Does Detroit Become Human's David Cage Actually Know What His Game is About?

Does Detroit Become Human's David Cage Actually Know What His Game is About?

The video game director and writer is unclear about his upcoming game.

For what it's worth, I think French video game developer David Cage is a storyteller with lots of ambition. Whether or not that ambition translates into good video games is up for debate. What isn't up for debate, but will spark one soon I imagine, is Cage's rather odd remarks regarding his upcoming title, Detroit: Become Human. It appears that Cage has been giving contradictory remarks about Detroit's story, leading to questions about whether or not Cage even knows what his own game is actually about.

The confusion stems from two interviews David Cage did with two different outlets at E3 last week. While talking about Detroit's central story and potential social commentary, Cage appears to have gone on record to give two different, seemingly contradictory, answers. When Cage spoke to The Verge about Detroit, he told the media outlet, "People will see [Detroit: Become Human] as, 'Oh this is about androids and the revolution,' and honestly I don't think this is the story I wrote."

However, when he spoke to Kotaku about the same game, Cage said, "The story I'm telling is really about androids... They're discovering emotions and wanting to be free. If people want to see parallels with this or that, that's fine with me. But my story's about androids who want to be free." Reading those two interviews back-to-back Cage essentially says that his story is either about androids or humans, but not both.

The problem then ultimately becomes what Cage actually wants to say through his video game (that’s either about android or humans). Unfortunately, Cage seems to have also gone on record to say that he doesn’t really want to say anything at all. Talking to Waypoint this time, Cage explains (again) “I didn’t want to deliver a message to mankind with this game. I just want to ask questions.” This line is actually one of the more consistent talking points for Cage across all three interviews, where the director claims he is simply content to ask questions rather than delivering any message at all.

So then why should anyone bother playing a game that has no discernable message or consistent narrative engine? Anybody can ask questions about this or that, but Cage appears to be either deliberately avoiding taking any position on topics like society or race, or is unsure about what exactly he wants to say about those things in the first place. In either case, it doesn’t do Detroit any favors by selling gamers an uncertain vision that could either be about humanity—or not—or simply be just a series of philosophical questions with no resolution.

Update: Added a link to @Nibellion who has been tweeting publically about the situation

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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