Basically A Blue Human, Wow: Character Variety In Video Games Part 2


This is the third goddamn time I’m reposting this post as it isn’t popping up on the tag feeds I specifically put on all my posts to check they work. If you have been seeing it and it is somehow only MY feed that abuses my trust, let me know.

Last time I went onto this topic, it was about the oddity that is a prevalence of generic white men in an industry dominated by men alongside the lack of real variety in the media. This follow up doesn’t particularly go straight to video games and can be taken to all media but I think it still stands. That point or rather complaint is this: your aliens are boring.

What is it with imagining alien life on distant worlds bountiful in elements we have never seen as a humanoid? You know, 2 arms 2 legs, the whole schebang? Are you truly positing the idea that across the light years and light years of empty nothingness life somewhere else in the universe happened to end up looking like us? How incredibly boring sir. Even the classic little green men or what have you all look like something alien but still look humanoid. Is this some sort of representation of the human ego, thinking we are the pinnacle of what creation can result in? Perhaps it is the easiest way for you to present something that we can identify as alien life that is intelligent, after all we usually only see them alongside our own civilization and technology. I could be convinced a blob of jello with a glowing orb in it is identically advanced if I saw the evidence of it.

Humanoid is one thing, but what about some other errs? How about the insects and aquatic creatures of earth as aliens? I suppose I do believe that a simple organism with enough strength and possibly aspects of a hive mind mentality could come out as champions of an entire planet. Perhaps by some fantastical chance they happen to also be survivors of such a degree they can go through the vastness of empty space. Is it feasible? I suppose. Is it interesting or creative? Absolutely not. Yes some of the creatures that inhabit the bottom of the ocean are pretty goddamn creepy and rather alien looking, that much pressure and darkness results in a plethora of strange looking creatures, but it doesn’t grab my imagination. I can’t imagine how the designers come up with the idea that these mild alterations of well known creatures qualifies as a well crafted alien life form.

My silly little idea I came up with in shall we say 20 minutes was this. An assortment of black cubes covered in small dark blotches, connected by thin purple lines. They’d be the masters of their planet, made of a completely different element than carbon, the base elements from which all life on earth is derived from. They could communicate through electrical pulses and low bassy pulses that could be felt but not heard on the human ears spectrum. With just that design and small idea of communication I could go into so many strange and fantastical ideas. What do their doors look like? Do they even have doors? What holds them together, is it something within them or is it reliant on the planet the thrive on? What is their base element on their planet? How do they defend themselves? How do they keep a rigid form without a skeletal structure? All this and more are open for me and someone else to delve into, creating a civilization of strange yet successful and prosperous life forms shouldn’t be something so similar to humanities, even if it is what is easiest for most people to contemplate.

I don’t like the alien species in Mass Effect. They are all humanoid in some way, some clearly more so than others. They lack vision for something truly spectacular and wondrous for me, one species is basically a blue human with physic abilities. Wow, that is so interesting and has egged me onto learn more of their world and culture, please tell me more about the blue man group. There is no intrigue present when viewing even something like the Krogans, bipedal reptile creatures who live on a ruthless planet. All I ever see could be summarized as Godzilla in a space suit. Why do all other species communicate verbally, why does it always end up with the rest of the universe resorting to the form of communication human speak? Anyone who remembers the movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind from 1877 will likely remember the keyboard scene, where the aliens communicate with bleeps and toots and the scientists respond in kind. Looking at it now it is rather amusing due to the sounds themselves, but watching it back then was absolutely fascinating, like observing a new language at work. You ever watch cats communicate? Most of what they say is in their eyes, they just look at each other in slightly different ways. Sign language is superb to watch a conversation in, turning every word in the dictionary from every accent and language into a display of hand movements, simply extraordinary.

I just want my suspension of disbelief to be maintained, alien should be alien completely, not defined by purely a different creature from a different planet, but an entirely different entity, a treat for the curiosity. How do you all react to the humanoid shaped aliens? What are some of your desires to see in an alien creature? Got anything interesting you’d like to throw in to that notion of an alien I brought up with the cubes before? Thanks for the read and have yourself a fine day or evening… if this post doesn’t show up this time I’m gonna be having a word with SOMEBODY.


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  1. #1 by catb89 on November 14, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    “Are you truly positing the idea that across the light years and light years of empty nothingness life somewhere else in the universe happened to end up looking like us? How incredibly boring sir.”

    You sir have reminded me so much of Star Trek with this. As a fan of that show I have to say it was one of the things I feel let it down.


    • #2 by Prof.mcstevie on November 14, 2014 - 10:47 pm

      An alien life should inspire intrigue and interest in all aspects. It is all too easy to simply have them humanoid and thus create their world as some sort of deviation off of earthly architecture.


    • #3 by catb89 on November 14, 2014 - 10:53 pm

      Indeed. If there really is alien life out there I should hope it doesn’t look like us. Otherwise how spooky would that coinsidence be? Haha. I wish Star Trek had really ran with Spock’s “no life as we know it” quote in the costume department.


    • #4 by Prof.mcstevie on November 14, 2014 - 10:56 pm

      I would simply like to marvel at the idea of multiple origins of life. As you might or might not know, science believes there is a single origin of life to every creature on this planet, the basis for everything found on Earth. What if that was different for another pool of organisms? What if there was an entire planets worth of species and lifeforms that say weren’t carbon based, how fantastic it would be to see.


    • #5 by catb89 on November 14, 2014 - 11:03 pm

      Hmmm they did do the Vulcans and Romulans as copper based. But again they looked humanoid. : (

      Scientifically though I have a suspision that all life anywhere in the cosmos has the one singular origin as does the whole universe, but would definitely vary as it evolves due to the different environments on different planets.


    • #6 by Prof.mcstevie on November 14, 2014 - 11:08 pm

      Perhaps it may, perhaps it may not. The fun should be exploring the possibility of either.

      Come to think of it, that any species would be humanoid seems odd as it is a very inefficient design in most survival aspects, we are good runners but that is due to being upright and a large amount of sweat glands, being humanoid is honestly rather limiting.


    • #7 by catb89 on November 14, 2014 - 11:15 pm

      I could also give several reasons why reproduction is more awkward due to our body shape. From personal experience too. But I think I shall spare you and your readers the graphic details. Hehe.

      I must leave you now, as it is getting late here, but thankyou so much for the conversation. It’s been an interesting one. = )


    • #8 by Prof.mcstevie on November 14, 2014 - 11:16 pm

      The feeling is mutual (on the conversation, I can’t speak for reproduction myself), it was a pleasure, I look forward to your future posts.


  2. #9 by frenchydal on November 11, 2014 - 12:31 am

    A great game from back in the day with somewhat more creative portrayals of aliens was Star Control 2. There were still some based on earth animals, but they still got races like the crystalline Chenjesu or gaseous Slylandro in there.


    • #10 by Prof.mcstevie on November 11, 2014 - 5:54 pm

      See, THAT is interesting, there is the potential for a real mind bender of an origin story in beings made of gas or crystals.


  3. #11 by Prof.mcstevie on November 10, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    IT……POSTED……CORRECTLY! Oh thank fuck for that.


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