Death is an Inconvenience: Peter Watts on Crysis: Legion

19 03 2011

[Since the site I originally posted this on has since gone down, I’m migrating it over to my own blog, since I’d hate to see a good gaming and science fiction interview go to waste. Enjoy.]

Those so inclined have probably tried out the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo by now, and, having been strong, fast, and invisible, may be wondering what else is going on in the Cryniverse. The answer: Words! Lots of words! So many words that they could not fit into the game, and have been condensed, in book form, by a noted science fiction author, marine biologist, and Creative Commons supporter. And so it is with great pleasure that I present the following interview with the architect of Crysis: Legion, Peter Watts.

Or, perhaps more accurately, with part of Peter Watts. In one of my more bizarre autoreply conversations, I received the following after our initial contact:

Thanks for writing. Unfortunately I have been stricken with a severe case (there are no mild ones — mortality, even with treatment, is 70%) of necrotising fasciitis. (You may also know it as “flesh-eating disease.”) I am currently in the hospital and do not have internet access. I am recovering but it may be some time before I am able to respond to your email. For further information, see my blog posting at


When I went to look, my prospective interviewee had a large bit of his leg missing, and was documenting his Goya-esque encounter with mortality in a series of photos that you may wish to view before lunch for more reasons than one–as one commenter notes, it does look a bit like roast beef.

But though I was convinced that this was the end, Watts’ resolve far outstrips that of his bemuscle-suited protagonist, and he continued with the interview almost immediately after leaving intensive care. My hat goes off to you, sir. This almost makes up for scaring me away from hospitals forever.

Read on for a deconstruction of FPS tropes, the meaning of the nanosuit, and an origami adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Read the rest of this entry »


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