Double Fine boss Tim Schafer has revealed that he’s eschewing “a grab bag of stereotypes” in order to make his games more inclusive and avoid “hurting people”.
In conversation with NMESchafer revealed that when he first started making games in the ’80s, there was “a lot less sensitivity,” but between developing 2005’s Psychonauts and the 2021 sequel, he’s “learned a lot” and “thinked about it.” , how [his] Art is interpreted by the viewer”.
“I thought I learned a lot and then we tested a game and people pointed out a word and asked if we knew what that word meant to certain people,” said the shepherd. “I had no idea – and people will criticize that and say ‘culture awakening, PC police’ and stuff like that – but with all art I think about how my art will be interpreted by the viewer.
“Some things that we did in the first game we didn’t do in the second game on purpose – but we’re just older and had more sensitivity to a lot of issues that naturally express themselves in the game,” added Schäfer. “It was really important – because it’s a comedy – that people knew that we’re not making fun of people, we’re looking at the human psyche in a humorous and loving way.
“When you’re told you hurt people [and it’s] a comedy, it shouldn’t hurt people,” said Schafer. “You obviously want to think about how your words are affecting people and make sure the artistic intent is successful. Do you use shameful words? Alienating depictions of people?
“The best writing is never based on stereotypes,” concluded Schafer. “The best writing is based on research, real-world dialogue, or your own personal experiences. It always makes for writing that is unique as opposed to a grab bag of stereotypes.”
Earlier this year, Schafer revealed that a film adaptation of one of his games isn’t something he’s interested in.
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