Catherine is a puzzle platformer adventure video game developed by Atlus for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 which follows the story of Vincent Brooks, a man who is beset by supernatural nightmares while torn between his feelings for longtime girlfriend Katherine and the similarly-named beauty Catherine. Vincent interacts with the game’s characters, and his dreams – Vincent experiences nightmares that players must overcome through puzzle solving. The ending is affected by moral choices made by Vincent over the course of the story.
Catherine has been praised for its take on human sexuality, as Vincent wrestles with his desires and temptations.
A remastered version set for release on PlayStation 4 has been criticized by Transgender activists who have set their sights on the video game; protests center around alleged “transphobia” present in Catherine.
One of the game’s characters, named Erica, is a post-op transgender woman. It’s revealed in one of the game’s possible endings after one of the male characters who hooks up with Erica complains that the sex was awkward, and that Erica—like the protagonist—struggles with sex-related nightmares.
Transgender activists complained that Erica’s struggles with sexuality carries a “transphobic” implication, in that she—like Vincent—is male. They also claim that the character’s complaint about Erica is an expression of “trans panic.” The game’s decision to use Erica’s “dead name,” Eric, in the credits, has been another point of contention.
“As much as I love Atlus’ Persona Team(s), they need to cut the (expletive) when it comes to their poor LGBT representation,” writes game journalist C.J. Melendez.