Intersectional Masculinities in Mass Effect


  • Leandro Lima


masculinity, mass effect, intersectionality, queer, representation, race


While the bulk of the literature regarding character representation in videogames deal with the hypersexualized female bodies, hypersexual, racist, and stereotypical representations of male bodies are understudied. In this paper a character analysis of four human companions in the Mass Effect trilogy unveils the intersectional complexities of masculinities represented in the game. The data is supported by interviews with Mass Effect fans, comments on online forums, close reading of the author’s gameplay and the official transmedia content of the franchise. The results show that the portrayal of subjugated masculinities relies on damaging stereotypes of race, gender and sexuality thus reinforcing whiteness and toxic masculinities as the norm. The research indicates that further male character analysis is paramount to a better understanding of the intricacies of identity in a supposedly male-dominated medium and add nuance to the masculinities portrayed in-game and perceived/performed off-game.





@Conference{digra1932, title ="Intersectional Masculinities in Mass Effect", year = "2023", author = "Lima, Leandro", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{}", booktitle = "Conference Proceedings of DiGRA 2023 Conference: Limits and Margins of Games Settings"}