1. Great article! As a big Mass Effect nerd myself, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the game can be quite male-gaze-y.

    For example, in 1 and 2, although a female Shepard can romance a female character, a male Shepard cannot romance a male character. Also, a female Shepard can enjoy a lap dance in Chora’s Den… but only from a female dancer. Which seems pretty clearly to me to be homosexuality allowed only in so far as it was presumed to be titillating to straight men.

    That being said, I think that saying Liara’s “resistance is largely ornamental” feels unfair to Liara, Shepard, and the game as a whole. And that one is only made complicit in objectifying the game’s sexualized demographic if one romances Liara, which is only one of several options. (I romanced no one in Mass Effect 1, and Garrus in 2 and 3, and I think of Liara as Shepard’s best friend and kick-ass teammate.)

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