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Recounting the tale of "the worst moment" in his career, You're in the Movies lead designer Andy Trowers has shed some light on how accidentally created a racist video game.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 12, 2017

1 Min Read

Recounting the tale of "the worst moment" in his career in a recent Kotaku guest post, You're in the Movies lead designer Andy Trowers has shed some light on how he accidentally created a racist video game. 

In case you don't remember it, You're in the Movies was an Xbox 360 exclusive party game that used the console's Xbox Live Vision Camera to transport players, would you believe it, into fictitious movie trailers.

It was a novel idea, but one that was surprisingly difficult to implement. "It was definitely flaky round the edges, but under the right lighting conditions, whilst wearing a different color outfit to the background, you could play. It worked," recalls Trowers.

There were, however, other unforeseen issues that only revealed themselves at the worst possible moment. And out of all the times to find out you've made a glaring error, right before a Microsoft-funded launch event in Times Square has to be up there with the worst. 

"Just before the launch event, we were fixing bugs and going through Xbox certification when one of our artists dropped a bombshell," continues Trowers. "He stood in front of the camera and showed me. It didn’t work.

"Puzzled, I stood in front of the camera and it did work. After a few moments of bemused frustration, the penny dropped. His skin was dark, mine was not. The camera relied on reflected light to detect motion. He didn’t reflect anywhere near as much as me. We had made a racist computer game."

You can read the rest of Trowers' cautionary tale, and find out what he thinks the wider industry can learn from his mistakes, over on Kotaku.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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