The Reason Why BioWare Is Updating Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Only Transgender Character, Hainly Abrams
BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda has been quite the rollercoaster for gamers of all kinds (some more than others, read our Mass Effect: Andromeda review here). Aside from surface-level issues, the lack of same-gender relationships and the disregard of an interaction between the player character and the only transgender character present in-game are stirring up issues within the LGBTQ community. Hainly Abrams, Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s only transgender character, is getting an update via a patch sometime within the next few months to resolve a rather insensitive conversation that players are casually able to spark with her.
When you engage with the scientist and get past the standard chit-chat, she pretty much flat-out tells you that she’s a trans woman and even brings up her dead name – Her name that she no longer uses.
Here is what Hainly Abrams says when you bring up traveling to Andromeda:
“Back home, I was filling test tubes in some dead-end lab. People knew me as Stephan. But that was never who I was. I knew what I could do. And I knew who I wanted to do it as. ‘Hainly Abrams, Andromeda explorer.’ That’s me. Feels good. Feels right.”
While the representation of a trans character isn’t an issue at all, this entire part of the conversation in itself was received by audiences as candid, insensitive, and even unrealistic, being empty dialogue that doesn’t accurately reflect a transgender person. It’s sensitive and personal information that someone wouldn’t just give to a total stranger.
To address the issue, BioWare posted the following statement on Twitter, clarifying their intent of the character, and how they plan on rectifying the issue:
Regarding Hainly Abrams: pic.twitter.com/nFpUKihqOj
— BioWare (@bioware) April 5, 2017
“At BioWare, we strive to make games that are representative of our players and the broader world around us. We do this by actively consulting within our diverse workforce, as well as speaking with different communities.
In Mass Effect: Andromeda, one of our non-player characters, Hainly Abrams, was not included in a caring or thoughtful way. We apologize to anyone who interacted with or was hurt by this conversation. This was never our intent, and was an unfortunate byproduct of the iterative process of game design and a change in the structure of the character’s dialogue.
We have had several discussions with members of the transgender community, both internally at BioWare and in the broader community, and we are working to remedy this issue. Once the changes are implemented, Hainly will only reveal certain information to Ryder after they have developed trust, and only if the player chooses to support her.”