Tag Archives: dragon age origins

‘Dragon Age: Origins’ and a Few Notes on Class

Brosca by jenn-y @ deviantArt

Brosca by jenn-y @ deviantArt

Reposted from PopMatters Moving Pixels.

My first attempt at Dragon Age: Origins fell short before I left the prologue. I was bothered about having rolled a dark-skinned city elf only for my family to all be visibly white, and I was further bothered by the city elves’ oppression compounded by the casual rape and murder exacted by our human “betters.” I closed the game and re-rolled as a rough-and-tumble thug within the dwarven underclass of Orzammar. My sister was still a prostitute, but at least this opening lacked the tinge of endless rape and degradation of the city elf origin.

I really enjoyed playing that casteless dwarf. I wore my Dust Town brand with pride when I crushed the best warriors in the city beneath my armored heel. On the surface, no one noticed my class, and often enough tended to forget I was even a dwarf by the time I was running them through with a blade. Dwarven merchants Bodahn and Sandal never commented on my tattoo, which I thought was plum nice of them. In no time at all, I was wooing prince’s hearts, running around in King Cailin’s armor and converting to Andrastianism, so satisfied I was that the game gave me openings to defy the constraints of the dwarven caste system without shunting me back into another system of oppression.

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Dragon Age: Origins Lets Me Celebrate Girl Power (And Doesn’t Make Me Self-Conscious)

Reposted from PopMatters Moving Pixels.

As with about half of PopMatters’ Moving Pixels contributors, I’ve been replaying Dragon Age: Origins and its accompanying DLC and expansion recently in anticipation of the sequel’s release. Admittedly, this is as deeply as I’ve ever gotten into it and I was surprised at the extent to which the writing emphasizes the female warrior as not secondary or conditional.

It’s important to not conflate the idea of “woman warrior” with “feminine strength,” because strength and femininity both take a variety of forms. That being said, I’m not very traditionally girly, and I like it when a video game character is able to communicate that mixture of gendered ideals without becoming a caricature. I found it in Dragon Age.

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