Jenova Chen: “It’s the games that make us assholes”

Posted By | On 03rd, Apr. 2012

Jenova Chen, the co-founder of Thatgamecompany had a lot to say in a lengthy interview with Eurogamer. He mentioned that the reason people behave like “assholes” in multiplayer is because of how the game is designed.

“None of us was born to be an asshole. I believe that very often it’s not really the player that’s an asshole. It’s the game designer that made them an asshole. If you spend every day killing one another how are you going to be a nice guy?”

“All console games are about killing each other, or killing one another together. Don’t you see? It’s our games that make us assholes,” he added.

So he revealed the reason why he created Journey’s unique multiplayer experience.

“So what we try to do is spearhead emotional content. If the entire game industry is focusing on excitement and adrenaline rushes, well, then I will look at peace, or love.

“That way we can expand the perception of what games can be and can accomplish. That’s why I make games. That’s why I am on this journey,” he said.

He also said that his way of creating the game was successful and he received positive messages from gamers.

“I had messages from people in Japan saying they had cried while playing. Someone even told me I was a beautiful person for making this game. My entire life and nobody told me I was a beautiful person. So I sat back and wondered: what went right? What’s the difference between this game and the others?

“The only difference I could think of was that the game makes you feel differently. In that moment I realised this was my life calling. Rather than being a film or animation director I could change what people see games as. I’d go as far as to say I feel like I have a responsibility to do it.”

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