Small rant incoming.
In preparation for the third Dragon Age game, Inquisition, that's coming out in October, I decided to completely replay DA:O and DA2, for my "canon" playthroughs.
I play these games on PC, and I use scads of mods because—well, I can.
As I've been going through the pages and pages and PAGES of mods available, I keep seeing ones with titles like "Prettier Aveline" or "More Attractive Aveline".
THESE PISS ME OFF.
Now, I will be the first to admit that when I'm using the character creator for my own lead toon, I very much have a "type" that I stick with. She usually looks like this:
Because, well—I'm a Sad Olde Goth. And I like designing my avatars with the "me" I'd like to be that lives in my head.
However, one of the things I love and appreciate about the DA games is the diversity of the npc's—especially your companions. The toons I create might always look similar, but I'm surrounded by interesting-looking people.
To me, Aveline is GORGEOUS. She has so much character in her face, and her personality (and voice actor) just add to how lovely she is. Is that beauty "traditional"? Not so much. But as Lucas Davenport is fond of saying in John Sandford's "Prey" series—"She wasn't beautiful, but she was damned attractive".
I was completely stunned when I found out people thought Aveline was ugly. And then I got really mad about it. Gamers (and especially female gamers) constantly carp about the lack of diversity in game characters, or the lack of good female characters.
And then when we get them, people have the audacity to bitch about them needing to be "prettier".
I'm a firm believer in setting a standard and making people rise to it. And if we want to see more diverse- and interesting-looking characters in games, then we need to quit whining about them when we get them, and celebrate how awesome they are.
Even if they aren't perfectly "pretty". Especially if they aren't.
/soapbox. Thanks for reading this far.