GDC 2013: Anna Anthropy Interview
„It’s an entirely different world of video games.“
Und dann stand ich beim GDC Indie Games Summit an, um in den Vortrag über Mark of the Ninja zu kommen und traf Anna Anthropy, queere Spielemacherin extraordinaire und Indie Fresse-Schutzpatronin. Ich habe sie mutig von ihrem Freundeskreis getrennt und sofort mit Fragen bombardiert.
Anna Anthropy, what the hell are you doing here?
God, I don’t even know, I’m asking myself that question every morning. No, I’m doing 3 talks and hopefully one talk at the Lost Levels Unconference on Thursday, which I’m frankly more excited about. It’s all about accessibility, a more universal idea of what games can be. A bunch of people are signed up to give 10 minute speeches. And I’m signed up to give one of those and I haven’t figured out what I’m speaking about. BUT! The whole thing will be really wonderful and it’s free during GDC which is rad.
By the way, I really loved Triad. It drove me insane!
It drove me insane, too. The last time I was in a triad an ongoing conflict in the relationship was the fact that we couldn’t actually fit everyone in the bed together. It’s a silly situation. When I was thinking up the game I was thinking about it not having a solution at all. The solution was to break up. But as a mechanical puzzle it is solvable. But there is no solution that makes everyone happy.
How long did you work on it?
Better part of a month, I guess. I drew everything and I was trying to program it for myself and then I realized: The reason why I’m making so many Twine games is that I hate programming. So I got Leon to do that, and once I did that we were golden. He just did all the work and I released the game!
Twine games, that seems really important right now.
It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened in video games. For the first time in the history of contemporary video games all these voices who previously have been barred to contributing to video games are suddenly able to. If you can write a story you can use Twine. And that’s a lot of people. A lot of people have not been able to surmount the skill barrier of making games. If you look at Twine it’s representative of authors who are queer, trans, genderqueer, people of color. There is such an incredibly array of…it’s an entirely different world of video games. Nothing drives this home better than being here at GDC, which is the complete opposite. Finally, in 2013, I can say that the most important games right now are made and they are made by women and queer people.
Can you recommend anything to get into that?
Oh god, what a hard question. Okay, just gonna recommend every game I can think of. So Howling Dogs by Porpentine, Rat Chaos by j chastaine, At the Bonfire by Erin Stephens-North, Brace by Merrit Kopas.
If you look at my Twine tutorial, there’s a bunch of recommended games at the bottom. And if you look at my blog, I regularly post: These are the Twine games I’ve been playing lately. There’s so many! It’s really exciting, that I can barely keep up. I used to cry out in bliss every time in 6 months when there would be a really cool queer game. And now it happens every week. And I am so proud. It’s like having a kid and waking up to realize that they’ve gotten smarter than you.
In Rise of the Videogame Zinesters you wrote about that same thing and Twine seems so useful for the things you advocated.
Yeah, I wrote that book about how everyone should make games and then Twine was my dream come true. It was the community I wanted to exist.
How’s the book doing?
The book apparently is doing well, which is not reflected in my royalties. It sold well enough to go into second printing, the publisher is just really shitty. They don’t pay me, really. But that’s okay. What I do is, I buy copies of my own book off them with my discount and then I sell those and I make money that way. But my second book just came out. It’s called Star Wench – Choose Your Own Death. This is my first book of fiction and you can buy it on Amazon, right now.
How has that been doing?
For a brief moment it was the 69th best-selling graphic novel on Amazon.com. I’m just really glad it’s in print, I’ve been working on it for 3 years. It’s been a background project. Whenever I needed to take a break from Dys4ia I would write on it. I’m really happy it’s out. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book where every page describes a way that you die.
It’s fantastic. It’s the best thing I ever made representing my own identity.
What are you working on right now?
Getting through GDC? I’m going to make a game for a Kickstarter for a movie that’s called Gaming in Color, which is about queer people in games. So I’m making a game available as part of their Kickstarter. It’s probably going to be a Carmen Sandiego type of game which is all I know so far.
Thank you so much for your time, Anna!