At Tokyo Game Show 2011, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of Japanese developers and creators about their games. Among those opportunities was a chance to sit down for about 25 minutes with Yoshinori Ono, a member of team Capcom who has—among other things—been producer for titles like Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken.
Short interviews with game developers often fall into an all-too-familiar pattern: ask what the inspiration for the project was, ask about a few details, find out when the game is coming out, and maybe end with a message to fans. For me, however, I’ve always thought more could—and should—be done with our opportunities for interviews. It’s one of the things I’ve loved about the current era of EGM: Our push for deeper, more personal, and more engaging interviews that try to get to details and opinions others interviews aren’t delving into.
Going into my talk with Ono, I knew that I could ask a standard roster of questions about Street Fighter X Tekken, but that held little interest for me. Instead, I had but one subject to bring up: Poison.
Why Poison? Numerous reasons, but even beyond any person interest I may have in the character, she speaks to a far bigger topic: equality in video gaming. It’s a topic I’m very deeply passionate about, as I’ve long felt that video games still have so far to go when it comes to being open and inclusive to all ages, genders, races, and types of players.
So, for just over 25 minutes, I spoke to Ono-san about a character who started out as a relatively small enemy in Final Fight, but who has now become a huge topic of conversation and argument. My full interview with Yoshinori Ono will go up here on EGMNOW at 3pm Pacific on Monday, October 10th—even if you’ve never given Poison much thought, I think it was a great interview that looked deeper into a character that is so often simply used as a joke or a throw-away question in most other interviews.
For now, here’s a quick sample of our full conversation. I hope to see you back here on Monday.
Yoshinori Ono, in relation to the arguments over Poison’s gender:
It’s interesting, because it almost takes on a sort of Rorschach test. If you go into it with the pre-conceived notion that she’s a woman, the way she talks, the way she moves, you’ll see all of that as being very feminine. If you go in with the pre-conceived notion that she’s not, her actions and mannerisms will seem the other way to you. So, it’s very open-ended.