Joey is Hamilton

Joey Comeau writes the hilarious and sometimes heavy-soul-hitting webcomic A Softer World (with photographic help from Emily Horne).

He also has various other side projects, one of which is called i am other people – joey interviews people. Comeau’s most current interview was with Hamilton Chu, a Director of Special Projects for Blizzard Entertainment (and previous producer of Halo and Halo 2). The interview reads more like a conversation, and doesn’t have anything directly to do with Blizzard or its projects (NDA FTW!). So, if you’re expecting more news on Diablo III, Starcraft II, Wrath of the Lich King, or the as yet announced MMO, I’d steer clear.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty compelling read. As pertains to this blog, I found one paragraph by Chu particularly interesting:

But I’m not sure I believe you. Are you saying that if there were no personal glory, you wouldn’t write? It seems like such an integral part of you. Maybe it doesn’t bother me because it’s SO clear where my glory might or might not come from. You’ve had the delightful onus of having read some of my personal work. You were very polite about it, but I have no illusions that it’s some fantastic work. Still, I enjoyed the creation. Maybe it’s that the personal adulation you receive is so much more intense than anything I come in contact with. I mean, it seems like with every update you have fans who literally post within seconds something like, “Oh! Joey! You know how life really is! I loves you!” For us, there are certainly VERY ardent fans of WoW or Halo or what have you, but it feels like it’s on a much less personal level. Your work especially revolves around views on life and love and relationships and self worth – things that can strike very deeply for people. I think that develops a very different relationship with fans than most games do.

Contact with Joey is pretty easy. His LiveJournal often talks of various things that catch his eye (sometimes even contemplating or reviewing games he may be playing), and he frequently posts links to his comics, which fans comment on and often compliment, much as Chu states. There is a very real and direct connection to the artist.

How personal do we allow ourselves to get with games? How about their artists, designers, directors, producers? It’s probably the two examples Chu cites (both of which inspire fans, but in a vastly different way), as I know I have grown very attached to some games, but only to a few of the artists behind the scenes.

As we’ve seen with recent conversations in and about Braid, however, when there are fewer artists directing the scenes, it is much easier to focus on the creator as well as the art. Other times you have people such as Denis Dyack (oh how I get tired of people misspelling his name with two n’s), who willingly throw themselves into the fray.

We’ve seen the other side of the coin recently as well, with the questionable treatment of those who’ve worked on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, but are no longer with the company and whether or not they are receiving credit. Videogames tend to be massive works of art, or at least the ones we most often seem to discuss. It’s useful to remember just how many people may have worked on these projects.


About Denis Farr

Writer interested in intersectionality, games, comics, nerdy stuff in general, theater, and how it all mixes. Graduate of Wabash College, with studies in Theater, English, German, and Gender Studies.
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