The Matrix Online, internet fury, and being an empathic robot with Eric Ford

Get to know the people who make great videogames

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Eric Ford was working in game development back when he was still in college, but not in the way that you might think. He wasn’t just another kid fooling around with Flash or GameMaker in his spare time. He was working for Monolith on The Matrix Online. In fact, for some, he was The Matrix. It was his job to write in-game scenarios and puzzles, and actual perform as NPCs in the massive multi-player online game. The lines between reality and internet, and between playing the game and being the game, were often paper thin.

In discovering Eric’s past in The Matrix, it made all the more sense that he would go on to make a game like Social Justice Warriors. So many people today treat Twitter like a game of moral/social superiority, spending hours a day attacking anyone they deem different and/or emotionally threatening like they would an enemy NPC, using words to try to evoke shame, guilt, or other negative status ailments. We talked all about that phenomena, Eric’s past work in robotics, his plans for designing procedurally generated narratives, Black Ice, and a lot more. 

Thanks again to Eric for hanging out with us, and be sure to check out today’s show with Jordi de Paco of Deconstruction team (Gods Will Be Watching) at 4pm. It’s going to be a hoot!

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes