Tandon in the News

VIDEO GAMES FOR GROWN-UPS

WITH GAMER DEMOGRAPHICS CHANGING FAST, “DEEP GAMES” OFFER CEREBRAL, ­CREATIVE—AND OFTEN OFFBEAT—CONTENT.


The office of Funomena, a small video-game company based in San Francisco's SOMA district, has all the creativity-enhancing knickknacks you expect in a Bay Area startup: clumps of clay, hydrophilic sand, a Lego mermaid, and what cofounderRobin Hunicke describes as other "stupid things we fiddle with." The idea is to set an atmosphere that's "more like a Montessori school than a game development studio," she says.

That makes sense: Funomena isn't like most other game companies. Its first commercial-project, Luna (which is not yet scheduled for release), will offer no high-caliber weapons, no alien-zombie invaders, and, most surprisingly, no scorekeeping of any sort. Instead, it will be an allegorical, grown-up fairy tale that explores how we might understand and integrate past traumatic experiences in order to grow and accept who we are now. Heady stuff for a video game.

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