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The Life and Death of Mass Effect: A Failed Trilogy


Tweet of the Day: Mass Effect: Andromeda- Update from the Studio

It is almost official, the Mass Effect gaming franchise is dead. But how did it come to this?

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Lessons Learned Podcast: Implementing Diversity in Video Games






More on diversity with my co-host Chapomon:


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TV Tropes Monday: Black-Tie Infiltration


Tweet of the Day:  Wonder Woman vs. Atomic Blonde- What Truly Makes a Powerful Female Character

The heroes (or the villains) need access to a McGuffin, which is usually heavily guarded. Just getting in will be a shore. But what if you can get invited in? Welcome to the Black-Tie Infiltration, where you can simply waltz through the front door in your best attire. Now the tropes page gives some good reasons why the protagonist might chose this route into the villains lair, but the truth is that it is an excuse to put them in some eye catching clothing and maybe set the stage for some flirting. The added tension from the social situation (a faux pas can attract too much attention, although a well timed accident can work wonders.

This trope can get the characters in the door, but rarely does it deliver the McGuffin into their hands. That is were a combination of distractions, technology, witty banter, and a few punches (or silenced shots) will carry them to their goal. Getting out can be as easy as calling it an night or as difficult as fighting your way through an army of thugs. Either way, the protagonist will look good doing it, and may even swipe a bottle of expensive champagne on their way out.

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Lessons Learned Podcast: The One About Diversity In Gaming Pt.1



Tweet of the Day: Character Motivation Thesaurus Entry: Finding Friendship or Companionship 


Wondering what I have been up to between tropes posts? Well, I have been doing a podcast on gaming. So without further ado….

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TV Tropes Monday: Absurdly Spacious Sewer


Tweet of the Day: On Light Novels

Absurdly Spacious Sewers are everywhere in fiction, from action adventure movies to the latest video games. There are many reasons for this such as a need for a mysterious location within the city, a fast travel covert network, a place for the unwanted of a community to live (bonus filth thrown in to show how desperate they are), a perfect place for some devious plots to take place, and of course as a gate way to another world. That covers the underground part, but what about the spacious side of things? Well, modern sewer systems are narrow, dark, and due to the nature of the waste the carry, toxic. Not a good place to film or have a player character jump from platform to platform. Not only that, this trope covers almost every under city location available including but not limited too catacombs, maintenance tunnels, abandoned subway stations (it is even a subtrope), and of course, buried ancient cities.

So, if you need an exotic, dangerous, yet convenient location for story just beneath the city’s streets, order one Absurdly Spacious Sewer from TropeCo today!

Mind the glowing green stuff, it is not good for your skin.

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TV Tropes Monday: Apocalypse Cult


Tweet of the Day: From Dark to Dark: Yes, Women Have Always Written Space Opera 

The world as we know it will end, it always does. Don’t believe me, just ask the civilizations of the Hindus river valley, the eastern Mediterranean bronze cultures, or the Western Roman Empire. Wait, you can’t, because they are not around anymore.


Well since time immemorial humans noted the fragility of their works, the intricate interplay of culture, economics, religion, and their environment.  That led them to believe that either by the hand of Man or God, it would all come crashing down. And some believe this to be a good thing! So good in fact that they want to speed it along.

Enter the Apocalypse Cult.

Regardless of their exact beliefs, be they ideological, philosophical, religious, or any combination of the three, these cults make for great villains. Why? For two reasons. First an apocalypse tends to be a messy (read: deadly) thing with lots of murder, mayhem, and corpses. Most protagonists have enough sense of self-preservation to not want that. Second, their fanaticism means that arguing with a cultist is a tad hard to do, so stabbing their guts or shooting them in the head is usually the way to go.  It is a great set up for a combat heavy video game or an action movie. Other stories might lead a protagonist to infiltrate the group to destroy it from within or extract a person from it (usually a a teenager or young adult).

However, these cults often serve as political straw men for the writer. Any group that the writer believes is a dangerous philosophy can be transformed into a cult to show the end result of their thinking. The reality is that while cultist spout a jumble of conflicting ideas they tend to be centered around a charismatic leader. When their leadership collapses or their ego drives them to extremes the cults implode, with their victims consuming each other rather that kicking off the end of all humanity.

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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: Blood in the Streets of Colorado Springs



ANN News Desk

From Alliance News HQ in Vancouver

September 12, 2197

Blood in the Streets of Colorado Springs

By Amita Quita

VANCOUVER, EARTH– Violent clashes between Neo-Nationalist and counter protesters left 11 dead and over 100 wounded in three way street battles that engulfed the city of Colorado Springs. The day long battle occurred in and around the grounds of the former Air Force Academy as well as several locations in downtown. The Neo-Nationalist gathered to celebrate the centennial of the Siege of the Academy. In September 12, 2097, a group of students allied with the American Sovereignty Movement launched a take over of the academy. The 15 day siege ended with a dawn raid by UNAS special forces on the academy grounds. They discovered evidence of a series of grizzly crimes that included torture, sexual assault of female students, and summary executions.  Since the end of the civil war it became a pilgrimage site for a small number of Neo-Nationalist.

During the summer local authorities noticed a spike in Extranet chatter that indicated a larger than usual number of Neo-Nationalist and Anti-Alien leaning groups would converge on the city. An equal or larger number of counter-protesters planned to interrupt the event. While the police executed an intricate plan to keep the two groups separate, the sounds of several loud explosions followed by gunfire disrupted their operation. This kicked of a battle between the two groups that spilled into the streets of the city. It took several hours for the the police, with reinforcements from Colorado State Police Troopers, to gain control of the situation.

The Chief of Colorado Springs Police Department, Marcy Daverou, announced over 300 arrest and an estimated 5 million credits in damage to several local landmarks. Other sources told ANN News that the number of combatants exceeded 2,000.

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