Ep. 15: Grief, Game Development, and the Emotional Significance of Oatmeal

Andrea Ayres, creator of The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne, makes me feel a lot of things about hot cereal. The making of the Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne shows that oatmeal has more to do with grief and game development than you might expect. Born on the heels of grief at the loss of a parent, and influenced by Andrea’s personal experiences with social anxiety and an eating disorder, The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne is an interactive story about a painfully introverted college student who needs to make oatmeal in the communal kitchen of her dorm. While the game challenges you to find the right words to help Samantha as she embarks on her journey to the other side of her bedroom door, the development of the game itself challenged Andrea to explore her own relationship with mental health, anxiety, and loss.

This episode is part one of the “Developer Doldrums” series, a collection of conversations with game developers about the not-so-happy bits that hide behind the curtain of our digital play objects.

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Andrea Ayres is a founder and the head writer at Lemonsucker Games. She also writes about politics and representation in pop-culture and beyond. She enjoys coffee, cats, and phasing between inter-dimensional realities.

Stuff we mentioned…
The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne
Eating Disorders
Social Anxiety
Schlesinger’s Cat
Destiny 2
Journey 
Brie Code on the concepts of “Tend-and-Befriend” and “Fight-or-Flight” in video games
Samantha Browne at Indiecade 2016


JD (The Broad)
Website: GamingBroadly.com
Twitter: @JayDeeCepticon
Instagram: @JayDeeCepticon

Andrea Ayres (The Cast)
Twitter: @missafayres
Instagram: @afad435
Website: Ayresdeets.com
Lemonsucker Games: lemonsuckergames.com

Gaming Broad(cast) is the official podcast of GamingBroadly.com. Thank you to all those who have liked, subscribed, and commented about Gaming Broad(cast) on iTunes! You can also follow this podcast on PodbeanStitcherGoogle Music, or subscribe directly using our RSS feed. Wanna know more about JD’s feelings? Sign up for the occasional(ly) playful newsletter updates written just for you by JD herself. Thanks to Los Kurados for the use of their song “Rojo Y Azul” for the intro and outro music of our podcast.