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Psychonauts Developers Talk About Positivity in VR

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Getting in people’s heads.

Double Fine CEO Tim Schafer and Psychonauts in Rhombus of Ruin project lead Chad Dawson spoke about the power of positivity and empathy in VR.

In an interview with Gamespot, Schafer and Dawson opened up on issues both political and personal; discussion centered on the upcoming PSVR exclusive Psychonauts in Rhombus of Ruin, and about the current political climate.


When asked about the idea of making games within a political context, Schafer emphasized the importance of making a good game first and foremost:

“Our first priority is always to make great, entertaining experiences but we can’t separate that from the holistic picture of our team.”

On the brain-hopping nature of Psychonauts’ design, Schafer noted the inherent empathy involved:

“You notice they’re acting negatively in the real world, but when you’re in their head, you see it’s because they’re fighting a monster you can’t see. While all of this doesn’t seem like a political statement at first, I find that a lack of empathy is actually at the base of the trouble creating the political issues in the world.”

Chad Dawson spoke about the positive power that Developers have to affect change in people’s lives:

“Certainly, as developers, you might get frustrated with the state of things, and ask what you can do. For me, I look at what we make as entertainment that makes people happy. That’s the best experience; it’s fulfilling to be able to create something that makes people smile whenever they are having a hard day. Channeling that into our work and having that give us passion is important to us.”

Psychonauts in Rhombus of Ruin is a spin-off title that is scheduled for release on Feb. 21 for PSVR. Psychonauts 2 is currently planned for release in 2018.

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