Introduction [Gender in Indigo Prophecy, Part I]

Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in its European release) is a sci-fi action/adventure game by Quantic Dream. You follow three characters (Lucas Kane, Carla Valenti, and Tyler Miles) while they discover the truth about ritual killings, ancient Mayan organizations, and a child whose knowledge can either lead humans to a golden age or destroy them.

Overall, the storyline is well written and interesting, with twists here and there to keep the players on their toes. The gameplay is sometimes clunky, but the puzzles (simon-says was the most frequent, but there was also “physical challenges” which required arrow-tapping skills) were definitely innovative. My only issues are that 1) occassionally the need to play simon-says to keep the scene going detracted from actually hearing what was going on and enjoying the plot development; and 2) it would have been nice to have a more varied puzzle system. I, personally, liked the graphics, both the levels and the character models. The music was used to set moods, with Lucas represented by rock (Theory of a Dead Man), Tyler with soul, and Carla with a kind of music I can only think of to call electronic lounge. Despite its flaws, it is definitely a game I’d recommend to any kind of gamer, whether casual or hardcore.

In this series, I’d like to specifically address how gender was used (and abused) in the game. Most, if not all, parts that follow this one will contain game ruining spoilers, so I will keep them behind a cut with a disclaimer. I plan to be looking at character portrayal (both major and minor), character relationships, and the message in certain scenes/extras. My intention is to highlight not only the obvious issues, but both the subtle ways that the game reinforces or breaks sexist stereotypes.

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