I’ll get way more into detail on my Bioware Metacrit blog since this is more Dragon Age related but I wanted to noodle a bit more here before I delve deep into this meta.
So I saw this post on tumblr; the text of which is:
Reblog if your Lavellan Inquisitor is a PoC
just curious to see how many of us have an elf of color.
Which made me curious about the breakdown between POC players and Non-POC players and whether they played a POC protag in any of the three Dragon Age games. So I threw out these two posts, this one first:
Then the flip side of that post which was:
Interestingly enough, the post asking if you are Not POC and have POC OC’s, has had a response rate over double the rate of the post asking if you are POC and POC OC’s.
Of how many POC have POC Wardens, Hawkes and Inquisitors; count of replies as of this post: 270 notes (including likes)
But the numbers on the NOT POC and have a POC Warden, Hawke or Inquisitor: 681 notes (including likes)
Very, very interesting. I know there have to be more than just 270 POC gamers with POC OC’s out there.
I’ll probably write up something on the responses, response rate, and my own pet theory on why the response rate for NON POC with POC OC’s is 2X more than the response rate of POC’s with POC OC’s to this terribly unscientific, slaking my own curiosity polling.
Thoughts welcome here or whenever I throw these thoughts into one post. For those following along, I am WOC and there’s nothing insidious as to me wondering about this but I am curious.
Since I posted that, there have been some interesting answers and reblog commentary, and the numbers have gone up even more. As I’m writing this post, The post asking if you are POC w/POC OC’s has 414 responses (including likes and comments); whereas the post asking if you are Non-POC w/POC OC’s has 973 responses (including likes and comments)
There have been some reblogs on that non-POC w/POC OC’s with screencaps, and explanations about why someone as a non-POC plays POC OC’s in their dragon age games. Intriguing why people felt the need to explain themselves when none was requested in the post.
To start off, it was simply my own curiosity getting the better of me and now I really want to dig deeper into he totally unscientific poll and resulting responses. Is it white guilt or seeking a pat on the head as a good person who doesn’t lack in empathy and knowing about diversity that leads non-POC folks to play (sometimes exclusively) POC OC’s in games? Is this digital blackface then? The ability to try on the other without consequence? Or a shallow attempt at understanding in the wrong setting? No one is going to understand the POC experience by playing a brown character in the Dragon Age series, since it makes no difference in the narrative of the game’s story.
People also replied with Mass Effect responses and even Guild Wars 2 saying their characters are headcanon/present as POC. Considering the question didn’t ask about Mass Effect or other games, I found that interesting as well. Why go the extra step to throw in a game no one mentioned or reply with a post longer than the original huh, that’s interesting summary on why they played POC OC’s.
I’ll keep collecting responses and probably collate them in an even longer post later.