Detroit: Become Human

Analyzing CyberLife/Amanda’s emotional manipulation

DetroitBecomeHuman4 - Analyzing CyberLife/Amanda's emotional manipulation

This analysis is copy-pasted from a Discord conversation, so sorry for the strange formatting. I would clean it up, but, I like the way that I explained this while speaking to my friend about it, so I decided to keep it as it is.

My side of the conversation is posted below (i.e. my friend's responses are omitted), with minor tweaks for coherency.


Also, is a decrease for Connor's software instability too, because dying ALWAYS decreases his instability
Do you know why that is, by the way?
Because at first glance it doesn't make sense, you'd think a traumatic experience such as literal death would cause a raise in instability, but there is actually a reason for it

So, they say that if Con dies, parts of his memories are lost.
But this doesn't seem to be too true. There's very, very little that Connor seems to forget. We only get to see one example of this.
And you know what it is?
It's Connor saving the life of the officer on the terrace.
Which is a decision that went against his mission, and showed empathy.
tl;dr, Connor doesn't lose parts of his memories, CyberLife is actually deliberately picking and choosing what to remove from his memory, so as to decrease the odds of him deviating.

I think it's also very much psychological.
They don't act like he's the same person.
They treat him (and thus, Connor treats himself) like he's a completely new machine every time he dies, when really that isn't true. It's still Connor, it's still his memories.
But they tell him, the last Connor failed its mission, the last Connor wasn't careful enough, you need to be better.
Therefore, there's this disconnect in his mindset from his previous lifetime.
Deaths help to hammer in CyberLife's teachings that you are not alive, Connor.


Everything CyberLife does is extremely deliberate.
Down to Amanda herself.
Because it might seem counter-intuitive that she treats him so nicely, right? Treats him like a person?
Asking, well what's your opinion on this, Connor? When machines can't have opinions. Or, "I thought you might enjoy a little cruise!" when machines can't enjoy things.
But that is extremely deliberate
It's why the relationship meter for 'Amanda' goes to BETRAYED after you deviate.
They are making him emotionally attached to her.
So he's less likely to deviate, because he loves her. He doesn't want to betray this sweet, caring woman that guided him and mentored him and treated him so wonderfully, right?

And that's the thing with the meter.
It's not that he betrayed her. It's not that she feels betrayed.
It's that HE feels like he betrayed her.

bottom line, CyberLife is smart, and almost certainly knew that deviants could really feel emotions, they just didn't care
(which is hinted at when Connor asks Amanda, "You didn't tell me everything you knew about deviants, did you?")
And the genius in the way CyberLife designed Amanda is shown in the scene after The Interrogation, if you successfully interrogate the HK400. When she praises him so much.
The big grin he has on his face.
He doesn't smile anywhere else in the game the way he smiles with Amanda.
He loves her. He's so happy she's so proud of him. It makes him want to keep it up.
If there was any point he felt guilty about anything he did with the HK, it was gone when she told him how well he did. He felt he was doing the right thing, he felt happy, he felt proud of himself.
And that's so much more effective than if they had treated him like a machine.
It's a delicate balance between telling him he's a machine, and that deviants are machines, and that androids can't feel, but not actually treating him poorly.
The psychology of it is actually masterful.


I would love to know others' thoughts on this.

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