I should go
November 10, 2014 12:34 AM   Subscribe

How Bioware helped one lucky couple unlock the paramour achievement in Mass Effect.
posted by MartinWisse (54 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The ground's been moving pretty quickly on games-as-art. The problem, I guess, is that games don't really have a cultural pedigree to lean on in the same way that say movies (ancient greek theatre) or literature (long historical lines from epic poems/oral tradition to the written) does.

Too pop to be high art in the first place, and with no high art equivalent, it becomes difficult for many to accept the low art as art in its own right.

Anyway, I'm back off to Skyrim; cabbage needs hoarding.
posted by flippant at 3:00 AM on November 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


...what exactly is artistic about using a video game as a means to propose?
posted by Quilford at 3:27 AM on November 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


Hooray, my favorite debate!
posted by Silentgoldfish at 3:34 AM on November 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


How lovely!
posted by alasdair at 3:40 AM on November 10, 2014


Perhaps I'm drunk...my bad.
posted by ZaneJ. at 3:58 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


The thing that bugs me about Mass Effect (well, I guess I should rephrase as, chief among the things that bug me about Mass Effect) is how you have this semi serious RPG, an attempt to tell a believable story, yet the because it's a shooter, the script has to be written so that on every page it says, "and then Shepard murders a few dozen people" in some permutation. Kind of makes Shepard a little hard to accept as space Jesus.

And it seems like it would be a little out of place in a marriage proposal. But I guess since the mission was at a drone factory, they were just killing sentient robots and not humans or aliens. That makes it a little nicer.
posted by zixyer at 4:13 AM on November 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wait, people have marriage proposals that don't require shooting up a factory? Isn't that in the Bible?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:22 AM on November 10, 2014 [16 favorites]


I really dislike public marriage proposals or done when surrounded by people. I'm not saying they're not cute and awwww and all that.

I'm just saying that they always read to me like: I'm going to take the most important question I'm ever going to ask of another person, and I'm going to then ask them this question in a situation where they are publicly coerced into giving the answer I want to hear.

"Oh look, I proposed to you in the middle of dinner in front of your whole family, who have been hinting at both of us all weekend that we should really get married! Now, be honest when you answer!".
posted by jefflowrey at 4:39 AM on November 10, 2014 [26 favorites]


Cultural norms being what they are, I don't think I have to worry about this too much, but if anybody ever proposes to me in such a public manner I'm probably going to say no on general principle.

On preview, jefflowrey will you marry me?
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:41 AM on November 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


An awful lot of marriage proposals are not formally asked until the answer is already abundantly clear. That gives a lot of wiggle room for sweet stunts. But they're not for everyone.
posted by rikschell at 4:48 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I sorta hope/get the feeling that these things are decided long in advance: "Ok, so we're pretty sure we want to get married, but I want you to propose to me publicly, and I want it to be a surprise when it happens because that's been a lifelong dream of mine" or something like that.
p.s. that's what I want if anyone is reading.
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 4:48 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was cute. Happy for both of them. However, let me offer another perspective.

My husband proposed to me in a very public way that involved what felt like half a restaurant. At the time my father was terminally ill with me as a main caregiver. There were numerous other stressors, and it was just not a good time for me to make life decisions, period.

I said no that night, and felt like the biggest human buzzkill on the planet, like I'd ruined everyone's evening. I resented the public scene and it took weeks to get over the feeling of pressure. To this day I cringe whenever I see that restaurant.

After my father passed and some issues were ironed out, we revisited the issue of marriage in a more private way and I happily said yes. We've been married for 21 years now.

Whenever I see stories like this one I think of my own experience. If both parties have clearly indicated an interest, maybe it's safe and cute and celebratory to do things this way. For many, however, this is a huge life decision, and maybe involving strangers isn't the best way to go.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:03 AM on November 10, 2014 [29 favorites]


I think the point everyone is missing here is that there is a new Mass Effect in development! This just made my Monday.

Also, I think it's sweet, the whole proposal thing. Not my style, but sweet.
posted by teleri025 at 5:09 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there's a new Mass Effect coming, but apparently at one point in the game some stranger named Jackie is going to suddenly ask you to marry them. So that's going to be kind of weird.
posted by Naberius at 5:15 AM on November 10, 2014 [29 favorites]


I think the point everyone is missing here is that there is a new Mass Effect in development! This just made my Monday.

