Jennifer Hale Talks Trolls, Endings And Women In Games

Jennifer Hale Talks Trolls, Endings And Women In Games

Jennifer Hale has been busy. Between her roles on Diablo III, Mass Effect 3 as Commander Shepherd, and her work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Green Lantern animated series, it’s a wonder she finds time to do anything else. As expected, she was at Supanova Sydney on the weekend and put trolls, leakers and tasteless roles on notice.

On the overly sexual representation of women in video games:

I have turned down things that I find absolutely tasteless…I think it’s sad and behind the times. I think it’s an easy out. It’s like toilet humour: sure it’s fun for a minute but I like the clever humour of really smart, funny people, and that’s just not smart. For me, I can’t do anything about what the world’s doing, I just know what I can put my energy into and what I choose to feed, and I don’t choose to feed that. It’s not in my world!

On the storm surrounding the Mass Effect 3 ending:

I have two feelings about the ending. One is that endings are hard if you’re a writer. Endings are really hard to do and it’s hard to do an ending where it’s sort of collaborative with thousands and thousands of people, and to satisfy all those people is impossible. I have an enormous amount of respect for the writers on Mass Effect and they did everything they could at that moment, and I also love that Bioware is listening to everybody and going back through to create some more DLC for everyone to play.
I have a very strong opinion about how people express their opinion about it. There’s some people out there who got really crappy, and said really gnarly things to people over the internet. That I don’t agree with. You can be passionate, but don’t get personal, don’t get nasty. Be respectful, honourable and do it right. Say what you have to say, and say it all day long, but say it where you don’t look like a jerk.

On the Mass Effect 3 script leaks and how the ending changed:

I don’t know how the [ending] was [before it was leaked], because I don’t see the script until I literally get to record. I get to see nothing in advance. I will say that the leak was reprehensible. It was wrong it was awful and whoever did that I wanna punch em. It was heartbreaking. Mac [Walters] worked his butt off on that and so did the team and it was wrong. I don’t know what the changes were, I didn’t get to see that.


  • I think mainstream games and successful companies have moved beyond tasteless roles of women in games. Mass Effect 3 was the worst ending EVER! And the only company that still represents women in games as sexual objects is Nintendo. Miyamoto has a dirty mind…

    • Yeah, only Nintendo. And Gearbox. And Square-Enix. And Ubisoft. And Grasshopper Manufacture. And Warner Bros. And…

      • Like Matthew K indicated, I think the majority of companies are still misrepresenting women. Even companies that seem quite forward thinking . The portraits of the heroes in Dota 2 or the characters in League of Legends provide a great example. Women rarely deviate from anything other than beautiful, while men come in all shapes and sizes. Of those men that actually are humanoid with ‘ideal’ body types, they will typically be as covered up as a nun, plus a mask. Alternatively, you can see a similar pattern in any game store when you stand back and look at all the game covers. See what the men look like, and– whenever they appear– see what the women look like.

        Bioware have typically been one of the better companies in how it presents women, in my opinion. This stems back from that first Baldur’s Gate game, where you open up the character creation screen, select female, and in the description it says something along the lines of: females are equal to their male counterparts… In my personal experience of gaming at the time, that was quite different to what I was used to. Having a female Shepard as an optional cover on Mass Effect 3 is an evolution of this, and I think it’s great and a good start (albeit about 13 years in the making since BG1). I assume this is thanks to people like Jennifer Hale and those who hired her.

        • **And rather, thanks to the people who make the games and write the scripts and those who hire them!

        • I agree that they do it better than some, but they still have a ways to go, and ME3 was a step backwards. Every female character got a boob job. EDI was turned into a sexbot, and it was so blatent that you could see a clear “cemeltoe-

  • I don’t think there was anything wrong with the ending, I really think the whole “totally different” argument was a bunch of rubbish because ME has been tonally inconsistent throughout. While I find it sad that so many people had such a knee-jerk reaction to it, sadly consistent with the online community over pretty much anything,

  • I don’t think there was anything wrong with the ending, I really think the whole “totally different” argument was a bunch of rubbish because ME has been tonally inconsistent throughout. While I find it sad that so many people had such a knee-jerk reaction to it, sadly consistent with the online community over pretty much anything, I really don’t mind people hating it as long as they consider other possibilities. I can see why people would hate it, I just don’t agree with that myself. I don’t think I’ve had any such respect from the opposing party, ever. Just fury.

