Superman Needs Counseling?

Americans consume a massive amount of media from an early age, spending more time consuming television, movies, games, and social media than they do with parents or members of an immediate community.

The main characters featured in any such media are often dynsfunctional and their irrational behavior is the cause of or at minimum exacerbates critical elements that further the plot of the story.

As a normal human develops, the brain automatically applies patterns and categories to the external world. The aforementioned characters become role models.

Having a dysfunctional role model severely hinders a healthy way of thinking and viewing the world.

Women in Games

I like video games. I’m not very good at them but I like them. To me it’s like reading an interactive book: I visit distant places, see and do things I’d never be able to experience in real life.

One such game for me was Mass Effect 2. The artwork is immersive and the story compelling. It was like combining a movie with an over-the-shoulder shooter. There is action, intrigue, betrayal, sacrifice, and more mouse-trigger shooting than one person can handle.

Even better, I was able to play a female in this game. Normally it’s very difficult for me to “connect” to a male main character. I just don’t empathize or understand and I feel alienated at some point. My attention rapidly turns to some other, more enjoyable activity.

A female Shepherd, however, I can bond with, I can understand and easily choose a course of action. It just makes more sense to me.

Even better, we don’t get many women role models– in games or life– who are as tough as Commander Shepherd. To be able to see a woman doing the things she does is almost liberating.

Yes, yes, I know, the feminist movement is beating a dead horse in western countries, and more than lauded and publicized it’s simply something to be noted.

More Human Than Human

I had just come back from a trip to visit my family in California, not as refreshed or rested as I would have liked but happy to have at least a little break, and had jumped back into Mass Effect 2 when it occurred to me that Commander Shepherd, my empowered, emasculating heroine of Normandy, is completely dynsfunctional and in no way is someone to be praised, lauded, or recognized.

Yeah, yeah, she is just a bunch of pixels and programs, but what was so compelling about her was that she was almost human, almost real to me. Like the characters in a book in which I immerse myself, she had taken on a life of her own. At some point I realized it wasn’t me choosing what she’d say but gently directing my opinion on things she’d eventually do by herself.

Being so real, the amateur psychologist in me sets about to work just as it does with any relationship I get into (that’s probably OCD of me– never said I was immune!).

Commander Shepherd is Still a Jerk

That pretty much sums it up.

Workaholic

This woman never sleeps. When she’s not making decisions at the Galaxy Map she’s overseeing the mining of resources, resolving issues with her crew, in planning meetings with management about the entrance into Omega Four, or researching any number of upgrades to make to the ship.

Relationships? Forget about it. The closest she comes is casual sex with Jacob or a one-night-stand with her assitant, Kelly. The rest seem to be spontaneous and short-lived romances she neglects and is even sometimes reprimanded for.

Antisocial Behavior

You thought Jack was bad (she is bad but she’s not the main character), check out this list of antisocial traits and see if Ms. Shepherd doesn’t fit right in:

  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. She often engages in behavior that is regarded as “renegade” which often espouses the use of violence or extortion.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. She never backs down.
  • Reckless disregard for safety of self or others. How often does she run guns blazing into a situation where she and her crew are completely outnumbered and outgunned?
  • Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. She has no problems doing whatever it takes to get her job done.

Promiscuity

It must be that she’s a workaholic that it’s hard for her to create relationships beyond casual sex. Is she even using protection?  It’s not even just casual: she manages to cross the interspecies and homosexual boundaries, as well.  We fire politicians for this all the time and here, in the military, sex runs rampant and unchecked throughout the ranks.

No PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is undeniably a huge problem for those coming home from war. It ruins lives, families, and takes a huge toll on society and the afflicted person’s position therein.

Commander Shepherd, however, despite the trauma of dying, losing her crew, destroying property, plastic surgery, killing thousands of enemies, cataclysm, and endless loss, she manages to stay chipper and even keeps alcohol comsumption to a recreational level.

How does she do this? She’s a heartless fucking bitch, that’s how. See above.


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