Robin Hunicke is an American video game designer and producer, as well as a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz. She is probably most known as the producer of Journey, and is also the co-founder of Funomena. She is recognized for her support of independent game development, experimentation in game design, and her research in dynamic game balancy. She is also known for her advocacy of women in the game industry. Hunicke holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and is currently finishing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence with a focus on Games/Game Design from Northwestern in her spare time.
What I find interesting about Hunicke is that I believe she does (while she does not state explicity) support the idea that games can move beyond simply entertainment and into art. Hunicke aspires to make games that mean something to people, not just to those that are fans of the game, the “gamers.” Her work on the Sims, Journey, and her recent side projects Wattam and Luna really demonstrates the way that her work has been focused on how video games relate to life.
“I want games to be an event — I want them to be a social, fun experience if they can be,” says Hunicke. “Or, I want them to be a moving, emotional experience — like one of those really intense art films that you take your secret crush to, hoping that it turns into a really awesome date.That’s what I want games to be for people. I don’t want them to be just this pasttime on the train or a way to immerse yourself so you forget about your life. I want them to be a part of your life, in a way that helps you reach new places in your life.”