An Au­di­ence With…

The award-win­ning game de­signer on the ethics of al­ter­ing re­al­ity

EDGE - - SECTIONS - BY JEN SIMPKINS Pho­tog­ra­phy June Kim

Award-win­ning game de­signer Robin Hu­nicke dis­cusses the ethics of al­ter­ing re­al­ity

Robin Hu­nicke’s busi­ness card reads ‘ CEO/ Em­path’. In­deed, there are many sides to the game de­signer. Best known for her work on

Jour­ney, she is now co-founder of ex­per­i­men­tal indie-game stu­dio Funom­ena, cur­rently pre­par­ing to launch VR and PC fairy­tale puz­zler Luna while work­ing on the typ­i­cally wacky Keita Taka­hashi ti­tle, Wat­tam, due next year. She is also, by her own ad­mis­sion, the kind of per­son with “sen­si­tive an­ten­nae: if I go into a room full of peo­ple, one of my first feel­ings is if some­one is un­happy, I al­ways know it.”

Her work with mod­ern videogame tech­nol­ogy and her com­pas­sion­ate na­ture of­ten clash and com­bine to cre­ative ef­fect. Here, Hu­nicke dis­cusses Wat­tam’s re­turn with new pub­lisher Annapurna In­ter­ac­tive, her long-time friend­ship with Taka­hashi, and the tech­ni­cal, eth­i­cal and per­sonal chal­lenges of de­sign­ing for vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity.

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