Jessica Curry, Co-Director of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture developer The Chinese Room, has announced that she will be (sort-of) leaving the company in an emotional blog post.
In the post, which is on The Chinese Room’s website, Curry explains that she will still be very much involved with the developer, and will continue writing music for its games, even if she will be distancing herself from the company at the same time. She lists three reasons why she is pseudo leaving The Chinese Room, and a condensed version of that list can be seen below:
1) She is ill with a degenerative disease:
As many of you will know from my twitter feed I’m ill. I have a degenerative disease that simply won’t do what it’s told, and anyone who knows me is aware of just how stubborn I am and how hard I try every single day. A couple of years ago my doctor said to me “if you try to fight this disease it will win” and I nodded like a good girl but actually at the time I just didn’t get it. Having a progressive illness is not like cancer, or a stroke or a heart attack. People are left at a loss because they can’t proclaim, “you’ll beat this thing” or “you will get better” and they can’t tell you to just “whoop its ass.” I am going to get worse- that’s a simple fact and no amount of medication, wheatgrass, mindfulness, positive thinking or acupuncture is going to change that. The doctor wasn’t being negative, just honest.
2) Working with a publisher resulted in a negative experience:
This is a tough one to write because I don’t want to negatively affect the company – there are lots of amazing people who rely on The Chinese Room for their livelihood. So I’ll tread carefully and please be aware that I’m speaking entirely on my own behalf now. Working with a publisher made me extremely unhappy and very ill. In the end I didn’t even recognize myself anymore- I had turned from a joyful, fun-loving, creative, silly, funny person into a short-tempered, paranoid, unhappy, negative heap. So much of the stress that I experienced was caused by what I see as the desperately toxic relationship that I was in. I can’t go into detail here for the reasons above but what I can say is that I look back at the way we were treated and it still makes me shake my head with disbelief.
3) Sexism in the game industry:
I thought I was strong enough to lead the charge, to prove through talent and hard work and positivity that women have a vital role to play. Well, as tough as this is to admit to both myself and to you lot this is one fight that I’m personally not going to win. I leave it to people younger and fitter than me to carry on this crusade. On a personal level I look back at my huge contribution to the games that we’ve made and I have had to watch Dan get the credit time and time again. I’ve had journalists assuming I’m Dan’s PA, I have been referenced as “Dan Pinchbeck’s wife” in articles, publishers on first meeting have automatically assumed that my producer is my boss just because he’s a man, one magazine would only feature Dan as Studio Head and wouldn’t include me. When Dan has said “Jess is the brains of the operation” people have knowingly chuckled and cooed that it’s nice of a husband to be so kind about his wife.
What are your thoughts on Jessica Curry leaving The Chinese Room? We here at PSLS wish her the very best.