Brown, Melissa Shani; Partridge, Nichola Lucy (2021):
"‘Strangely Like a Person’: Cole and the Queering of Asexuality in Dragon Age: Inquisition." Sexuality & Culture 25.3: 1005-1024.
Journal Article

In this article we consider the representation of the character Cole in Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition (Electronic Arts, San Mateo, 2014), focusing upon how his asexuality is treated by other characters and its significance within his narrative arc. As well as contributing to the discussion of the representation of sexualities and gender within games, we seek to add to the ‘representational archive of asexuality’ (Cerankowski and Milks, Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, Routledge, Abingdon, p 40, 2014), including games as media depicting and defining asexuality through fictional characterisation. We argue that it is particularly through humour that Cole is marked as being ambiguously set apart from the other characters in the game, and is infantilized as a ‘boy’ rather than a young man. Within a party of diverse genders, sexualities and indeed species, Cole’s absent interest in sex is treated as though it were something strange and in need of being overcome for Cole to become fully ‘human’. Beyond the scope of this game, this raises further questions for the representation of asexuality within media culture, and broader cultural discourses concerning whether asexuality is conceived of as being within the bounds of both masculinity and human normality.