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Thatgamecompany co-founder (and creator of PlayStation 3 adventure Journey) Jenova Chen thinks that most games lack the mature themes and depth required to appeal to adults.
“My biggest complaint for computer games so far is they are not good enough for adults,” Chen told Gamasutra in a recent interview. “For adults to enjoy something, they need to have intellectual stimulation, something that’s related to real life. Playing poker teaches you how to deceive people, and that’s relevant to real life. A headshot with a sniper rifle is not relevant to real life. Games have to be relevant intellectually.”
Gamers and critics alike commended Journey for its ability to stir emotions without relying on traditional storytelling tropes like dialogue. GamesBeat’s review of the PlayStation 3 exclusive called the title, “…an archetypal story of the struggle we go through in life as we tackle any tough mission.” Certainly sounds more relevant to an adult than getting a triple kill with a rocket launcher.
“Can games make you and another human experience an emotion that’s deep enough to touch adults? I’m working on all of that. Making emotional games and making them intellectually relevant, making games where people can connect and come together,” said Chen, who had previously stated that PlayStation Network players are more likely to be interested in artistic games.
Thatgamecompany’s previous titles, Flower and Flow, were also unique, artistic takes on simple game mechanics. The studio is currently working on an unannounced new project.