Interview | Christine Love on Digital
Interview: Christine Love on Digital: A Love Story
Lewis Denby catches up with the creator of one of the most delightful indie releases of the year, DIGITAL: A LOVE STORY.
EARLIER THIS year, Toronto-based writer Christine Love released an indie game which quickly became one of my favourites in a long time. It seems I wasn’t the only one. The cutely subtitled Digital: A Love Story quickly flung itself around the internet, receiving rave reviews pretty much everywhere it was downloaded.
Yesterday, I realised I’d never got round to speaking with Christine about the game. Taking note of the time difference, I very professionally got in touch in the middle of the night UK time, and demanded an immediate interview. Fortunately, instead of telling me precisely where to fuck off to, she agreed to sit down over her dinner (not literally) and chat to me about the various themes of her game.
Do note: what follows contains some pretty enormous spoilers. You should absolutely play through the (free) game first – not only because it’s pretty much imperative to go into it unawares of what will happen, but moreover because I consider it essential game-time for anyone with even a speck of soul. Play it to completion, which will take you around an hour, then read on…
Resolution Magazine: So, forgive me – I have absolutely no questions prepared. But I do have coffee.
Christine Love: Well, I think your priorities are in the right order there.
RM: Absolutely. I might as well begin thus: did you ever think that in 2010 you’d make what would go on to be considered, by many people, one of the great indie games of the year?
CL: Honestly, the idea of being considered an indie game maker never even occured to me until well after I finished Digital, and others started to throw around the term. To me it was just a fun little writing project that couldn’t possibly appeal to many people other than me. I figured I’d get my usual readership: a couple dozen of my friends, tops.
RM: It’s your first large-scale “game”, correct?
CL: It’s certainly the biggest I’ve done. I’ve done littler games, and longer-form traditional fiction, but nothing of that scope before.
RM: What kickstarted the project, then? Where did the idea of Digital emerge from?
CL: I can’t really say it came from anywhere in particular. I’ve definitely always been fascinated by that pre-internet era. The idea of a highly immersive mystery game inside a computer was something that was kicking around in my head for ages, but I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work. It wasn’t until I realised, “Duh, a silent protagonist,” that the whole thing came together.
RM: So what sparked the idea of doing something interactive instead of simply writing it as prose, as a majority of your work – correct me if I’m wrong here, by the way – is?
CL: Well, I’ve been fascinated by the Japanese medium of visual novels for a while now, and have done a couple myself before. Having the power to punctuate prose with music and animation is really interesting, I think. I’ve been drifting slowly towards more interactive works, and initially I just saw Digital as an extension of that.