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Emilia Schatz
Most Creative People 2017

Emilia Schatz

Lead Designer, Naughty Dog

For helping the gaming industry evolve

Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was a 2016 blockbuster, and Emilia Schatz played a key role in creating it. She is responsible for big upgrades to the way the video game’s main character moves through the digital world, scaling walls and obstacles. Schatz researched these mechanics on rock-climbing jaunts with colleagues. “We talked about what it actually felt like to climb,” says the designer (who is currently working on a se­­quel to the postapoca­lyptic adventure game The Last of Us). While making Uncharted 4, she was also going through a personal evolution, physically tran­sitioning from male to fe­­male. This makes her a rare figure in the diversity-spare gaming business, which has struggled with issues of online harassment. “The industry sort of went through an identity crisis about who we make games for, who we want to be,” says Schatz, who believes the community is entering a new era of acceptance and progressivism. She and her colleagues are working to make sure they portray minority and women characters in a fully human way. “We talk about things we never would have before,” she says.  

Emilia Schatz On The Web
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