Claire Sharkey ran Brand and Community for Level Up Media and was also the founder of ScaryGranules. Earlier this year, she was nominated for Best Esport Contender at the Women in Games Awards.
Sponsoring Special Effect at various events has been one of the highlights of her year, while the biggest disappointment was finding out that Suvi Anwar from Mass Effect is not a real person.
BioWare received a lot of flak about the facial animations in the latest release in its Mass Effect franchise, Andromeda, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the game and am genuinely excited to replay it. In fact, the odd dodgy facial expressions actually made it more fun for me.
The action, plot and crew were excellently woven into the universe, with new characters being given their own purpose without needing to be tied to the events of the first trilogy. The studio caters to many audiences with its games and Andromeda is my favourite game of 2017.
This is not just because of the wonderful gameplay, which fuses tactical shooting with all-out biotic carnage, but for one particular character who resonated with me. Until playing Mass Effect Andromeda, I never knew that this was something that would mean so much.
Suvi Anwar is a Scottish physicist and biologist who views science as a means of understanding 'the divine intelligence behind all of creation'. She has a great love for both and the manner with which she expresses this is one of calmness without subduing her passions and the strength of her convictions. Suvi also happens to be exclusively gay, and this combination of her overall traits and beliefs, is essentially the closest I’ve ever seen to a character that reflects who I am as a person. I happen to be gay and of the Catholic faith, I don’t particularly boast or exude anything that would make you assume either/or, when you first met me.
The interaction between Ryder and Suvi is how I hope to interact with people when either party is sharing something important about themselves. The writers over at BioWare gave us dialogue options, which offered respectful conversations that managed to neither negate nor placate the characters, regardless of their separate beliefs.
Bioware created an entire new living galaxy that drew me in and subtly – but eloquently – handled the introduction of Suvi and I for one I’m grateful for this game.