Today, #Feminism’s own “The Grey Zone” designer, Siri Sandquist, tells us a little about her vision for the game.
“The Grey Zone” explores the internalized guilt that many women feel when they are subjected to a kind of sexual assault that balance on the borderline between rape and consensual sex. An important part of the problems in rape culture is that women often feel obligated to have sex with men due to power imbalance, social pressure, or just plain courtesy. While most people agree that rape is bad, the definition of rape is much harder to agree on.
For these reasons, “The Grey Zone” takes place completely inside a woman’s mind. The complex questions of verbal and physical consent, obligations felt in a relationship, victim blaming and self blaming become easier to express as characters who represent parts of the woman, each with their own version of what truly happened. She expresses emotions raging from desire to fear, and there are no easy answers. I hope the analysis of one’s own feeling in similar situations might be easier to understand when these clear shutters between the mixed emotions have been played out in a game. Grey zone sexual encounters are extremely common and we need to find a vocabulary for these situations, and a way to better understand the emotions they bring up. I hope “The Grey Zone” can help in that work.
Have you played “The Grey Zone”? Share your experiences in the comments.