s just that I’m trying to do everything in my power to avoid adding to that massive trainwreck.  After a certain point your only real option is isolationism, and taking that step means you’re never going to be able to convince anybody of your opinion…

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    And you’re discussing the story how?

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    I can’t reply to you below, sorry -

    I believe I’m discussing the story in the same way that you are, but you’re making a semantic argument so I will be clearer:  “People tell the stories they want to tell, and therefore anyone with criticism should just write their own” is an invalid and objectionable premise that I strongly feel goes against the spirit of engagement (and, therefore, this website).

  • Anonymous

    Look. No one’s perfect. I’m saying that if you (anyone) wants to
    make something that makes the world a better place, then make it, rather
    than sit around and complain about how everyone else fails.

    Advocating that no one criticize the actions and choices of others when
    they benefit or support the kyriarchy is just another way of supporting the kyriarchy. 
    And personally, I feel in this case it’s trolling, as well.

    EDIT: clarity

  • thessair

    I just watched the video again and Chris says, “The story of the movie revolves around Cassandra.” So, I’m assuming that is likely her.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Except I’m completely entitled to “bitch” about the representation of race, gender, sexuality, and the supposed progressiveness of a company, story, picture, or anything else all I please?  If you think that speaking up does nothing to contribute to shaping the kinds of stories our culture produces, more the fool are you.

    Besides, I do have my own projects.  It’s really not a zero-sum game.

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make with my Jade Empire comment. Of course, providing your expanded view (above) makes my point an invalid argument for your particular case.

    I was only responding to your assumption that people assume “European” from seeing white-skinned characters with the facts that BioWare stated the settings of the game were inspired by Europe. :)

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    Obviously, I don’t think that speaking up does nothing to contribute, or I wouldn’t have spoken up, now would I?

    You accused me of not being interested in discussing stories, which is precisely what I was doing. I responded to your posts with information from the DragonAge story. You discuss elements of the DragonAge story with me precisely once.

    You are making assumptions of me while I have made absolutely none of you.

  • http://www.spaceunicorn.net Jayme

    Sweet. I never attacked you. Thanks for calling me a troll.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Let’s not namecall.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chemise-Rogers/39609427 Chemise Rogers

    Why are people so eager to forget that European nations did trade with Asian, Middle Eastern, and African nations? Do folks think that European nations grew or mined all of their resources? Yes there were people in Europe that weren’t white. Do people think only white folks knew how to build boats? The history isn’t hidden just look it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcy.m.hunter Marcy Marie Hunter

    yes finally a female defult instead of male oh yes, I approve

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699316277 Amber Cummins

    Really, people? REALLY? It’s a GAME, okay? Calm the hell down.