Eden Extra Terra
Genre: Science fiction
Medium: Video game
Version: Alpha 2.0
Code: Indra Beurskens
Music: Arjan de Wit
Environment art: Joël Vegt
Cutscene art: Anna Engels
“Eden Extra Terra” is a science fiction game about a gender-divided colony named Eden in a faraway solar system. Depending on the player's choices, the world and its inhabitants will respond differently and new strategies to completing the game will appear or disappear.
The player controls Aya, the intersexed protagonist, who sets out to find his/her missing brother together with his/her friend Nasiha - the only outsider aware of his/her existence. By disguising yourself as either a man or a women, the characters in the world will respond differently to Aya and certain off-limit areas become accessible.
Quickly, Aya and Nasiha uncover more than just clues surrounding Luca's disappearance. Something that will impact the entire colony...
This game is both a gameplay experiment as a statement. For the gameplay aspect, I wondered what would happen if gender - chosen by the player - did have an impact on the story and interaction with NPCs. I chose to explore this as in practically all games that allow the player to chose the gender of the main character, gender has little to no impact on the story and the interaction with NPCs. For Eden Extra Terra I decided only to focus on interaction however due to time limitations.
As for the statement: the game is a means to reflect upon the way we treat other people, often adjusting our prejudices based on their gender. I claim we treat the same person with the same personality, same skills and almost identical appearance differently based on what gender they happen to be. Not only that, our prejudices regarding men and women can cause us to reject or accept certain people for, say, job positions while they may or may not actually have the required skills. Or we may believe their personalities and interests are a certain way, based on only our prejudice on gender. With this game I wanted to explore and address these themes.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
In the next iteration of 'Eden Extra Terra', the location of the colony will be moved from the desert to a system of large caverns and tunnels underneath a frozen waste in order to keep the isolating effect of the desert, but avoid the association with specific cultures, as the criticism underlying the game is directed to gender prejudice in general.
In the next iteration, there will also be room to further explore the male side of gender prejudice and more nuanced and balanced criticism.