    • Having been deterred from playing it due to the oozing black sludge of internet hate bubbling from the store copies, I can neither agree or disagree with this.

      And I’m dissapointed that I didn’t end up playing it either. It’s like the internet has overlooked the entirety of the game and just focused its hate on the ending, and then used it as a staging point to make EA more hated and evil than the likes of Bank of America. It’s things like this and the instinctive hate thrown at anything Capcom does(as questionable as their methods might be) that have made me see what it really means to be a gamer. And why I’m not one.

  • *sigh*……this extended cut isnt going to do anything is it? especially if Femshep isn’t in it

  • Just finished ME3 last night – didn’t mind the ending. But her work as Shepard was amazing – she pulls no punches and really nails the tone and gravity of situation.

  • Oh no! She brought up the topic of women and videogames! Cue the rampant comments from sexist idiots thinking women aren’t people!

  • I had the pleasure of sitting in at that panel at Supanova last Sunday. Its good to see the majority of fans agreed with her views judging by the loud round of applause she received after each of the above comments

  • Wait, is this the same Jennifer Hale speaking ill of toilet humour and sexism in games that during an interview with her and Ali Hillis (Liara) was all (paraphrasing slightly) “I don’t know why they’d want two girls making out. *giggle giggle*”?

    That seems, well, odd and contradictory.

  • I loved ME3, especially Jen Hale’s voice acting. I totally agree with what she had to say said about the haters.

  • I feel really bad that the original ending they had planned on (where they intended to have the indoctrination effect) had to be scrapped because it was leaked on the internet. No wonder they had to dispose many things at the last moment. Hopefully the Extended Cut will provide a clear conclusion to the Mass effect universe. Personally, I had no problem with the choices but I was pretty confused about the Normandy escape scene. And yes, they could have worked a little longer to make it more exciting, but what was done is done, we can only hope for much better clarity in the DLC. As for the gamers complaining, just get over it, its pretty old. Jennifer Hale has made a significant point.

  • Obligatory “Jennifer Hale’s voice is hot and I play everything she VAs in just to listen to her” comment.
    I wish I sounded like her.

  • No matter you like the ending or not, Bioware lied about it. It’s just an objective fact.

    “(The presence of the Rachni) has huge consequences in Mass Effect 3. Even just in the final battle with the Reapers.”

    “There are many different endings. We wouldn’t do it any other way. How could you go through all three campaigns playing as your Shepard and then be forced into a bespoke ending that everyone gets? But I can’t say any more than that?”

    “It’s not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C…..The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.”

    “Of course you don’t have to play multiplayer, you can choose to play all the side-quests in single-player and do all that stuff you’ll still get all the same endings and same information, it’s just a totally different way of playing”

  • “It was wrong it was awful and whoever did that I wanna punch em.”
    Heh, that’s her inner FemShep showing itself.

  • Jennifer Hale’s diplomatic comments abut the ME 3 ending debacle are utterly pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I love her work and her question dodging skills are on a master level, but I really wish she would just speak candidly about this issue.

  • (opinion/rant on ME 3’s ‘ endings’)

    The problems with the ending for me had nothing to do with lack of clarity, but rather incompetent writing. The ending was filled with rather glaringly obvious faults of logic and causality, even within the ME universe’s own established rules of lore, which hindered my enjoyment greatly by negating the emotional connection I had with the story. There are far too many plot holes to list here, but I happen to know there have been many well crafted video breakdowns posted elsewhere. Sufficed to say the ending Bioware ultimately released holds water like a sieve, but one example of amateur writing stuck out for me. The ‘god child,’ a completely new character introduced literally in the last 3 minuets of a 90+ hour trilogy, who uses circular logic to ‘explain’ the presence of the series biggest antagonists. Again, I don’t need to explain the flaws in the child’s assertions to the simple minded, its been done, but I would like to point out the fallacy of the characters’ introduction. No matter what one thinks about the ending, it’s just bad writing to introduce a brand new character at the very end of a story, especially one so central to the plot. Many call this maneuver a ‘twist’ ending. but its just pathetic and uninspired, something most people learn not to do in 8th grade English, I know I sure did! Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but I just cannot see how a few minuets of epilogue footage, which apparently lacks Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer’s voice-work, could possibly smooth over the damage Bioware has already done by breaking its own promises regarding the ending .

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