80 Days writer thinks you should stop playing the hero

“Protagonists have had their way for too long,” declared Meg Jayanth, the writer behind 2014’s 80 Days and a contributor to last year’s Sunless Sea. At her GDC talk on Monday, Jayanth took the stage to instruct a room full of game designers to transgress one of the most fundamental conceits of their craft: “Forget your protagonist,” or, in other words, forget the player. Almost since their inception, videogame worlds have bended backwards to the whim and ego of the player-protagonist, leading to conventions like leveling up and the Badass Anti-Hero With A Gun cliche. Of course, arguments against the classic power fantasy narrative aren’t new, either. You don’t even have to…

80 Days ConversationPiracy

Meg Jayanth’s quest to amplify marginalized voices in videogames

You embark on a wager to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. Your journey might be made on the slow trudge of mechanized camels, aboard whisper-quick copper airships that defy gravity, or even on a certain famous submarine, many leagues under the sea. Your travels might even find you flirting with death. These journeys, and many more, are available to you in the world of Inkle studio’s 80 Days (2014), the world that writer Meg Jayanth built. As a brown female writer in videogames, Jayanth is something of a rarity and, taking into consideration the haul of awards…