Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
I’m currently focused on my studio Tru Luv Media, a tiny video game studio based in Berlin where we make video games with people who don’t like video games. Our first game, #SelfCare, designed with Eve Thomas, a magazine editor and artist in Montreal, will be out later this year. I’ve never enjoyed making games so much as since I started making them with people who don’t like games. I also write a column for GamesIndustry.biz and travel frequently to speak at conferences, and I especially enjoy going to conferences in emerging game development communities in the Middle East and North Africa.
Brie's new business cards ?? pic.twitter.com/eohHaZWS7B
— Tru Luv Media (@truluvmedia) February 21, 2017
How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
I spent 2016 traveling full time speaking at conferences while starting my studio on the side. After many, many years working long hours in AAA game development, I had been planning to take a year off to travel and not to work. But in January I was invited to the Global Game Jam in Tunis and was so inspired by the incredibly talented developers I met there that I ended up traveling from conference to conference all year. I had also planned to make a series of tiny prototype games for fun, one per month, but I fell in love so much with the games that I decided to turn them each into full commercial games. So nothing went according to plan. It was a more magical, more expansive year than I ever could have planned.
However, American politics shocked me to my core and I spent the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 mourning my old, naive worldview and doing some serious introspection. I examined why I found my work meaningful and what video games could mean in this world as I now understood it. I emerged from that time with a vision of a future that I would want to live in, and then I started taking small steps towards it. In 2017 I have focused my studio on games about care and characters, moved it to Berlin, and am now preparing to release the first of six games we’re working on.
— Tru Luv Media (@truluvmedia) September 2, 2016
What are your plans for the future?
I think video games may have a very large role to play in the mid- to far-future. We are already living more and more in mixed reality. Our phones are the portals now but eventually we will have implants in our eyes. At the same time we’re automating jobs and I expect this may accelerate in the future. We will have more leisure time. I expect that the work that will remain will mainly involve care, entertainment, art, and sports. And for this new kind of work we will need a different education system, one that encourages caring and creative citizens rather than factory workers and bureaucrats. Play is how people, like animals, naturally learn. If some or all of this future comes to pass, video games will be very, very important. And they will need to be more responsible, deeper, more mature experiences. I want to try to get there. My first step is my little studio making games that are about care and characters.
What will you be talking about at this event?
At Mindtrek I’ll be talking about this potential future for video games. Are we headed for a dystopian future or can we use video games to imagine or perhaps even to bring a better world?
What inspired you to attend it?
Because my focus with video games is about making games for everyone, and especially making games for people who currently don’t like video games, I’m thrilled to be attending a conference that touches themes outside of video games. I’m excited to meet people from other tech industries who are also interested in prosocial technology. Plus I’ve just heard really great things about Mindtrek from some of my friends.
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
I get a lot of information from Twitter and from friends on a few different Slacks. I used to have a few custom Google News searches that I did once a day, but Facebook’s algorithm has, for better or worse, learned my habits well enough that it basically does my searches for me now. I also have a few Google Alerts set up for certain keywords. I read the New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Refinery 29 regularly.
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
Thanks for your time and I look forward to seeing you at Mindtrek!