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GDC 14: “Social Advocacy Can Get Us Out of Having to Make Good Games”

A Mass Effect 3 designer is helping the industry understand how social justice advocacy can help reduce the skyrocketing costs of AAA development by insulating games against criticism.

“Mass Effect 3 came under a lot of scrutiny,” Manveer Heir conceded, during a speech at GDC 14. “Gamers complained they sunk almost $200 into this narrative over three games, and then we dropped the ball by not giving them a satisfying resolution. They said our endings were exactly the same and ultimately resolved nothing.”

Manveer got a standing ovation lasting almost two minutes from a room of overworked game developers who came out in support of reducing the stress of big game development. Manveer’s proposed method? Immunize their work from criticism by linking game narratives with social justice positions only a “complete stinkfist” could disagree with.

“In Mass Effect 3, the ending was pick A for red, pick B for blue, C for green, and watch the same cutscene no matter what. The Internet bullied us for that. What if we could have reduced budget costs and crunch time by linking the ending of Mass Effect 3 to Commander Shephard’s experiences as a bisexual post-op transgendered person of color in a racist, bigoted galaxy much like modern-day America? I can tell you, if we did that, not one of you would have had to work a single hour of overtime during crunch, because the actual quality of the game wouldn’t have mattered. Nobody would have said shit. As an industry, we have to start doing this, because my wife told me if I miss one more anniversary because I have to make sure headshot physics work right before a ship date, she’s leaving me. I like my wife, so let’s give this a shot.”

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3 comments

  1. Herpes Trismegistus

    Where is the market for this shit? At this point “social advocacy” games are barely more than digital panhandling, relying on guilt-tripping an audience of white liberal flagellants. Social advocacy has brought us the world’s most boring trip through a teenage lesbian’s drawers (Gone Home), a shitty game about profiling (Papers, Please), and some grating sing-song romp through the terrors of picking a public toilet as told by a sexually ambiguous Claymation turd(Dominique Pamplemousse).

    Shoehorning this bullshit in AAA titles as this clown suggests will be a fucking riot. I’m looking forward to “A Very Special Halo” in which Master Chief gets diddled by the Maytag repair guy, or “Call of Duty: V.A. Hospital Carting Challenge”.

    • Anonymous

      The response to these games is always the same. A handful of journos/SJWs will jerk off to how much of a “Life changing experience” it was, and everyone else will either ignore or laugh at it.

  2. Toadofsky

    So basically, the way for these developers to absolve themselves of criticism is to basically include social issues and then when someone complains, call them a bigot.

    You don’t need Admiral Ackbar to tell you what this is. But I’ll contend that it’s insulting to not only gamers, but to the people dealing with the issues that this developer uses as a scape goat to criticism of his crappy story in the game.

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