There are many, very much, very much reasons why people play video games Sometimes it’s for the challenge; other times it’s for history. It can be for comfort, for nostalgia, for new experiences, for fun, for distraction, even to learn a thing or two. Me? I play for friends who make it my way.
That could be a meme, but it’s not a joke. Well, not really. Of course, the game provides all of these other advantages, but sometimes, often, I’m in love with the characters that keep me going for more. Nothing is more prevalent than in the Mass Effect trilogy. Having a main character (playing FemShep, always) who walked around and interacted with the crew between missions, the game encouraged players to form relationships with them. There’s a reason Garrus Vakarian still reigns as the bird-dinosaur fiance of the internet (tell me more about those calibrations, Garrus), and it has everything to do with the writers at BioWare understanding the connections players have. made with its characters — and with the Citadel DLC.
The Citadel DLC came out at a frustrating time. After the cry on the end of Mass Effect 3 (it was bad), BioWare not only rewrote the conclusion, it also released extra downloadable content to appease fans. Not all of this DLC was ideal (looking at you, From Ash), but Citadel was a thing of beauty. They’re basically hours and hours of gameplay based on the characters that it’s just you staying with your friends. It’s so full of jokes and squishy seriousness that it could even be a whole mission dedicated to the characters weaving each other’s hair. (Now I’m sad that there are no braid scenes.)
Citadel was also an outlier. I didn’t appreciate it at the time (I was still healing the MassIive found the trilogy left in my heart), but the DLC was really unique. It’s been a breath of fresh air between very intense missions, and has even provided something very few AAA titles give to gamers: socialization. Understandably, game developers – who already take long hours to get the games out – may not want to spend extra time creating a bunch of touching moments, but it’s time for them to realize that’s what many gamers do. to do want. They want more friendships, more romance options, more personal content in a game. Or at least me. Video games, unlike other forms of storytelling such as TV or film, are a place where fans port interact with characters who have formed parasocial relationships with. The fact that most games don’t have content to exploit this is a bit ridiculous.
Frankly, it’s surprising that at this point in the game’s evolution, friendship and romantic DLC options haven’t become a thing. Exploiting intense fandom has been a big deal since the beginning of the media, and this feels like a massively unused market. Granted, the Citadel DLC was a free download from BioWare, but I honestly paid money for this type of content. Of course, many other people would do the same. I know I said I would it was done with DLC, but that was different. It was about play. It’s about giving me – and others like me – something different: a new kind of game to play.
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