The Matrix Online has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now. To help peel back some of the mystery of the game, writer Paul Chadwick (of Concrete fame) managed to corner Larry and Andy Wachowski. Paul asked them a few questions about their expectations and intentions with The Matrix Online.
Paul Chadwick: What are you expecting to see from The Matrix Online?
The Wachowski Brothers: Our expectations are high, perhaps unreasonably so, but only because we’re as anxious for a really good MMO as every other gamer. Obviously the most important thing we’re looking for is for it to be fun, to be a game that we’d be interested in playing. Right now, the idea of MMOs, a multitude of gamers jacked into the same “computer generated dream world,” is more interesting than the games themselves. We are hoping that The Matrix Online changes that.
Paul Chadwick: Is it difficult, after meticulously crafting the Matrix films shot by shot, to subject your child to the vagaries of a MMO, where unpredictable player behavior is the rule?
The Wachowski Brothers: The “vagaries of an MMO where unpredictable player behavior is the rule,” is the reason for doing it. Our films were never intended for a passive audience. There are enough of those kinds of films being made. We wanted our audience to have to work, to have to think, to have to actually participate in order to enjoy them. This may be because while we enjoy movies, we also spend a lot of time (as in crack-den amounts of time) gaming.
Gaming engages your mind actively whereas most genre films (the films we tend to watch) are designed to provoke as little thinking as possible. Consider why the films in which everyone knows exactly what is going to happen are the films that make the most money.
Yet the fact that the Matrix films are three of the most successful adult films in history (despite of what much of the media would have us believe), suggests that there are other people like us. Those are the people, the people who thought about it, who worked at it, who we ultimately made the trilogy for and it now makes perfect sense to us that they should inherit the storyline. For us, the idea of watching our baby evolve inside the virtual bubble-world of this new radically developing medium, which has in our opinion the potential of combining the best attributes of films and games, of synthesizing reality TV with soap opera, RPGs and Mortal Combat, is fantastically exciting.
Paul Chadwick: The first thing you gave me was a theme for the first year: Peace and the ways people wreck it. Do we, always?
The Wachowski Brothers: As individuals, it seems that peace may be something that is attainable, but as a group, history sadly suggests that it is an improbability, if not an impossibility.
Paul Chadwick: Why did you go with Monolith? Why’d you hire me?
The Wachowski Brothers: We felt a technological advance was needed for the kind of MMO that we were interested in and Monolith seemed poised on the verge of such a breakthrough. They were also very committed to the notion of an MMO strongly based on story content.
We couldn’t afford Alan Moore or Joss Whedon or J. Michael Straczynski or Brian Michael Bendis or… Just kiddin’. We love Concrete (Human Dilemma rocks! Literally.), which is why we first called you to do a short for the online comics. Your story demonstrated your talent at exploring complex ideas in interesting dramatic ways. And David Lapham was busy.
Paul Chadwick: Will you be playing? If so, how will people know it’s really you?
The Wachowski Brothers: Of course. For us it sounds a lot more fun if people don’t know it’s us, but if you’re looking you might try asking the goth-chick what vis-à-vis really means.