Honestly, if I was David Gaider I’m not sure I’d even be on social media anymore. Every time the man posts a well-reasoned, thoughtful opinion, gaming magazines load it with so much sheer BS that it becomes an impenetrable morass of confusion. I’m looking at you, Inquisitr.
The Actual Situation That Actually Happened
David Gaider posted about a story path they had considered for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Upon reading, some of their female writers noticed that there was an area that might be problematic, due to consent issues. The team kicked around the story for a little while more before realizing that they couldn’t deal with the consent issues without distracting from the main message of the story. So they scrapped it. David Gaider posted this as an example of how having a diverse writing crew can help pinpoint potential issues in their storytelling.
The Reported Situation That Is Being Blasted Everywhere
So, of course, magazines have taken this and run with it: “THERE WAS A RAPE IN DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION BUT IT WAS SCRAPPED,” and so forth. Mostly leading with the rape. Some have even taken it one step further to comment that Bioware wouldn’t have noticed “the rape in their game” if it wasn’t for a female writer. Some have taken it even further than that, stating that Dragon Age: Inquisition would have had a rape in their game if it wasn’t for a lone female writer. Which might be a problem, except…
But There Was Never Any Actual Rape
In Hushed Whispers, a main story mission, the player was supposed to be seduced by an image of Leliana which the player realized was just a demon in disguise. This brought up issues of consent because the player is using the image of Leliana for their own personal pleasure. And it makes their relationship dynamic weird. That’s it. No actual rape. (It would actually be rape if the player didn’t realize it wasn’t Leliana, since it would be an example of uninformed consent.) The Bioware writers aren’t so stupid that they would insert a rape in a game and not realize what they were doing.
This is another irritating way in which game journalism is becoming the most bullshitty thing to ever have bullshitted.