Deus Ex the Prequel
Thrack and I are playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution* and while we aren’t very far (it came out yesterday, give us a break), I have to say that I’m actually impressed at the level of diversity shown in the staff of Sarif Industries. It’s nice that since they are based in Detroit, you see staff that seems representative of the population base. Instead of the usual sea of white (and maybe the occasional Asian) faces, you had sprinklings of Latinos and African Americans throughout the company. I was very pleased when we reached the plant negotiation stuff to find that the manager of the plant was an African American, middle-aged woman.
I’m so used to seeing high- end tech companies represented in games as a mostly homogeneous mass that it’s nice to see something that feels both realistic and non-discriminatory. Deus Ex also manages to show a variety in women as well; rather than having an assorted sampling of young, pretty women with identically sized, perky breasts. Why, one of the women in the Sarif offices could be sixty.
The game has an atmosphere that comes straight out of cyberpunk and it ends up feeling like a very retro-future. The other day Thrack and I watched Blade Runner on streaming, and I was struck by how dated the future felt. No one saw cell phones coming, so in these cyberpunk visions you see futuristic phone booths, rather than no phone booths at all. Deus Ex has its own futuristic phone booths as well as optical media sitting next to computers. It’s a little funny.
*Note: I often think of the way that we sit down and go through a single player game this way. He does the actual gameplay for very actiony games (I lack the years of honed instinct and intuitive button coordination for this sort) and I act as something of a spotter or I help problem solve.