This AI just wants to be your friend, Brian.

Steam gets a bunch of new games all the time, but one was the headlines this week for its absurdly exorbitant price tag of $2,000. This game, The hidden and the unknown, isn’t really worth your time, especially considering it has that extremely long opening text that deals with men’s rights and the “human cycle” of reproduction. Uh.

Developed by, The hidden and the unknown is the latest indie Steam game to capture some of the internet’s attention for several reasons. Yeah, that it’s true $2,000. Yeah, that really takes less than two hours to finish. And yes, that really does have a star wars– like an opening scroll that lasts eight minutes and cannot be skipped. These facets alone make the game somewhat curious for gamers like me, those interested in what’s happening on Valve’s PC distribution platform. WhoaHowever, it’s the thesis of the opening sequence that makes me frown as it posits that “most Western men today are feminine” and “unable to take the lead.” In other words, Soy Boys are a no-no.

An eight minute Star Wars-like The Hidden and Unknown image of the game's opening text scroll.

Just a sample of the opening text scroll.

“There is an idea called the human cycle that cannot be stopped as long as humanity continues to exist,” begins The hidden and the unknownopening text scroll. “This has been the case since the beginning of civilization, however, with unprecedented scientific progress, things may not be the way they were. Where before only a small part of the population could afford to be weak, the situation is different today. Most western men today are feminine, while most western women today are masculine. Men confuse being weak with being good so as not to offend women, while the women take on the more masculine role as their men are pathetic, weak and unable to take the lead.This goes on and on for eight minutes straight, y’all.

But what is The hidden and the unknown? Well, it’s a non-interactive visual novel about a kid named Brian, who you never see. Brian is like most kids in that he plays football, goes to school, sleeps in his room, hangs out with his friends (whom you also don’t see), and plays video games on Navigator. The only difference is that after Brian disenfranchises himself from his friends because the (equally invisible) girls laugh at him, he somehow becomes connected to the Super Artificial Intelligence 2123, which is only in fact that Brian from the future trying to save this digital. world on the brink of extinction due to a lack of creating babies. You see, Brian, now disillusioned and detached from everyone and everything, is no longer interested in relationships or reproduction now that his boys have turned on him and the girls are laughing at him. 2123, this AI meant to balance male and female energies, wants to help Brian remake friends and ultimately find love to prevent “that extinction-level danger” that is non- population growth.

The first 30 minutes of a $2,000 Steam game

There’s so much to unpack here, I don’t even know where to start. However, if you know men’s rights activisma political movement centered on the notion of structural discrimination against men, then these talking points should be worked out. This is dangerous rhetoric peddled by the likes of self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate and backed by streamers like Adin Rosswho essentially defend the position of men at the top in a horribly patriarchal society that still exploits women.

In Discord DM with my citya The hidden and the unknown The developer known only as ThePro said the game “loosely follows my own experiences”, although it is not an “exact copy”. ThePro explained that while the game calls “most western men” feminine and weak, they don’t necessarily believe that “men are generally weak”. However, “anyone who’s had an easy life” will be weak, ThePro said, explaining how the game has been received so far and what they’ve learned.

A hidden and unknown image of supposedly AI-generated art of a classroom.

I’m also “visibly surprised” by this game.

“I’ve heard the world has gotten a whole lot worse than before, but I admit I prefer to do my own research before jumping to conclusions and the reception definitely proved to me that people are too engrossed in bad things. things,” ThePro told me. “They make a big deal of an award that doesn’t affect their lives in any way, instead of focusing on bettering not only themselves, but also the lives of the people around them.”

ThePro said they were worried we might “[lose] the one thing that makes us all human,” but declined to elaborate further on what that might mean. Instead, they simply explained that “both men and women have testosterone and estrogen” and that these energies need to be balanced.

“I have been accused of being ‘transphobic’ and ‘misogynistic’ and more, however, I would like to let everyone know that I have no problem with men, women, trans people or any other group, as long as they can. respect me too,” ThePro said. “People who accuse me have shown me no respect and jumped to conclusions, which doesn’t look good on them. It’s sad to see that we have to live in a world where everyone immediately becomes aggressive, however, I would like to believe that if we start working together rather than against each other, we will find a way to escape the dangers of extinction that are very possible in the current climate.

ThePro then went on a long tangent about the “many possibilities” that could contribute to or cause human extinction: nuclear war, global economic woes, lithium overuse, estrogen in plastic products, and more. In the end, it looks like ThePro is using The hidden and the unknown to propel a form of ideological rhetoric about the need for men to “take the lead” because otherwise we are all doomed. What a revelation.

So yeah you don’t need to check The hidden and the unknown. If you had the money and beat it in less than two hours (which is totally doable), you could get a refund depending on Steam Refund Policy. But why you would submit to such a boring and, frankly, philosophically sterile game is beyond me.

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