How to (not) save your boyfriend: examining gender roles in Mystic Messenger

[This essay was funded through Patreon under the ZEAL project. ZEAL aims to provide high quality criticism of rarely discussed games and comics, and showcase the talents of exciting new writers and artists. For details and information on how to donate, please check out our Patreon, where you can also get exclusive video content for $5+!]

Mystic Messenger is the story of a female heroine who downloads an app on her phone, attracted by the premise of “chatting with hot guys”, only to discover said app is actually the private chat client of a peculiar group.At the same time, Mystic Messenger is also the story of you, the player, downloading a silly otome game only to discover a story about hackers, secret organizations, a brain-washing cult and people bombing your house. (more…)