Fast Five – Laura Crawford

In the lead up to this year’s festival, we’ve asked some of our speakers a set of Fast Five questions about their work and their thoughts on games in Australia. Today we have Laura Crawford, who is an academic in Games and Interactivity at Swinburne University. Laura will be be a panelist on the Self-Care for Game┬áDevelopers panel as part of the Online Festival.

What are you working on right now?

I am finishing a PhD in attraction to screen violence, beginning a study with colleagues on independent game development and developing a Psychology of Game Design subject.

What do you wish you worked on? Why?

In addition to the things I’m working on currently, I’d also like more time for a different kind of creativity. There is at least one game I want to make, a documentary that has been sitting with me for far too long and I also miss sculpture. Research and writing are creative in their own way but there’s a purity in art.

What’s an Australian game, old or new, digital or physical, that you find interesting?

There are so many and for a myriad of reasons. Framed is fascinating for the fact that it has lovingly utilised so many different items from pop culture, and made them into something completely different yet coherent and fun.

Flight Control has a special place in my heart too. It was one of the first games I bought for my shiny new iPad (I was a foolish early adopter); I fell deeply in love with the music and the way it sounded on my new device.

Of course as well there’s Captain Forever. That game is pure poetry. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking all at once.

Apologies for not sticking to just one… There are many more that didn’t make it on to the page!

What, for you, has been the biggest shift in games in Australia in the past ten years?

The most positive yet devastating shift in Australian games has been the mass closure or relocation of big studios around five years ago. It left many people sad, out of work and concerned for the future of the thing we love most to do. It left room for growth, though, and that manifestation of the loss into something bigger has been incredibly good for the Australian games industry. We now have a place, an identity and so much to be proud of.

What do you see yourself doing in another ten years?

Hopefully this. Though maybe in the Caribbean.