So. This is probably not going to go anywhere either helpful or fun, but one thing that I — as an asian — noticed is that Thedas doesn’t really have any asian characters. You can create an asian inquisitor, if by “asian” you mean “refugee from neo-tokyo.” But if you do, you aren’t very likely to run into anyone who vaguely looks like you during the game, and that’s… interesting.
I’m actually almost convinced that Bioware somehow forgot that asians exist. All types of asians. I mean, they like, just introduced black people with Dragon Age 2, so it might take them a while to get around to asians, I don’t know. But it’s not like it’s hard; if it’s in the character generator, I’m sure they could make some slant-eyed NPCs.
I’m not going to ask Bioware about this because frankly they have enough shit to deal with, but I do find it a little discouraging. Asians make up a lot of their players and, well, a lot of the world. I don’t think there is an east asian country in Thedas, but then the question sort of becomes — why? If there’s fantasy France, fantasy America and fantasy Wales, why not China, Japan or literally anywhere else in Asia?
You might wonder “why bother,” but when I was a child playing games I can distinctly recall Yoshimo in Baldur’s Gate being the only identifiably asian character I had run into yet. And it did matter; it made me feel valued. Since Yoshimo, in Baldur’s Gate, we’ve had:
Neverwinter Nights: no black or asian companions.
Neverwinter Nights 2: no black or asian companions.
Mass Effect: no black or asian companions.
Mass Effect 2: 1 black companion, 1 asian companion (sort of — Kasumi is DLC).
Mass Effect 3:1 black companion (briefly), 1 asian companion (again Kasumi).
Dragon Age: Origins: no black or asian companions.
Dragon Age 2: no black or asian companions.
Dragon Age 3: 1 black companion , no asian companions.
So the one asian companion we have had… we needed to pay for. Which is hilarious. In fact, it’s so funny that I actually am having a hard time being mad. “You can have asians in your game, if you’re willing to pay!”