The Art of Video Games: Interview with Jane Pinckard

Uploaded by americanartmuseum on 09.03.2012

Storytelling is such an important way of self-expression culturally that it makes sense that it shows
up in every art form that we have, including games.
Because narrative forms emotional hooks, which I think is
really important, otherwise the game mechanics might be
interesting, but without emotional engagement it feels a
little cold or a little bit without purpose.
“Now don’t jump to conclusions, Elena.”
“I’m sorry. Am I sensing some history here?”
“Oh, Elena Fisher. Last year’s model.”
“That’s cute.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about romance and flirting. And
the first game that sort of started that whole trend came
out years ago. And it was Knights of the Old Republic.
It’s a spacer RPG set in Star Wars. So you’re like running
around and shooting aliens and then all of a sudden, your
sort of NPC character who’s your companion. There’s one
moment in the game when he says, “I’m all ears, beautiful.”
And that was the moment when I was like, he’s flirting with
me! And I felt those sorts of feelings that you feel you
know, like, does he like me? Did he mean that? Does he
think I’m beautiful? What’s going on? And it was like I was
responding to this character like it was a real person.
Really what’s happening, I think, when you fall in love
with somebody is you’re trying to get to know this other
person. But this other being is so complex and so
…you’ll never really fully understand their system.
And yet, it’s so delightful to constantly try. And in a
way, I feel like that matches perhaps to interaction with a
game system.
You constantly want to go back into it and explore and
discover new things about them that you didn’t know