Don’t Put That in Your Mouth!; Or, Mass Effect 3 and Prostibots
I am a mediocre Mass Effect fangirl at best. I quit the first game because the controls and the damned planet scanning were just too friggin’ painful. I plowed into ME2, with its improved control scheme, with gusto that only died down a bit, and I powered through ME3 with a furor that I haven’t felt in quite some time. I wanted to play through just as a gamer and not as an academic/critic/plain old stick-in-the-mud.
I didn’t import my FemShep from 2 to 3. Why? Because I didn’t want to play my final FemShep the way that I thought that the story wanted her to be played, but as me. I wanted to finish out the fight against the Reapers just any way I friggin’ wanted. Gone was the blond haired African American FemShep that I customized was history. I went with a red haired, freckle faced FemShep who was appropriately named Josephina Shephard. Now Josephina was one bad assed lesbian. Earthborn, renegade, and not taking any shit from anybody.
She shot Ashley in the chest, wiped out at least 2 races of folks, and then in the end chose to sacrifice herself just to make sure the bad guys died. But Josephina was a bit of a flirt…Samantha, L’iara, and Diana Allers. Ahhhhh, Diana Allers. There was something strange about her character from the beginning. She looked like someone I knew. Or at least someone that I had seen before. She was…familiar. A quick Google search revealed that she was indeed Jessica Chobot
Ahhhh, the lovely Jessica Chobot. The glorified sexbox in Mass Effect 3 was Jessica Chobot? I shouldn’t have been surprised. Jessica Chobot is, well, Jessica Chobot. Chobot is the “games journalist” who is well known for her…work.
As I played through Mass Effect 3 I keep talking to Diana Allers and waiting for her to do something other ask me stupid question, invite herself up to my quarters, and basically offer to lick my PSP. Nope, nothing. I couldn’t figure out why Allers/Chobot bothered me so much until I finally finished the game and had some time to sit back and reflect on the whole game and the gameplay. Finally, it struck me. Allers didn’t have a real role in the game. She was there as eye candy, nay it was something worse. She was a prostibot. Allers was there as a way to fulfill all of the secret desires of the horny little game boys who drool over Chobot on IGN. She was put in the game (under the guise of slightly increasing war readiness) just to have sex with Commander Shephard. She flirted around, she was sexily aggressive, and then she offered herself up to the great g*d Shephard. And that offer was made to Bro and FemShep just to make sure that all of the little gamer boys (and girls) had access to her.
This is strange. It feels like virtual prostitution of a sort. Allers is a virtual manifestation of Chobot who is sold and purchased solely to the purpose of sex. Ok, so I know that this might be a controversial idea for some folks and that some folks will accuse me of taking this a step to far, but I callupon you to ask yourself if anything was different why not make Allers a character who was not a romance option. Why not give her a more significant narrative role? Why not make her a crew member? Why just a reporter who asks benign question while always looking pretty for the camera and blabbering on to herself about nothing of great importance? And the most important question is what comes next? What comes after what is essentially a toned down version of the virtual porn girls that are so readily available on the internets (if you doubt this just Google it)? Is this the first step toward the inclusion of some pseudo on-demand celebrity pornography?
Don’t get me wrong folks. Porn serves its purpose and I have nothing against it (done fairly and well). I am far from a prude, but exploitation is exploitation and some things have no damned business in my video games! *throws down the mic*