I think you're missing the point where, if you play the new release and do this mission, you have to marry a randomly-chosen player. It's very much in beta, but the bigamy parameters are causing serious problems.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:15 AM on November 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


if you play the new release and do this mission, you have to marry a randomly-chosen player

See, now, that would be artistic.
posted by The River Ivel at 5:19 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think that everyone's missing the point that, if you're heavily into Mass Effect (ahem) and someone asks you to marry them in-game, not only would you say "yes" but you'd be willing to do things for, with, and to them that they were afraid to ask another person to do.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:19 AM on November 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, when you die in the game, you die in real life.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:19 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


And, yes, that includes "calibrations".
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:20 AM on November 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


A traditional Mass Effect 'relationship' involves talking to a person several times until they throw themselves at you and you accept or politely decline their advances. So, I guess shooting a few robots and then getting a WILL YOU MARRY ME YES/NO fits right in.
posted by graventy at 5:33 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


soooooo how many paragon points do you need to get a proposal? uh, you know. just asking for a friend.
posted by kerning at 5:39 AM on November 10, 2014


> "A traditional Mass Effect 'relationship' involves talking to a person several times until they throw themselves at you and you accept or politely decline their advances."

Isn't this ... pretty much how it works in real life? I mean, pretty much every relationship I've ever had started with the talking and then at some point the offer of sexy funtimes.

(Well, except for that one time I had to give someone an extremely specific gift, and then afterwards they gave me a somewhat disturbing nude portrait of themselves. That was weird.)
posted by kyrademon at 5:45 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Well, except for that one time I had to give someone an extremely specific gift, and then afterwards they gave me a somewhat disturbing nude portrait of themselves. That was weird.

Naaah, you were just bewitchered.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


p.s. that's what I want if anyone is looking .
posted by and they trembled before her fury


Eponyunencouraging.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 6:07 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


talking to a person several times until they throw themselves at you

Isn't this ... pretty much how it works in real life?


Maybe for some people.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:16 AM on November 10, 2014


i just spent an extremely frustrating week attempting to gay sex up a grumpy elf; i definitely worked harder on it than on any actual irl human romance in at least like 6 years
posted by poffin boffin at 6:46 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I sorta hope/get the feeling that these things are decided long in advance: "Ok, so we're pretty sure we want to get married, but I want you to propose to me publicly, and I want it to be a surprise when it happens because that's been a lifelong dream of mine" or something like that.
p.s. that's what I want if anyone is reading.


That's what should happen. People should communicate and get on the same page about whether they want a big public "surprise" proposal or a quiet private one or a conversational agreement to elope. But when you see those super-cringe videos of the failed proposals (that I won't link to because they make me cringe so hard that my shoulder muscles cramp up), where some poor woman has to say "no" in front of an entire stadium on live TV, that's the result of a total communication failure.

(You also see those relationship questions about the reverse failures, where someone is like "He just dropped the ring on my plate at breakfast and went on with his day, how can I get him to do this in the romantic way I need?" Again, total communication failure.)

Personally the big public proposals are not my thing but clearly many people like them, so more power to them. Friends in high-end food service tell stories of many failures though, so I get the impression that a lot of people make the assumption that because it worked in a romantic comedy movie, it will work the same way in real life, and that's a dangerous path when you haven't checked in with your partner.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:49 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


i just spent an extremely frustrating week attempting to gay sex up a grumpy elf

Not Zevran from Dragon Age, I'm assuming; I haven't romanced him but he seemed pretty hot to trot when we met.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:35 AM on November 10, 2014


i just spent an extremely frustrating week attempting to gay sex up a grumpy elf

Not Zevran from Dragon Age, I'm assuming; I haven't romanced him but he seemed pretty hot to trot when we met.


Fenris?
posted by yeolcoatl at 7:46 AM on November 10, 2014


It makes perfect sense that it would be Bioware doing this. I love the jokes going around tumblr these days about how Mass Effect and Dragon Age are just complicated dating games with some FPS elements.

i just spent an extremely frustrating week attempting to gay sex up a grumpy elf

Must have been Fenris.
posted by saffry at 7:47 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


FENRIS MY BRIDE
posted by poffin boffin at 7:47 AM on November 10, 2014


I am sad that there were no romance convo options for the Arishok though.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:48 AM on November 10, 2014


MetaFilter: an extremely frustrating week attempting to gay sex up a grumpy elf
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:13 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of the grandiose proposal myself, so I'll ignore that part since it seemed to work out okay in this instance. For me the fun part of the story was the knots the dev team had tied themselves in making sure everything was perfect. I've done a charity project for a company with a small team of people, and I know that feeling well; you want to make sure that absolutely everything is flawless to the point that you are probably paying more attention to the details than anyone involved. But that's cool.

Also; I really dig that the article never specifically mentioned that this was a same sex proposal. I hope it means we are reaching a point where it becomes so accepted, that it just isn't newsworthy anymore.
posted by quin at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Anyway, I'm back off to Skyrim; cabbage needs hoarding.

Is that an Amulet of Mara you're wearing?
posted by banshee at 8:53 AM on November 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder, are there any studies or research that determine if (at all) how a grandiose proposal affects the success of a marriage? Whether there's a higher chance of saying "yes" with a grandiose proposal, and whether the rate of divorce goes up or down because of it?

