Chen: “It’s our games that make us assholes”

Tuesday, 3rd April 2012 11:00 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Journey developer Jenova Chen has told Eurogamer he believes it’s game content itself that turns people into multiplayer idiots.

Chen’s Journey features multiplayer in which you never know who you’re playing with an no one can talk to each other.

“None of us was born to be an asshole,” he said. “I believe that very often it’s not really the player that’s an asshole. It’s the game designer that made them an asshole. If you spend every day killing one another how are you going to be a nice guy? All console games are about killing each other, or killing one another together. Don’t you see? It’s our games that make us assholes.”

He added: “So what we try to do is spearhead emotional content. If the entire game industry is focusing on excitement and adrenaline rushes, well, then I will look at peace, or love. That way we can expand the perception of what games can be and can accomplish. That’s why I make games. That’s why I am on this journey.”

Journey’s multiplayer was completely non-competitive, and involved players appearing in each others’ worlds to play together with no communication.

There’s a ton more through there.



  1. LOLshock94

    hippie lol

    #1 3 years ago
  2. soqquatto

    I know that trolling is an art, but what’s the point in being purposefully an asshole? Chen has a point and makes good games where he demonstrates his theories as well.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Deacon

    Young gamers obsessed with trophy-whoring, profile-hacking, cheat-codes and walkthroughs are definitely fucking assholes too though Chen. The sort who don’t actually seek any sort of challenge from their games, they only wish to exploit their way to the gold trophy and fuck others over in MP.

    I’ve got a lot of respect for the way Chen thinks. I wonder if there will ever be a competitive TGC game, and how that would end up.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. fightclubdoll

    Depends on the games one plays, the company one keeps, and the choices one makes…

    He needed to attend MOLYJAM …but I get what he’s saying.

    Adrenaline junkies are prone to character issues, always have been, since the days of the caveman. Eventually people need balance, that’s life. Perspective is critical. Those who lack it, cheat themselves.

    Games don’t make people into what they allow themselves to be… but if the games make it worse, try different games and better companions. I wouldn’t abuse my friends… I wouldn’t have them if I did. If a game makes me miserable, I don’t keep playing it either. I dislike jerks… I’m not perfect, but I do respect myself and others for not being jerks. It all comes down to putting some care into good choices, perspective, attitude, and the things we do, including the words we choose to use.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. _LarZen_

    This article is bullshit.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Freek

    Having orginized several LAN parties where allot of people played shooters, I can safely say: no, playing a killing game does not automaticly turn you into an assholes. Lots of gamers are really nice people, regardless of what they play.


    Seems more plausible.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – This article has made you an asshole. I will seek to imbue my writing with more love.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    Sorry but i dont agree with him, basecally because the way a gamer behaves while gaming is the same way he behaves in real life, i mean if a person is rude using a lot of bad words online, chances are he/she is the same way in his day to day basis, maybe he /she will be not as direct in front of people becuase he/she will be constraining for obvious reasons, but at his/her core it will be a rude person, and on the contrair a nice person in real life, it will be a nice person while playing games, even if those games are violent or not.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Deacon

    @8 I think he’s speaking about online multiplayer, in that most games have us attacking and effectively being an ‘asshole’ to others. I don’t think he’s implying that idiots in gaming are idiots in real life, though I’m sure those stats would correlate somewhat.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. PEYJ


    Spot on sir/madam. I agree completely.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. ToxicCrusader

    He definitely has a point though. All recent franchises after their first or even second game which focus on shooting one another features multiplayer now (Uncharted, Mass Effect, BioShock etc). Not that it is a bad thing though, but it’s a very good observation he has made.

    And as for Journey itself, it’s way of seamlessly integrating the co-op/multiplayer was absolutely sensational.

    #11 3 years ago

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