- Role: Streamer/Developer
- Company: Moon Blade Productions
- Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
QRM got to chat with Jolie Irene, a streamer and game developer at Moon Blade Productions!
QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?
Jolie: I'm an avid gamer, streamer/let's player, and I'm starting out creating my own games as the founder of Moon Blade Productions.
QRM: How long have you been involved in the game industry, and what projects have you worked on? What are you working on currently?
Jolie: I'm currently working on a short dystopian visual novel named Atlas in which the main characters need to pass an exam set forth by their teachers in order to be let out into the outside world.
QRM: What inspired you to get started in the games industry?
Jolie: I just really love games as a media and I have so many story ideas that I believe would be fun to play in a game.
QRM: In what ways do you feel your experiences as a queer person manifest in the games you work on, and influence the work you do?
Jolie: It influences a lot of what I do. There are several stories I look at and strive to improve because I feel as if it would be more fun or make more sense if certain elements of the story or the cast were queer.
QRM: Do you have a favourite queer character—in games or media more generally? If so, what is it about them that makes them your favourite?
Question asked by @kamienw.
Jolie: I love Ellie from The Last of Us because I love how spunky and badass she is. I also have a lot of favorites from Dragon Age, but my most favorite is Iron Bull. I kinda attached to him when I heard he was pansexual (since I am too) and I just fell in love with his character after seeing the cutscene where your character gives him the dragon tooth, especially since that scene is so silly.
QRM: Have you ever encountered roadblocks in trying to include queer characters in games? What do you think is preventing greater diversity within games?
Question asked by @dustinalex91.
Jolie: There's roadblocks in the community, though I would argue this mostly comes from fans of larger game companies, where fans are outraged by harmless representation. There's also roadblocks in companies themselves where they write in queer characters but kill them off before they receive any good character development or right after they show affection for someone of the same gender.
QRM: Why do you think it is important that queer audiences are able to see themselves represented in the games they play, and in the developers who make the games they see? What can we do to improve the industry for queer audiences and devs?
Jolie: It's important because it lets viewers know they're not the only ones, there's others like them out there. It fills both kids and adults alike with hope. I believe one way to improve the industry is to hire more queer creators to create these stories and cast queer actors which fit the character they play.
QRM: Have you ever mentored somebody in your role in games, or been mentored? If so, what made these experiences worthwhile for you?
Question asked by @pepelanova.
Jolie: I haven't mentored or been mentored.
QRM: In what ways can non-queer folk increase and support queer diversity present within games, as well as in the industry more broadly? How can we all work to support intersectional approaches to diversity, and why is this important?
Jolie: There's two ways to support each other: share our work and hire more queer creators, especially intersectionally.
You can find more about Jolie's game work on Twitter.