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analogue: a hate story

a woman’s apocalypse is not the terror of technological regression, but of social regression: not a strange and unknown future but the imposition of an all-too-familiar past. margaret atwood recently wrote that the future america of her harrowing handmaid’s tale is merely american pilgrim society transplanted in time. the horror of the handmaid’s tale is that it doesn’t describe a far future nightmare, but a near one: the protagonist is a woman like me or you, living in her own house, dressing how she wants, fucking partners of her own choosing, whose world is changed overnight into one in which she is property, a walking, breathing womb, existing only so that she may carry a man’s child.

i had this realization while playing christine love’s analogue: a hate story.

11 comments

  1. Implosion wrote:

    Bit weird that I found out about it here before getting an alert through Love’s blog or even RPS, but I’m glad I did, even if $15 seems damn steep when it’s coming out of your food money. The harem ending has defeated me as I can’t figure out what needs to be done to switch AIs after…err…THAT BIT, but that’s alright.

    Unasked for Opinion: A worse written Handmaid’s Tale IN SPACE that doesn’t have much impact (possibly because you’re ALWAYS in a position of absolute power), but is enjoyable as it caters to players’ natural voyeuristic tendencies. Plus the navigation of the space between thinking a character is sympathetic and believing they’re “in the right” made me legit-uncomfortable, and I can’t ask for much more than that I guess.

    1/31/2012 at 11:24 pm | permalink
  2. Implosion wrote:

    Actually, in retrospect it feels almost a little weird how well I was treated in that game. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman and assumed that with all the degrading that was going around I was naturally going to have to face some myself, but up until the very end I was bracing for some AI to come along and force me to answer in a way I never wanted to, or just silence me altogether. Instead, I think I had problems communicating only about two times over the course of the entire game. Statements about situations as cruel as the one portrayed in the game shouldn’t be so polite, is what I think I’m trying to say.

    1/31/2012 at 11:56 pm | permalink
  3. auntie wrote:

    that was what i was expecting to happen when the second ai was introduced, the one who is still rooted in the values of the world i was reading about. but no, the game gave me the power (and imperative) to remove her almost immediately.

    i think miss love was trying to set up a dichotomy between a consensual, negotiated relationship and one imposed by society. but as a result the player feels ultimately peripheral to the events of the story, and the narrator warm and polite to the point that i think strains belief.

    2/1/2012 at 1:05 pm | permalink
  4. MKS wrote:

    Aunty,

    do you want to grow a child within you?

    2/5/2012 at 12:49 am | permalink
  5. auntie wrote:

    i don’t, but i appreciate you flaunting the fact that i can’t in my face.

    2/5/2012 at 4:29 pm | permalink
  6. MKS wrote:

    Auntie,

    it just seems odd to me that you’d want, as a part of your unique identity as a woman, to be abused by men in that way?

    Or were you just riffing/daydreaming in your OP? That I can understand completely :3

    2/20/2012 at 11:01 am | permalink
  7. auntie wrote:

    did i say i wanted to or that that scenario was more real and harrowing to me than, say, zombies?

    2/20/2012 at 12:36 pm | permalink
  8. AJ wrote:

    Hyun-ae is a self-entitled bitch. Not once does she ever try to understand the new society that she awakens in. She seeks to be understood but refuses understand. Instead of acting rationally and trying to better her own situation she lashes out at her new family. Don’t get me wrong, she had several good reasons to be frustrated and angry, but how was acting like a spoiled brat supposed to help anyone? If she had shown some respect and restraint instead of acting like a brat her family would have been more inclined to listen to her to what she had to say.

    Throughout the rest of story she tries to garner sympathy for her situation by claiming that her actions where somewhat justified. Sure, her life was horrible but she wants me to believe suffering warranted the destruction of an entire society? …Did she even consider the fact that there were other women where suffering under the same rules her? Did she consider that maybe her rash actions contributed to her horrible treatment?

    Why does she expect sympathy when she killed so many people that never wronged her in any way? I’m not siding with any of the characters, I just want to point out that in a lot of ways Hyun-ae was being just as ignorant, selfish and hateful as her oppressors. She talks a lot about her friend the queen, but she ends up killing all the people the queen loved after she dies… Hyun just doesn’t seem to consider others very much throughout the story. It’s all about her suffering and how much she felt she lost what she was entitled to.

    Despite the fact that I didn’t like Mutes old world views, I found her much more entertaining, and much more rational. Mute asks you to consider both sides while Hyun-ea tells you to always dismiss Mute.

    The most satisfying ending I have gotten is the one where the unseen pilot leaves Hyun-ae in the lonely and empty world she created as Mute sails of into the distance with her new friend.

    5/5/2012 at 10:11 am | permalink
  9. AJ wrote:

    After re-reading my previous comment, my over-all message is a bit unclear. Essentially what I was trying to say is that I think Hyun-ae turned into the kind of monster she despised.

    This makes me very unsympathetic to her struggle. Her reasons where also very selfish. She didn’t mass murder to avenge her friends or family, she did it because she hated the way she had been treated.

    5/5/2012 at 10:25 am | permalink
  10. auntie wrote:

    i dunno dude the phrase “hyun-ae is a self-entitled bitch” is pretty fucking clear. also what was it that made you decide that my website was a place where calling women characters “self-entitled bitches” was a cool thing to do?

    can’t decide whether to delete your comment because you’re an ass or because it’s full of spoilers for the game.

    5/5/2012 at 3:42 pm | permalink
  11. Kristine wrote:

    (massive spoilers for Analogue)

    AJ: Sure Hyun-ae was selfish in that she wanted to choose for herself how she lived her life — I just don’t understand what’s supposed to be negative about that. I also don’t get why it would have been better for her to commit mass murder to avenge others instead of her own treatment, as you seem to imply. Just because it would have been less selfish?

    I agree it would have been better for her to understand the world she had effectively been born into in order to carve a niche for herself in it. But then again I wonder if that would have been possible: After all, there wasn’t merely put societal pressure on her to marry, she was *forced* to do so.

    I also don’t think that Hyun-ae’s final act was supposed to be “good”. She cracked from the abuse she suffered and the loss of her only friend. But for me that made her more sympathetic. She was a wrongdoer, yes, but she was first and foremost a victim.

    5/16/2012 at 12:55 pm | permalink

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