Mass Effect 3 – In dedication to Emily Wong

You have to hand it to Bioware, they certainly know how to market a product. The month leading up to the release of the game was filled stunts, from psyching up that rumoured 18% of FemShep players to get #FemShepFriday trending in the US through twitter (and succeeding) to shooting copies of the game off into space. As if the fans needed any more motivation to buy it.

We were treated to several trailers including the CGI trailer released with The Walking Dead, the launch trailer featuring broshep and even an unanticipated CGI FemShep trailer (which was the best of the lot in my opinion). Then, on the 5th of March in the time leading up to the midnight launch of the game – @bioware tweeted that fans could follow the reaper invasion of earth through their created feed @AllianceNewsNet that they have been using to post ‘news’ articles from the Mass Effect universe for the past month. The star of this twitter feed was Emily Wong, the reporter you meet in the first game that really irritated my Shepard in the first game. It was quite by accident that I was there at the launch of this broadcast. The first twitter feeds spoke of the reporter being frustrated with the com bouys being down as well as a number of other communication lines. Emily finally managed to set up a communication network through #solcomms and started posting periodic updates as to what was happening on the ground, from the moment the Reapers appeared and long past that sickening moment when it dawns on Emily and her two companions, namely an UCLA-PD Officer Pearson and Dr. Martinette.

Now, depending on how good your imagination (or just your reading skills) are, it was disturbingly easy to follow these three’s progress, through the death and destruction that this alien invasion created. Not only that, but the fans, the dear fans of Bioware and Mass Effect, took to this fake news like fish to water and started tweeting their own experiences of the invasion.

Having always been a fan of make believe alien invasions (I imagine them in my car all the time when stuck in traffic) I enjoyed all of this to such an extent that it took a lot of motivation for me to get into bed and not stay up the whole night following everybody’s progress. It was an RPG come to life. There were ‘screenshots’ of Reapers appearing on the twitter feeds. Theories, people shouting fake advice, hysteria and death. I think to an outside person looking in, they must’ve thought the world had gone mad because for a day, Twitter showed us what it would be like if aliens really did attack.

And it was all thanks to Emily Wong.

I got up early on the 6th , ready to face what I was hoping to be a very interesting day with Emily Wong. Instead, I found myself waking up to the final moments of Emily Wong. Pearson and Dr. M had died, much to the dismay of the fans. Emily, shot and wounded, was driving in a skyvan. One of her last tweets read desperately and without punctuation:

“hit bullet from ground lots blood dr m dead hurts god im hit too”

And then, with a little bit more dignity.

“Van still flying. Lost a lot of blood. Not sure how long I have. Not sure QEC even still on.”

Here, admits getting dressed and brushing my teeth I found myself holding my breath, anxiously waiting for the next feed. Someone will have to help her, I thought and hoped. This can’t be the end of Emily Wong. This woman who I had despised in the first game, who I was thinking to be sarcastic to when ME3 came. My hope was not to be met when the next tweet read.

“Reaper out in front of me. Lost pistol. Only weapon left is this skyvan.”

I knew it was the end. And it was.

Emily’s last words were:

“You want to see how a human dies? At ramming speed.”

If Hale Berry had delivered this line in much the same fashion she had done her toad by lightening remark, it wouldn’t have worked.  But, alone in my bathroom, clutching my phone in one hand and my toothbrush in the other, it did. I was touched. This fictional character had died and the only evidence of it was the final text from the network namely.

<SIGNAL LOST>

People are still continuting on this trend, posting under the hashtags #solcomms and by reading their tweets I can say one thing – that Emily Wong has left a legacy. All around people were cybery mourning her loss, posting dedications to her bravery and calling out, begging for help to come.

Help that has come in the form of Commander Shepard in America today.

Help that will come on the 9th of March in the rest of the world.

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About Alyssa C.

Having never quite grown up out of her nerd phase Alyssa spends her life between being a technical advisor for a pharmaceutical company, playing console games, reading anything she can get her hands on, tweeting as @alyssc01 and occasionally declaring herself Supreme Ruler of the Universe. She's a freelance writer willing to take on any challenge with numerous grammatical errors. The first three is always free.