Cause, there has to be a reason they are popular beyond just romantic movies.
posted by FJT at 8:58 AM on November 10, 2014


Honestly, I'm with jefflowrey on the whole public thing, but... obviously it worked for them, and brought a wee tear to my eye. Congratulations to Amy & Jackie. Kudos, too, to BioWare for a) being in favour, and b) being so enthusiastic about it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:32 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


A-ha, I did remember correctly--this was done with Borderlands a couple of years ago as with a Magic: the Gathering card.

I used to be such a huge Mass Effect fan--I hope this couple happily drives their Mako off into the sunset and their relationship has a better outcome than ME3.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:02 AM on November 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


> I hope this couple happily drives their Mako off into the sunset and their relationship has a better outcome than ME3.

Knowing the Mako, they're liable to suddenly veer off from the sunset and crash into a large blue outcropping because one of them sneezed and jerked the steering wheel ever so slightly.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:22 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


They knew about indoctrination yet they visited Bioware's offices? At least that's a couple really happy with the ending of Mass Effect.
posted by ersatz at 10:48 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dragon Age are just complicated dating games with some FPS elements.

RPG elements for DA, surely?

One week, guys! One week.
posted by Justinian at 10:59 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also; I really dig that the article never specifically mentioned that this was a same sex proposal. I hope it means we are reaching a point where it becomes so accepted, that it just isn't newsworthy anymore.

I didn't read the article, I was idly just skimming the responses not intending to comment. I was like, "How cool that no one cares it was two dudes! It shows we're making steps forward." Then I read feckless's comment and find out they're women and argh I am the monster in the mirror.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:13 PM on November 10, 2014


you are sentenced to 5 years hard labor in the glitter mines
posted by poffin boffin at 12:18 PM on November 10, 2014


you are sentenced to 5 years hard labor in the glitter mines


Glitter mines? Can't you just scan for glitter?


dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee dlee
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:06 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not Zevran from Dragon Age, I'm assuming; I haven't romanced him but he seemed pretty hot to trot when we met.

Oh, he is, but there's a later interaction in which you're supposed to get an earring/wedding ring from him that's bugged on consoles. He's also bugged in DA2, in that if he was romanced by the Warden and the Warden lives, Zevran forgets all about it. Disappointing.

Fenris is comparatively straightforward, once you memorize all the +/- approval options to get him at 100% relatively early in Act 2. ::coughs::
posted by rewil at 3:12 PM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to take the most important question I'm ever going to ask of another person, and I'm going to then ask them this question in a situation where they are publicly coerced into giving the answer I want to hear.

Not always!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:12 PM on November 10, 2014


Oh, he is, but there's a later interaction in which you're supposed to get an earring/wedding ring from him that's bugged on consoles.

idk it worked fine for me but maybe i am just a master of pixelated elfsex
posted by poffin boffin at 3:16 PM on November 10, 2014


idk it worked fine for me but maybe i am just a master of pixelated elfsex

I turned down his first ring offer in order to get the second conversation and proposal, but never got the actual ring in my inventory, which is I guess a thing.
posted by rewil at 3:23 PM on November 10, 2014


The last time I was at my mom's and the Hallmark Channel was on, I ended up watching "A Bride For Christmas," which is basically Runaway Bride. One of the points the movie made was that all of her ex-fiances had proposed in huge public ways and she felt way too embarrassed to say no in the moment. So...yeah, don't pull that stuff unless it's pretty much a set understanding that she'll say yes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:03 PM on November 10, 2014


The initial reviews for DA:I are highly positive. Here's hoping! It does sound like they continued with the trend of making the series more "accessible" by ensuring that a blind, illiterate, and mathematically inept pseudo-monkey could play the game without the smallest chance of being in any way challenged by semi-complex systems requiring the tiniest bit of planning or forethought, but the traditional Bioware strengths of the plot, rich world, and interesting characters appears intact.

I hope playing it on Nightmare (as is necessary for Bioware games) restores some of the challenge.
posted by Justinian at 11:18 AM on November 11, 2014


It does sound like they continued with the trend of making the series more "accessible" by ensuring that a blind, illiterate, and mathematically inept pseudo-monkey could play the game without the smallest chance of being in any way challenged by semi-complex systems requiring the tiniest bit of planning or forethought

So now that it's out, does this seem to be true?
posted by homunculus at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2014


I am sad that there were no romance convo options for the Arishok though.

One can dream...
posted by homunculus at 5:41 PM on November 18, 2014


I hope playing it on Nightmare (as is necessary for Bioware games) restores some of the challenge.

According to this mini review of the gameplay it does.
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2014


i'm playing it on incompetent crybaby mode because the unfortunate switch to the R2 trigger as the default fight button has made the entire game a lot less accessible for me, which is upsetting, as is the lack of a simple way to remap the ps4 controls. and yeah, it's really simple on that mode, so much so that it's actually a little frustrating.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:49 AM on November 24, 2014


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