I’d never heard of “gaslighting” before, but the term definitely describes behavior I’ve experienced and, admittedly, committed myself.
As a caveat, I haven’t played Prey myself yet, but based on your description of the gaslighting in the game, I’m not sure why you think it’s only commenting on the experience of women or non-binary persons. I’m not going to say men are the victims of gaslighting as much as women. As the group traditionally in power, I’m sure men have been the perpetrators a disproportionate amount.
While I don’t think you meant to say cis men don’t experience gaslighting, I do think your statement, “All of this is to say that Alex treats Morgan less like a little brother and more like a stereotypical little sister,” at least misrepresents the little brother/big brother dynamic. As a little brother myself (and the youngest in my family up through all my first cousins as well), I absolutely experienced what could be described as gaslighting. Heck, my brother still patronizes me, dismisses my opinions and tries to talk over me all the time.
As for my own bad behavior, when I was in high school my mom and I moved into her boyfriend’s house, giving me the opportunity to act as a de facto older brother to his youngest son. You’d think I’d be better than my older brother, having been the target of his bullying myself, but I still wound up treating him “like a nuisance, not like an equal,” although I like to think our relationship is better now as adults.
In pop culture, you really need look no further than Malcolm in the Middle for a depiction of what’s to many the big brother/little brother dynamic. All of the brothers in that show put down the next youngest brother, with Francis at the top as the cool, oldest brother who constantly tries to manipulate his brothers’ perceptions in his favor. I won’t say gaslighting happens more often in brothers than it does between a brother and a sister, but I do think it’s prevalent enough that plenty of men can relate too.
More recently than my family experiences, at my first “professional” job out of college, the female owner of the company absolutely gaslighted me and everyone on her staff. She primarily hired young professionals, preying on our inexperience to try to pass off the horrible work conditions and her obscene behavior as not just normal, but preferable to a corporate culture.
Based on how you describe this game, it sounds like my own experiences with gaslighting could help me relate to Prey’s story and character, regardless of which gender I play as. I’m sure there are additional wrinkles of meaning for women and non-binary players thanks to the particularities of their experiences with personal and systemic gaslighting, but it doesn’t sound like the game is intended to exclusively cater to those experiences.
There could have been merit in honing in on those experiences specifically, of course. But I often find in criticism that when you arrive at the question, “Why doesn’t this text yield fully to my interpretation?” the answer is simply that the interpretation doesn’t fully encapsulate the intended meaning. Arkane may have painted a broader picture so as to cater to a broader audience. Developers should focus on the experiences of women and non-binary peoples more, and I think your article is a useful reminder of that. I just don’t think Arkane is necessarily wrong for not doing so here.