Pro Story Telling : Games became the place for me to express my art

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“I was never the kind of sophisticated art student who’d spend their days in museums and galleries. Equally, my work never fit the manga tradition. I had to find my place. Video games became the place for me to express my art.”

– Fumito Ueda, Japanese game designer and onetime art student, speaking to The New Yorker about his work in game development.

After almost ten years in development, Team Ico’s animal compassion sim The Last Guardian is out on PlayStation 4 this week. As you might expect, the game’s launch — roughly five years after its original release date — is being heralded with a bouquet of reviews, thinkpieces and interviews.

The New Yorker’s brief interview with game director Fumito Ueda is among them, and devs may appreciate the insight it provides into how Ueda’s background as an art student shapes the way he approaches game design.

It also includes some fun anecdotes about some of the art he created before joining Sony, including a staged street fight that went wrong and a (Sony-sponsored!) competition for young Japanese artists in which Ueda spent roughly $1k of Sony’s money to build a art installation in a shopping mall that lobbed dirt at people.

“I wanted to make something that would have more of a lasting impact than a painting,” Ueda told The New Yorker. “I wanted people to go home and find soil on their shirt or in their hair. That would be memorable art, I thought.”

For more details about his “subterranean cat” installation art, as well as how his background as an artist shapes his (notoriously painstaking) approach to game development, check out the full article over on The New Yorker’s website..