Composer & Co-Founder of The Chinese Room
Jessica Curry is the critically acclaimed and BAFTA award winning composer whose credits include Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. She also co-founded development studio The Chinese Room. In 2015 GamesIndustry.biz named her one of their People of the Year and MCV hailed her as one of the Top 30 Women in Games. She recently premiered a new collaboration with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at the Durham Cathedral which received high praise. She lives in Brighton, UK with her husband and son.
What is the first video game you ever played?
The first game I ever played was Pac Man when I was a little girl. My brother and I spent hundreds of hours on that game and probably developed some form of Vitamin D deficiency as a result. Then I was given a Commodore 64 for my 11th birthday and became obsessed with The Hobbit and Daley Thompson’s Decathlon. I don’t think I ever got more than about 2% on The Hobbit and I have memories of it crashing constantly and then sitting patiently for it to reload. Then a love of music, horses and English Literature took over and the next game that I played was Dear Esther which was the first game that Dan [Pinchbeck, husband and Creative Director at The Chinese Room] and I released commercially – quite a gap!
What is your favorite game of all time?
I am horribly biased but I love our game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – it is in my blood and we poured everything we had into that game. I don’t play games at all but Rapture is such a beautiful experience and I don’t think I’ll ever be as in love with a game as I am with this one.
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
I love singing in a choir, walking, swimming, reading, watching films, dancing and hanging out with our amazing 12 year old son, who is very funny and generally brilliant.
Do you play video games with your children?
Our son often calls me in to show me something that he’s playing- often a magnificent FIFA goal which is replayed at least 12 times so that I can fully appreciate the consummate skill and beauty of his playing. I used to play FIFA with him but I am not a worthy opponent, even when he very kindly played as Moldova to my Barcelona. (I still lost.) He plays online with his friends and I love to hear the laughter emanating from his bedroom (as well as overhearing much talk of what they are all having for dinner. 12 year old boys definitely have food on the brain.) He’s very into Euro Truck Simulator which I mercilessly take the mickey out of and we often sit discussing motorway routes and trucking calamities. This is more fun than it sounds!
How do you balance gaming with a busy family life and career?
Oh God- it’s so hard. For me it involves being absolutely militant in my time-planning. In a way, it’s good as it forces ruthless efficiency as there is always so much to organise – cakes for the school fair, costumes for world book day, homework to supervise, uniforms to wash, concerts to attend.) I wouldn’t change it for the world though. Our lad makes me see the world in a completely new way and there is so much fun, laughter and silliness in the house. I love being his mum.