When I was out in Melbourne talking at GCAP I was also invited to speak at the Australian Center for the Moving Image as part of their Game Masters talk series. These events coincided with the excellent Game Masters exhibit - which included work from many of my favorite teams - including indies like Jon Blow and of course, TGC!
At the ACMI talk, I was asked to play Journey while in dialog with local dev Leena Van Deventer. It was a wonderful conversation, which covered many aspects of Journey's development and then opened up into a discussion with the audience about games, art and life in general. Daniel Golding wrote a lovely piece about the discussion that I found very moving.
As Daniel reported, the conversation towards the end of the evening, prompted by a question from a father/daughter design team brought tears to my eyes. Let me take a moment to explain...
It's impossible to describe the many letters, messages, pieces of fan art and music that the Journey team receives from people touched by the game. This reaction, this response - was something we all wished for, deeply. And when you get something you really wished for, it's as if the universe has opened its arms to you. It's just an amazing feeling.
So to hear that this man's young daughter has been told that games can't be made by girls is... quite a blow. For me, that's essentially the same as saying that the universe won't embrace them, and that their wishes and dreams can't come true. That stings so much that I cannot keep tears from welling up.
What I can do is speak up about it, honestly, from the heart. As with all my public presentations and outreach, I hope this talk helps promote a more open, inclusive view of games and game development. This week ACMI posted the audio online so you can listen and see for yourself.