Entertainment & Arts

The Player: ‘Her Story’ creator to tackle interactive reboot of ‘WarGames’

“Her Story” video game

Actress Viva Seifert stars in the mobile game “Her Story,” which puts players in the role of a detective trying to piece together a homicide case.

(Sam Barlow)

Sam Barlow, the creator of acclaimed and experimental mobile game “Her Story,” has joined the staff of new media firm Interlude and is working on an interactive reboot of the 1983 film “WarGames." 

Barlow will be the executive creative director at Interlude, where he will also lead the development of a number of new projects.

The announcement was made during San Francisco’s Game Developer’s Conference, an annual gathering of the industry to discuss and debate hot-button topics such as virtual reality and new gameplay techniques. 

Details surrounding the “WarGames” reboot are relatively scant, but a press release describes it as a “digital short.” The original ‘80s film from MGM starred a young Matthew Broderick as a hacker who stumbles upon a game of global thermonuclear war that almost brings about the start of World War III. 


The move points to the increased blurring of the lines between the worlds of cinema and gaming. Already during GDC, Lucasfilm has unveiled a new “Star Wars"-themed virtual reality experience, one that nods to the back story of villain Kylo Ren. Barlow’s recent work has explored different ways to unfurl a game narrative. 

“Her Story” was notable in that it relied almost exclusively on full-motion video. Players attempted to decode a mystery by searching for various terms, which in turn would unlock brief video clips. Though it may look like a relic from the mid-1990s, complete with its retro operating system, “Her Story” played on the voyeuristic tendencies of our social media age.

“WarGames” will probably take a similar fragmented approach to storytelling. The project was first unveiled last year. 

“I am excited for us to define this medium and create something that is more than games and more than video,” said Barlow in a release.


“Her Story” is nominated in several categories at Wednesday evening’s Game Developer’s Choice Awards at GDC. The game is recognized in the narrative and mobile fields, as well as in the innovation category. 

Follow me @toddmartens


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