Regarding why every male character is the ideal one, I think you can't ignore the logistic benefits. Assuming it takes the same resources to make an ultra manly hero and a different looking one with the same graphical fidelity, the opportunity in games is great. I'm sure if you could clone the biggest action star in movies and he worked for the same exact pay as any other actor, you'd see movie studios doing what game studios do.
Although the guest was great, I have some bones to pick with her.
I think from here on out, the "It's just a game" argument should be invalid. Whenever there's a specific discussion on a game, I cringe when hear "Well, it comes down to...is it fun?". No, it really doesn't come down to that.
Schindler's List is not a fun movie. It's not humorous, it's not uplifting and it's not upbeat. In fact, it's likely to make you pretty depressed right after seeing it. But that said, it's still an experience worth having for some of us. A game doesn't have to be fun, or an escape, or relieve stress to be a worthwhile experience. Have any of you played the flash game Every Day is the Same Dream? It's repetitive, it makes you uncomfortable, and it's not really fun. But it's an amazing interactive experience, which could only be told interactively.
And regarding Mass Effect 2, being a listener of a couple of podcasts, I'm used to being derided for not buying games immediately, especially by the press, where a game is from the stone age within weeks. But realize that, yeah, there are some of us who are going to wait until the Mass Effect 2 Complete with DLC edition comes out. And some of us will even wait for it to get down to $30. Some of us have done that with Oblivion, Fallout and Dragon Age, as well as others. And we save a lot of money.