I need to make this quick because I have a big test in chemistry that I have to do well on (the teacher actually postponed it because of technical issues, and guys? I nearly cried with joy), but I will say this: Mass Effect is one of two pieces of art in my adulthood that has inspired me as much as Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer has, the other being Battlestar Galactica. I’ve had other things change how I think (Fallout: New Vegas is actually a really good example), but when it comes to showing me how to create worlds and characters, Mass Effect is the winner here. The level of detail Bioware went into in order to flesh out an entire universe was so damn ambitious (see also: Dragon Age) that I don’t think I can ever get to that point. I mean, they did have an entire team of people working on it, but still. It’s impressive.
I’ve remarked on this before, too, but I think it bears repeating: Bioware knows how to make you care about their stories. Say what you will about the ending of Mass Effect, be that you thought it was brave and innovative or the absolute worst thing ever, you cared about the ending. They built a cast that you wanted to be friends with in real life, helped you connect to and love people not like you (hi, krogan!), and made you want to save the reality in which they lived. That’s a significant accomplishment.
And that right there is what inspires me. I want to create something like it, even if it falls short. It gives me something to aspire to.
Art Credit: eTeknix