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How Making Games Helped Her Deal With Evil

by Simon Parkin
Kotaku

[Editor’s note: Brenda Romero is Program Director for the UC Santa Cruz Master’s in Games + Playable Media and the CEO and Co-Founder of Loot Drop, game studio focused on fun. More about Romero here.]

In the autumn of 2006 the game designer Brenda Romero suffered what she describes as a severe romero-graphicassault. In the weeks following the attack she lay numb in bed.

(Warning: This story includes some brief references to sexual assault.)

“I chain-watched Grey’s Anatomy because I couldn’t think,” she said during a talk titled ‘The Prototyping of Tragedy’ delivered at the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference, the only time that she has spoken publicly, albeit in brief, about the attack.

Her mind, she recalled, was immobile in the shadow of one unanswerable question: “Why the fuck would someone like that do something like this to someone like me?”

After a while of lying with the pain and confusion, she began to tackle the question in the only way that she knew how: through game design. “I didn’t want to live with this thing in me, so I started to explore pain and evil as a system,” she said. “I started designing a video game level in my head. I thought maybe this would help me to understand.”

Romero: “If I were a musician I might write a song…But I am a game designer: I have to process systemically.

Her mind, she recalled, was immobile in the shadow of one unanswerable question: “Why the fuck would someone like that do something like this to someone like me?”

After a while of lying with the pain and confusion, she began to tackle the question in the only way that she knew how: through game design. “I didn’t want to live with this thing in me, so I started to explore pain and evil as a system,” she said. “I started designing a video game level in my head. I thought maybe this would help me to understand.”

To continue reading the full article: http://kotaku.com/brenda-romeros-quest-for-healing-1595394683

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Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

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