Examining why I play the games I do sometimes yields surprising insight. It's become clear to me that many of the games I like...are kind of dating simulators, despite what the presentation or marketing might suggest. I don't think I'm supposed to admit that, though. To say something like that feels like losing legitimacy as a 'real gamer,' as if that idea even means anything. Worse: to say that seems so stereotypical, because I'm a woman. The genre seems harmless enough as an idea: they're just romance-driven games. Romance is a part of most people's lives, what's the big deal?
I've yet to meet anyone who says they play the Mass Effect franchise for the combat. Despite this, Bioware has focused on refining the combat enough that by Mass Effect 3, the franchise has a multiplayer mode that relies entirely on the action—and it's considered addictive. Even so, the acclaim for the third person role playing shooter still rests largely on the interpersonal relationships you foster with your crew mates. The combat being okay is just a bonus.