By Natalia Martinsson.
When we started creating video games back in 2012, I had this huge urge to question and understand the meaning of creating them.
Long before making video games, I actually created tons of tiny real-life games.
I remember this game we had with my friends. It only required a place where to sit and a blanket.
The idea was to sit in a row and get the blanket over our heads. Then I would start narrating whatever it came to mind.
I remember certain situations where we were inside tunnels invaded by spiders, driving cars on dangerous mountains or just going to buy an imaginary burger at Mc Donald’s. Everyone involved got creative and went with the flow with the narrations as well, so you never knew what was next.
There was another little game that only required thread and a room (Living room, bedroom, whatever!). It was the detective/secret agent game. Where I would just take the thread and create some sort of web throughout the room. It was mean to be like a laser.
Then friends and I, would enter each level and try to reach the other end of the room, not touching the thread. The one touching the thread was killed by the laser.
A little later in life, I came to use more advance methods. There’ an online chat called Habbo Hotel, where you can get or buy furniture and rooms.
I would decorate the rooms and add a description on the walls. Whoever entered the room, would be able to understand a little more of the world and lore they just got into.
Some days, we were a party of 30 to 40 people at the same time in the same room, role playing.
We also had nights of poetry in that chat, where people from all over the world could communicate, share emotions, likes and dislikes.
Going back to these memories gave me a few insights.
One of the things that I love when it comes to create games is the play, the interaction itself.
And when I say play, I mean it in all possible ways, not only the mechanics and rules of a game. Also, the conversations and ideas you can build based on the situation you have in front of you. Solving mysteries, laughing at something silly that occurs and building upon that, etc.
We enjoy being observers as we enjoy being participant. Maybe, not in equal parts all the time, but they certainly balance themselves depending on the need we have a specific day or mood.
The intention of video games for me is that, it’s all about reflecting on your skills and the understanding of ideas or emotions displayed.
The intention is to make you listen, think, compute and act. It teaches us constantly that to get from A to C you got to go through B.
I have been having a hard time to feel reflected in the kind of video games that we usually see out there. War after war, weapon after weapon… and don’t get me wrong, those games can be super fun sometimes. Especially when you have someone to go online with and share a fun moment together. But it has been hard to find my jam.
The intention of all the games I’ve been creating even before creating video games, have been mainly to experience something that otherwise in reality would be difficult to achieve, at least in that moment.
I realized that people around the world are willing to open up, to be part of the play in many different ways, and I, as a game designer, want to connect with the person playing on an emotional level.
Because then, you can see more of yourself and when we are more aware of our emotions, we know how beautiful we are, how fragile and strong we can be at the same time.
We can also then see a glimpse of how our culture and reality could be if we acted upon the beauty we have inside. Emotions are deeply buried or misunderstood… we need to get them out through play.