Christine Love, the prolific developer of elaborate visual novels and narrative games, has announced a sequel to her most acclaimed title, Analogue: A Hate Story. This upcoming title is called Hate Plus.
Both games are set in a universe in the future where cryogenics and Artificial Intelligence are commonplace in a spaceship that generations have called their home. It is also an isolated society with deeply rooted inequality that has regressed into abasing women, so much so that females must eradicate all forms of their literacy and, it follows, a culture that can be passed down.
Hate Plus is going to be a direct continuation of where Analogue left off, as you uncover more of the underlying reason that the generational ship went into utter isolation and developed such a society in the first place. Where Analogue focuses on the AI *Hyun-ae as the main character, AI *Mute gets the spotlight in Hate Plus.
Although Christine Love has spoken about Hate Plus in interviews before, it is only the beginning of April that she has formally announced it on her website. This comes at an interesting juncture in time because the game review site Rock Paper Shotgun has just days after published its stance in continuing its awareness-raising about sexism and misogyny in the games industry.
As women in the industry face a very real glass ceiling and female audiences are undulated with derogatory representations and descriptions upon their sex, it is works of interactive storytelling like Christine’s which offer alternative environments for both the developer and her subjects.
I have personally enjoyed the interplay of intelligence and unraveling suspense in Analogue: A Hate Story (links to my review of the game). The game asked allegorical questions as to whether our own society, by contrast, is misleading itself when it presumes that women are “more or less” empowered enough. The effects of Analogue stayed with me long after the credits rolled.
I am wholly thrilled that Hate Plus will further encourage gender and social representations that don’t fit neatly with patriarchal expectations. Not to mention, it’ll very likely be part of the mediascape that seeks to add new identities and subject positions to the record.