It’s a Gothic story, fundamentally, the bones of Radcliffe and Bronte still visible under the wrappings of more modern genres. The duality of persons, the midwife, the poison, the significant pictures that are usually kept covered up; the obsession with mirrors and fairy-tales, doppelgangers and disguises, the forbidden places within the home, the family secrets preserved by servants, the false parentage. No, of course it’s not plausible. This kind of story has never been plausible.
The more authentic self, in other words, is sometimes also the more deliberately enacted and performed self. And this is the point (finally!) where we get back to what I liked about Her Story. Eve is both the more false and the more true member of that pair. She knows what she is doing and why she is doing it. She is more confident, braver, a superior liar. Hannah is less competent at being bad, without being a better person. Eve, one feels, would not have lashed out and killed Simon by accident. She might have killed him on purpose at some point, if she felt she had to, but not by accident.
As exaggerated as the story incidents were, as much as the virginity story squicked me out, as little as we have in common in circumstance or (I hope!) personality, there was still something about the deliberate self-making of Eve that spoke to me.
And this is why many of the dramatic twists within and surrounding the codec work. Miller’s reveal as Liquid is a betrayal because it’s a long, subdued invasion of Snake’s most Snake-like space. The banjaxed AI Colonel disrupts Raiden’s sense of reality because it’s a deep-seated subversion of what we felt was sanctuary. The strangers Deepthroat and Mr. X unsettle us because they don’t belong here, so secretive, withholding, despite appearing vaguely benevolent in the advice they share.
Although many games have “bodies” and many games involve stabbing, shooting, slicing, and dicing them, few series have gone so far out of their way to showcase, alter, mangle, deform, transform, and violate them as Metal Gear Solid.
From early in the series, Kojima works to make his characters simultaneously more and less than human.
One of my goals with Hollywood Visionary, released by Choice of Games earlier this year, was to create a game with more interesting representations of gender identity.
Making Sense of Shenmue 3
"Hundreds of Hours of Content"
Dear Esther is best left as an unsettling howl of grief into the sea wind.