K: In the beginning of Blue Lacuna, you’re able to pick your character’s gender and sexuality and I think that’s a good way to bring in your audience. How do you think about your audience differently when you’re writing interactive fiction?
AR: There’s a couple of ways you can approach something like that. In the earliest interactive fiction, the character you were playing wasn’t really defined; it was just assumed that you were you or some generic person. More recently, there’s been a movement to define the player character much more precisely and give the “you” character a name, a history, a gender, an age and all those sorts of things. This is great for characterization, but what I’m more interested in is merging those two. I think part of the power of an interactive story is, more so than a regular story, projecting yourself into the role of the character. In the stuff that I’ve done, my characters have certain traits – like in Blue Lacuna, you’re a wayfarer – but I really try to leave things like gender and age open as much as I can. In Blue Lacuna, you can explicitly set some of those because I think it helps you connect more with the story if you can feel like “yeah, what if I was doing this?” or “what if someone like me was doing this?” I think that’s a strength of the medium, not necessarily a limitation of the second person voice. However, there are a lot of opinions on that.