Monday, October 12, 2009

Leaps of Faith - Eric Viennot interview with Jordan Mechner and Eric Chahi

One of the most fascinating aspects of videogame history concerns the spiritual nexus that unites Jordan Mechner and Eric Chahi. Working in completely different rhythms and proportions, not to mention in opposite sides of the Atlantic, their creative stance has resulted in fairly similar works given the context of their release, especially with the case of PRINCE OF PERSIA and ANOTHER WORLD. While Mechner's game was published two years earlier, Chahi has recently claimed that, at the time he created his masterpiece, he wasn't aware of his North-American counterpart's work. Considering Chahi's answer to this old question as a truthful retortion - and there is no plausible reason to question its integrity - then we are in the presence of a true videogame phenomenon.

The idea of uniting Mechner and Chahi was suggested on several occasions as the critical solution to this ancient conundrum that would confront and dispel all of the enduring myths. Making this long-held daydream a reality, the two creators were interviewed by Eric Viennot, the co-founder of the French studio Lexis Numérique and the creator of the cult classic IN MEMORIAM (see profile and interview by CoreGamers on February 2007).

An authority among France's most prodigious adepts of digital arts, Viennot is also very keen on videogame culture. Surprisingly, as explained in the introduction to this first part of the entire dialogue, the interview resulted from Jordan Mechner's initial request for help in establishing contact with Chahi. Seizing this exceptional opportunity in the role of an intermediate, Eric Viennot has drafted a number of stimulating enquiries regarding each of the interviewees’ perspectives and motivations through the course of their careers. Apart from providing a definite confirmation that Eric Chahi is involved in the creation of a new project, this interview is unquestionably one of the most important documents related to this peculiar chapter of videogame history.

No comments: