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Does the game represent men and women in stereotypical ways? What about other categories – age and ethnicity for example? Time period? Setting?

 

One of the most notable parts of the game is the divide between the genders. Generally, the men of the game are active, while the women are passive. This is mainly due to the setting, and is realistic of the time period, where most women only worked until they got married and had children.

All of the police officers in the game are male, as would have occurred in the real life setting, with the only female presence in the Police Station being the secretaries. Most of the women seen in the game are either in occupations that would be viewed as “unskilled”, such as shop assistants and secretaries, or housewives.

In the cases, the culprits are usually men and the victims are often women, with the most obvious example being the Werewolf killer, who leaves a trail of female victims throughout the game. Even June Ballard, who is probably one of the few female villains in the game, is a very passive character – she sets up her niece to get raped on a “casting couch” but refuses to acknowledge any guilt in the matter, and when someone tries to have her killed, she sends her gangster husband after him. In keeping with this idea of the “passive female”, there is no way to arrest her, even after it is discovered that she betrayed her niece and sent her to be abused in return for a role in a film.

An interesting factor about ethnicity is that the setting, since the game is set in the aftermath of WWII. Elsa, for example, receives a lot of abuse for being German, at one point being struck by Roy Earle for speaking “German gibberish” around him. Interestingly, the “gibberish” Elsa spoke was the word “Untersturmführer” which loosely translates as “member of the SS” or “Nazi”. This use of comparison between the Nazis and the Americans, who would have seen themselves as the good guys is perhaps a subtle comment on the fact that 1947 America wasn’t as different from Nazi Germany as they would like to think themselves.

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