Minority Media, the talented team behind Papo & Yo and the upcoming game Silent Enemy, is all class. The small indie studio made up of devs with a strong AAA background formed around Papo, founder Vander Caballero’s quiet, puzzle-driven meditation on the tumultuous relationship he had with his father, an alcoholic. Silent Enemy, the studio’s next game, explores the realities of bullying. Both games look at their subject matter using a hefty dose of magical realism.
The studio’s work to date speaks to a thoughtful team stringing all of those 1s and 0s together, so it’s no surprise to see this touching open reply from Minority social media manager Rommel to an anonymous letter sent by a fan. The specifics of the 5-page handwritten letter are only briefly mentioned – it sounds like it’s a private matter – but the public nod of appreciation to the unnamed fan’s words is… well. It’s nice, that’s all.
“I read your moving letter the moment it got to our studio and felt that the team would love to know about you. So, we called a meeting and I read them your gripping story out loud,” Rommel writes. “I had to stop every other paragraph to regain my composure; your story is an overwhelming one and your courage is inspiring.”
“When I was finished reading your letter to the team and I looked back at them, I saw in their faces that you had given them strength.”
The post goes on to note that the letter is now pinned to the studio’s public bulletin board “so that you may constantly remind us why we do what we do.”
I know this isn’t exactly breaking news, but I think we as gamers often get so wrapped up in play that we lose sight of the inklings of inspiration that fuel good ideas. Sometimes it’s as simple as a cool take on action, and sometimes, as Minority demonstrated with Papo & Yo, it’s rooted somewhere deeper, more personal. We saw a lot of more thoughtful work emerge in games over the course of 2013 – look no further than Digital Trends’ Game of the Year Gone Home for proof of that – and when I spotted this post from Minority, I felt it was worth taking a moment to highlight that.
Games can make us laugh and games can make us cry, but don’t ever forget that they’re born in the minds and experiences of real people. Thank you for sharing this, Minority. To paraphrase your own response to this nameless fan, thanks for reminding us why you do what you do.