I think games, as a medium,
are powerful. And it’s even stronger when you try
to make a game about reality; about real life events. And that’s definitely what we tried
to make with Bury me, my Love. I’ve been a journalist for 10 years
and I’ve been a video games player for my entire life.
And one day, I thought: what happens if I try
to make video games about real life? And that’s kind of how I got into
making video games, just with this idea. When I first read this article
on the French newspaper Le Monde, it was by Lucie Soullier,
a French journalist, and it was about a young Syrian migrant
named Dana, and how Dana was able to stay in touch
with her family thanks to her smart phone. Nowadays, most migrants
have a smart phone, for them it’s not a luxury.
They use it to stay in touch with their friends and family,
exactly the way I would talk to my friends or my Mother. This was super powerful,
and I definitely thought it would be a strong basis
for a reality inspired game. So I got in touch with Lucie,
and thanks to Lucie, we got in touch with Dana,
and they both helped us make the most believable
and realistic game possible. Are you able to see inside
the boat or was there just too many people in the boat? There was too many people on the boat,
but the smugglers organized us, we can’t stand.
I just saw the people, the sky, and how far we are going from Turkey. This must have been so terrifying. Once they were on board,
I knew that we would have the good input, in order to be right in
the way we were going to tell this story. Bury me, my Love’s story
is about Nour and Majd. They are split apart because Nour
wants to leave Syria and reach Europe and safety,
but Majd cannot come with her. The only way they have to stay in touch
is their cell phones, and you are going to play as Majd,
and try to advise and support Nour as best you can in order for her
to reach her destination safely. Dana has been useful, and her story
has been incredibly inspiring, but we wanted to tell
thousands of stories, thousands of destinies of
thousands of different people who go in different directions
and end up in different places. Going to the refugee center was also
very strong for me to understand what it’s like
to be in this situation. Obviously, winning the Google Play
Indie Games Contest was huge. And I was so happy for all the team
and for everybody who was involved in the game. Most of all, I was happy because
it sends a message: if you do a game about the real world
and very sensitive topics, there’s a committee of
seasoned professionals that say “Okay, this is interesting, this is
the game that struck us as something new.” I hope lots of other game devs notice that
and try to go the same path. Did it change the mind about migrants?
That I don’t know. But I’m not an activist,
I just want them to be moved and to care.
My first aim making the game was not to change peoples mind,
it was to tell the story.