Year: 2007 (started)
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios (2007) Electronic Arts (2008-present)
Creator: Drew Karpyshyn
The Mass Effect sci-fi role-playing game series is set in the 22nd century of human history, when humanity has mastered space travel and met with other species that form the Council space. It is possible from the start to play either as a male or female character and choose an array of “classes” to assign certain powers and techniques to Commander Shepard. The first installment of the game became famous for depicting sex scenes, including a “same sex, lesbian relationship.”
Fox News aired a story about the supposed “immoral” sex scenes in a game that children could play. In the following installment, the sex scenes and partial “digital nudity” are not present. Romance is still possible though, and LGBTQ characters are present in the narrative. In the third game the sex scenes return, and it also includes a variety of gay and lesbian romances and major characters. No self-identified transgender characters appear on Mass Effect to date, yet the Asari species is considered “monogendered.” This depiction can be problematized both as part of the fictional universe and as seen from our “real world” gaze.
The series includes three main installments, with several DLC’s, and two mobile games.
2007: Mass Effect
2009: Mass Effect: Galaxy (iOS game)
2010: Mass Effect 2
2012: Mass Effect 3
2012: Mass Effect: Infiltrator (iOS game)
LGBTQ references in this game:
See also QRM’s entry for this game.
- Commander Shepard. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander_Shepard
- Mass Effect. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect
- Mass Effect (video game). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect_(video_game)
- Mass Effect 2. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect_2
- Mass Effect 2 Launch Trailer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2O-0-fQOOs
- Mass Effect 2 Review. (January 26, 2010). Retrieved from http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/mass-effect-2-review/1900-6246931
- Mass Effect 3. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect_3
- Mass Effect 3 – “Take Earth Back” Extended Cut Cinematic Trailer (2012). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUD0M0S6zjY
- Mass Effect 3 Review. (March 6, 2012). http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/mass-effect-3-review/1900-6363906
- Tsweeny79. (2008, January 21). Fox News Mass Effect Sex Debate. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKzF173GqTU