When I was in grade 8 my teacher brought in local professions to talk to our class. It was kind of like “bring a parent” day but just not anyone’s parents. One time he brought in a local artist and the artist brought in pieces of his completed work but also works in progress. Part of the way he worked was painting over the painting – so if he didn’t like something he just painted over the section and rebuilt it. The artist was particularly proud of a certain piece that he was paid to create for a Jazz Festival. The picture was a semi-abstract portrait of a man playing a saxophone. The body was very clear that it was a person playing a saxophone and holding it in front of him.

“What do you think?” the artist asked. I put my hand up.

“It’s wrong” I said.

“What do you mean it’s wrong? It’s art! As an artist you can create anything you want. Please explain.” He said, smiling genuinely at me.

“His hands are in the wrong place. They are reversed”. I knew this because I played saxophone in the school band.

My teacher told me I was nitpicking, but the artist was really thankful because that would have been pretty embarrassing to miss an obvious detail like that. So, with that childhood story of mine top of mind my son pointed this out to me this weekend when we launched Dragon Age for the first time. Box cover:

What happens in game:

From what I can tell you can only have the mark on your left hand, yet the box cover shows the hero having the mark on the right hand. Before you say to me “settle down, that is totally nitpicking!” I just want to emphasize that I didn’t even notice it, my nine year old son pointed it out. And as he pointed it out, he told me it was “wrong”.

I wonder if anyone is getting slack for that at Bioware or if that is just too nitpicky.

(Side note – I totally failed my gaming goals I set out on Friday – sure, I got 10% further in Batman: AA and a couple hours further in TLOU, but I didn’t play TSW or MH. I saw the final installment of The Hobbit (acronym break) and of course had to fire up LOTRO (back at it) again and The War in The North (no one would have figured that one out) and ended up really needed an epic storyline quest so DA:I it was. Wrong hand and everything.) [sorry].

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. My problem is that my brain always tries to resolve the action in a picture. How did the person get in that pose and what happens next, which often leads me to “that makes no sense” or some flavor of “this will end badly because…”

    1. Funny you mention that because before I had a clue about the “threat” in DA:I, this picture was so confusing. Is he drawing power from the skies? What DOES that represent? Probably a poor choice of representation of the game for someone who has no clue what the plot is about.

      Still, I agree with your points. Except I always phrase more inquisitively “how can this possibly end badly?”

  2. The picture on the box is likely flipped (often called mirrored). This happens in layout, sometimes for no apparent reason.

    Look at the guy and tell me if he is right-handed or left handed. When you pick up your two-handed sword (or a baseball bat) your main hand would be up against the hilt, for greater control. Poster-boy up top is showing a dominant left hand.

    So in addition to not matching the game, this guy just looks a little odd because he is left-handed, in the same way that looking at a left handed batter looks a bit odd.

    Or… it’s more likely that he was drawn as a right-hander and the image was reversed.

    If you look at the mirror image here things look like they should.:

  3. So it probably WAS a mistake. Not earth-shattering or anything but I found it pretty amusing when he pointed it out. Nice work on the flip =)

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