Feminism in Gaming: Queer Baiting in Elder Scrolls with Mod Loser!

Hey there, Nasties! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me. And I’m going to discuss the Elder Scrolls franchise from a feminist perspective. Now, most people think of the Elder Scrolls series as being fairly feminist given that it has always had gender selection, the quests have never been blocked off for any identity and that the gameplay and story is rather unaffected by the choice of your race or gender identity.

Further still, many people reference same sex marriage in Skyrim as being amazing and inspirational at the time of release. That being said, while the Elder Scrolls franchise has a fairly good track record, there are some things that need to be discussed and understood. For starters, let’s tackle the approach to Gay Marriage in Skyrim.

To be honest, it is not at all as exciting or glamorous as anyone could imagine. This stems from the incredibly shallow marriage system that exists in the game. Any NPC that can be married can be married by either sex, yes; however, there is no real emotional connection to be made. You see, these characters are willing to marry you once you do specific, seemingly random quests that barely connect to their interests at all.

This means that rather than even trying for a more story driven approach to relationships and characters, like in games such as Fallout 3, this marriage system is used as a shallow attempt to draw in queer gamers. How do I know this? Well, that would be the Press on Skyrim when it released. There was a great deal of controversy and Bethesda supposedly defending the decision under a bastion of equal rights, but the mechanic instead of feeling as though it supported queer culture, was a simple marketing ploy about as deep as a puddle.

This is genuinely bad, because it set a precedent. Companies can now add in very shallow marriage or relationship options to allow for “Queer Couples,” and manipulate that in an effort to simply sell more games. Manipulating Queer People’s desires to feel welcomed and respected in shallow ways is a cruel, and shamelessly ridiculous insult to the community.

I bring this up because other games have followed in Skyrim’s footsteps. One such example is the Call of Duty Franchise, believe it or not. In Black Ops 3, you can choose to play as a woman, and there is a love interest in the story that is female. What matters though, is that the script was not altered whatsoever, the interactions are hollow, and it was an obvious attempt to say “look at this lesbian couple in our game!” Men tend to find gay female relationships sexy, and they “gave queer people representation.”

To the COD Team, that seemed like a win-win, but instead, they only baited the queer community into a cheap manipulation of our desire for basic rights and respect.

Thanks for reading today, Nasties. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! This has been Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, signing off!

Top 5 Best: Elder Scrolls Legends Cards with Mod Knight!

Hey everyone! Mod Knight back with another top 5! This time I’ll be covering the topic of The Elder Scrolls: Legends. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a fast paced card game based on the Elder Scrolls universe! The game focuses around building a deck of cards containing creatures, actions, items, and powers with the goal of reducing your opponent’s HP to 0. If you haven’t played it, its a game I’d suggest as it’s a very fun little card game, and it’s free to play!

So then! For anyone who may be interested in jumping into the game, here’s some of my picks for some good cards to have in your deck if possible:

#5- Young Dragonborn

Not only does this card start out strong, but it has amazing growth potential! Every time you play a shout card, this card increases in both power and HP! Unfortunately, her growth requires a steady supply of shout cards; meaning that, in anything other than a shout focused deck, she wont be too powerful.

#4- Arrow Storm

When facing off against a deck that’s built for swarming you with a large number of enemy creatures, you’re likely to face a large horde of weaker monsters, usually with a power of 1-2. That’s where this card becomes invaluable; this card will allow you to clear away an entire lane’s worth of foes for only 3 magicka!

#3- Unrelenting Force

Shouts in the Elder Scrolls Legends are an interesting class of card! As you play more of them, they become more and more powerful. Each shout played, makes every incarnation of the same shout in your deck increase in level. And Unrelenting Force has a very strong progression, allowing you to instantly un-summon enemies; all the way up to completely clearing a lane!

#2- Tree Minder

While not an offensive card in the least, the Tree Minder in an extremely helpful card, especially early on in a match! When summoned, this card permanently increases your maximum magicka, the resource which allows you to play cards. Using this can earn you an early advantage by allowing you to break out strong cards quickly!

#1- OldGate Warden

When it comes to defense, look no further than cards with both the Guard and Regenerate traits, which allows them to recover from damage every turn. And it prevents foes from attacking anything else! When playing this card, I suggest to stock up on item cards and effects that can disable lethal enemies!

There are a lot more great cards in the game, with effects I haven’t even been able to touch on in this list! However, if you’d care to see for yourself, I’d advise checking out the game for free on Steam! As always, this is Mod Knight, and thanks for reading!

Mobile Monday: Fallout Shelter with Mod Zan!

Hi readers! It’s Mod Zan for the first time with Mobile Monday. Today we’re going to talk about a somewhat old but still great mobile app for fans of the Bethesda series: Fallout Shelter.

Fallout Shelter is a simulation style mobile app based off of the Fallout Series, putting the player in the place of the vault Overseer, or boss. Your job is to put Vault Dwellers into jobs that suit them based on their stats (referred to as S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats) in order to make a functional vault that keeps the dwellers happy and most importantly, alive during a nuclear fallout.

The main functions of the vault are through the different rooms, the most important being the power room, water room, and diner (food) room. As you expand your vault more rooms become available that allow you to do different things, such as a radio room to attract new dwellers without the need to birth children through your vault dwellers. And eventually, things such as a weapons room, armor room, and training rooms to boost your dweller’s stats.

The primary goal of the game is to create a vault that works well, provides enough resources to keep the dwellers happiness levels up and (now with new updates) to send your dwellers on quests into the wasteland to acquire rare gear and caps (currency) for the vault. You make caps every time a dweller levels up, when you successfully rush a room’s production, and through selling unnecessary equipment gleaned from expeditions into the wasteland or through the lunchboxes that you receive for completing goals. Rushing a room’s production allows you to speed up their time in producing resources, which can result either in extra caps and quick resources or fail and result in a fire, radroach or molerat invasion.

You do have optional goals to complete, such as putting out 3 fires, producing 150 power in under a minute, etc. This gives you bonus rewards such as caps or lunchboxes, which operate as treasure chests or loot boxes in the game.

Another important mechanic that adds a challenge to the game is the ability for your vault to be invaded. As you increase your number of rooms, dwellers, and resources, the enemies that attack grow in power. You start with humble mole rats, move to raiders, and then eventually up to deathclaws. The weapons you gather grow in damage as you spend more time journeying in the wasteland and send more powerful dwellers on expeditions, which allows you to dispatch the enemies with relative ease despite the damage that they do to the vault.

Overall, I think that the game has a lot of replayability value and considering that it’s free; it really allows the player to get their metaphorical money’s worth. I wasted many hours playing this game, and encountered very few technical issues. It does suck up a lot of battery life, and had a tendency to make my phone run hot after playing it for only a short period of time. After you build a functional vault, it also tends to lose its luster a little bit. I ended up starting over a few times in order to keep myself engaged, but with the addition of quests, the replayability value increases a great deal.

I would definitely recommend this game to someone with a powerful phone and a lot of memory, but I hesitate to say that it would operate as well on an older smartphone. Either way, Bethesda created a mobile app that engages the player and provides hours of entertainment for free, which in itself is a major accomplishment.