Month of Mass Effect, Day 2: Male or Female?

I’m shamelessly stealing the Mass Effect Month article series created by the always awesome Athena over on AmbiGaming in 2017 (which was the Mass Effect 10th anniversary) and turning it into one of those 30 day challenge thingys! Definitely check out Athena Veta’s great content on AmbiGaming and consider supporting her Video Game Relevancy Crusade (TM) on Patreon, if ya got a few bucks to spare.

Please Note: Enjoy… but be warned that there will be unmarked SPOILERS for all of the Mass Effect games. Read at your own risk!

Today’s Mass Effect series question: Do you like m!Shep or fem!Shep better? Why?

Ugh. I’m so not a huge fan of this battle of the sexes crap I see everywhere. I was raised to believe that all genders are equal and we are all human beings. I’ve wanted to punch both men and women for many sexist remarks and actions over the years, let me tell you. Game developers should choose the gender of their protagonists for their own design vision, not just to appease people. I’m digressing, though.

For the Mass Effect trilogy, I prefer to play female Shepard. The main reason I prefer femShep because I’m a woman and therefore I relate more to a female version of the protagonist. I named her Ellen for even more of an immersion factor.

Mass Effect Month 2 Male or Female
Ellen Shepard is such a badass.

At the time of this article, I am in the middle of a Renegade male Shepard playthrough of the trilogy for my crazy Platinum Trophy quest (currently paused). When I’m optionally playing evil in games (almost always for trophy reasons), I usually make a male character for that. And no, it’s not at all because I think all men are evil, or any crappy thoughts like that. I honestly don’t like doing bad things (in reality or the gaming world) so making male protagonists for evil tasks puts some distance between me and the character, ya know?

Mass Effect Month 2 Male or Female 4
I kinda love this heartless bastard…

I much prefer Commander Shepard’s personality and leadership qualities over Andromeda’s Pathfinder Ryder, but that doesn’t make Andromeda’s protagonist a bad character by any means. I was able to do two playthroughs of Andromeda for Platinum trophy purposes. My first trek through the new galaxy was with the female version. This was for the same reason why I prefer female Shepard, but with one very important new reason…

Mass Effect Month 2 Male or Female 2
Pink hair and lots of facial options!! Ahem. Pathfinder Ellen “Lightning” Ryder is also a badass.

My second playthrough I rolled with the male version of Ryder, which was also an enjoyable experience. I did like my female character better, but again, it’s that immersion factor adding to my personal opinion of the game’s features.

Mass Effect Month 2 Male or Female 3
Yes… I named my male Ryder Snow. I’ll insert Final Fantasy XIII references wherever I want, thank you.

Male or female, the story experience is pretty much the same in all of the Mass Effect games. That’s a good thing in my book! A person’s gender really shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of life. We are what we are: human beings with thoughts, desires, and feelings. Don’t let society crush you into a gender defined box you don’t fit into.

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!


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"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

2 thoughts on “Month of Mass Effect, Day 2: Male or Female?”

  1. I have played all the games through with both male & female Shepard/Ryder with both renegade & paragon runs and had fun with it every time overall I have probably played the male characters a bit more often, on the andromeda front I liked the dual protagonists and that they were both important to the story of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

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