Journey Creator’s Next Project Is To Gain More Cultural Respect For Video Games


Ten years ago, Jenova Chen released Journey to show the world that videogames were art. Everyone agrees that they are.

He then asks: “Why do they not get the cultural respect that they deserve?”

“You go to a party and someone asks you what you do. If you say, ‘I write scripts for movies’…They treat you as if you are an author of a book or a poet…You’re a servant for the public. If I say that I work in games in 2005, they respond with, “You know about the Columbine massacre?” The congressmen stated that these men are making violent children. People are saying, “I heard you guys make lots of money.”‘…This is what people are asking. If you are a casino owner, this is the only time they might ask such questions.

Official Screenshots of Journey

“These are our days working on something else because, now [we’ve proven they’re]How come art is still not respected by people? These games like Flower, Journey and others were found in the Smithsonian, MOMA, and other contemporary galleries. I believed this would raise public appreciation for games. After all, how can it be that game art is less than other forms of art ? What else can you do to improve the public’s perception of games?

Chen says that one reason for the ongoing struggle to get gaming cultural respect is the growing mobile market. He also cites the rise of free-to play games and what he considers predatory monetization tactics. Although he has published multiple mobile games and acknowledges the existence of artistic mobile games, Chen says that the overreliance on these business models has hampered the general perception of games as art.

We are currently working on something new because now [we’ve proven they’re]How come art is still not respected by people?

“As a console programmer, I feel mixed about how to respond to it. While we are able to have 10 times as many players, the question is where the money is going. Where is the talent going? What should we be focusing on? In 2012, I was very happy to see more AAA games become more artistic and have more emotional power. But suddenly, there are tens of million of new games that are completely different from those older games. These games have free-to-play and prey-monetization. These mobile games have influenced the reputation of games, more than anything on consoles. That’s why people treat me like I run casinos.

“To me, this is my most saddest realization about the change in a decade. It doesn’t matter how much we worked in console because it’s diluted due to mobile and this new group.

Chen cannot give us any more information about his project, or how it will challenge existing conventions. However, he confirms that Sky, his mobile game, won’t be going anywhere. Thatgamecompany is likened to pirates who are always looking for new treasure and exploring. Now that Sky is available, their jobs have been split.

“One thing that I joke about is that we finally found one treasure [Sky]. Because the treasure is deep within the mine, pirates are no longer possible. We must dig it up so we have this service operation with hundreds, which is a whole new stage of our lives. Deep down, though, I am still a pirate.”

Rebekah is a news journalist for IGN. You can find her on twitter @duckvalentine.


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