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Monday, May 16, 2016

Jenova Chen: Chinese-born (Xinghan Chen) American Independent Game Creator

The Gaming Guru: Matthew Baker interviews Jenova Chen

The Chinese video game artist on emotion-centered play, collaboration beyond language, and the next generation of indie blockbusters.

Matthew Baker | May 16, 2016

In the mid 1990s, in the booming metropolis of Shanghai, a teenager named Xinghan Chen played through a pirated copy of a video game called The Legend of Sword and Fairy. Never released in the US, and still unknown to most Americans, the game quickly developed a cult following in China for its emotionally expressive narrative. Chen, whose parents hadn’t allowed him to read novels or watch movies, was especially moved. “At the time, nobody was expecting a video game would tell you a touching story, [or] would talk about sacrifice, love, all of these things,” he recalls. The game left him weeping. In the catharsis that followed, Chen began, for the first time, to ask himself fundamental questions: “Who am I? Why am I here? What is the right way of living?” He would later come to identify this as his first encounter with art.

"Jenova Chen...the visionary designer of the award-winning games Cloud, flOw, Flower, and most recently Journey. After earning a bachelor's degree for computer science in his hometown of Shanghai, Chen moved to Los Angeles, where he got a master's degree in the founding class of University of Southern California's Interactive Media and Games Division. Following school, he founded thatgamecompany with fellow graduates, where he remains its Founder and Creative Director." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Welcome to Jenova Chen's Homepage) and (An interview with Jenova Chen: How Journey’s creator went bankrupt and won game of the year. February 8, 2013)>

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