In the wake of Bethesda’s brilliant game Fallout 4, the game company released a first-class mobile game, called Fallout Shelter. FS is a god-game which puts the player in the shoes of the almighty overseer, master of one of Vault Tec’s iconic vault. The vaults are designed to provide a self-sustaining environment for a maximum of 200 ‘dwellers’, who in the safety of the underground complex, can survive the nuclear holocaust at the surface.
Some interesting anthropological observations can be made when playing FS. Initially, men and women are created equal: they can perfume the same tasks (water management, radio studio, power supply, etcetera). But when it comes to sex and procreation, the postmodern gender equality is left for a ‘more traditional’ pattern.
First of all, the only sure way to get dwellers on a maximum of 100% happiness, is by letting them having sex. ‘Letting them,’ yes. That is what I said. When you, as the overseer, wants to ‘produce’ children, you can put a random chosen male and female dweller together in one living quarter. Eventually, depending on the level of ‘chemistry’ between them (the high of their charisma statistic), they will chat, dance, kiss and procreate.
The actual process of procreation is hidden for the otherwise all-seeing eye of the overseer. The two happy dwellers will rush to the background of the living quarter, and some smiley’s will be shown. When finished, he rushes out, while she – visible pregnant by a large belly and a yellow shirt – will follow him slowly, both on 100% happiness. She has to wait to birthing her child before she can engage in sex. He is ready on the spot for the next one. He is the hunter. She is the hunted. And the Catholic Church will like this approach: dwellers engage in sex only to produce children.
At the other side, the Catholic Church will not be very happy with the poly-amory of the Vault-Tec complexes. All males can have sex (and procreate) with all females available at any time, if and when both partners are adult and not bound by blood. No Game of Thrones stuff: no mothers having sex with sons, no fathers with granddaughters. Incest is a no-go. Poly-amory: no problemo.
When a female dweller is pregnant, she is still able to do all the tasks the overseer gives her in the vault, just as she did before the pregnancy. But when disaster strikes – raiders attack, fire in a room, giant cockroaches invasions – the dwellers – male and female – will fight the problem until it is taken care of. Except for the pregnant dwellers: the drop everything they are doing, scream and run off to the nearest living quarter, where they will hide in the same hidden section where they we impregnated before.
So, the social system of the vault seems very modern and equal at the beginning, but when it comes to sex and pregnancy, it reminds the player of the days behind us. A strange combination indeed.