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EA's O'Brien:  Mirror's Edge  Takes Whedonesque Cues On Dystopia

EA's O'Brien: Mirror's Edge Takes Whedonesque Cues On Dystopia Exclusive

June 6, 2008 | By Christian Nutt, Staff

June 6, 2008 | By Christian Nutt, Staff
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview on EA DICE's first-person action title Mirror's Edge, senior producer Owen O'Brien has been explaining the subtle overtones to the dystopian, parkour-inspired title, referencing Joss Whedon's Serenity as a key thematic inspiration.

The game from the Swedish-headquartered Battlefield franchise creators is a first-person adventure title with an intriguing context-sensitive, dynamic action set, and O'Brien explains of the story:

"I think what I want to do is... It's very easy to look at this game, to misunderstand this game, and say, it's one girl against this police-state dictatorship. It's not. It's more subtle than that.

One of the core questions that the game asks you is, how much of your personal freedom are you willing to give up for a comfortable life?

And the other sort of theme for the game is, you can't force other people to live by your rules and your society, even if your society is better..."

Continuing, the Mirror's Edge overseer explains how Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator Joss Whedon has influenced some of the key thematic elements of the title:

"To be very honest, I'm a big Joss Whedon fan, and a lot of the things in the story of the game came from Firefly and Serenity. I was listening to this director's commentary [on the DVD of Serenity]...

So, actually, that sentence that I just used is actually a direct quote from Joss Whedon; the basis of Firefly and Serenity is, you can't force other people to live by your system, even if your system is better. These people want to live on the edge of that society.

Again, in Serenity, The Operative actually says, "This is not an evil empire. We just don't understand why you don't want to be part of our happy club."

Obviously, they take it too far, and similarly, that's kind of what happens in our game as well: the mayor of the city decides to take things a step too far."

You can now read the full Gamasutra interview with O'Brien, including lots more specifics on the game's prototyping, iteration, use of Scrum and outsourcing, and much more.

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