Interviewing Ideas

I think it’d be a very interesting and enlightening experience to interview Maddy Thorson. Thorson is a non-binary indie game developer most known for their work on Celeste, a 2D-platformer. The game involves the main character, Madeline, climbing up Celeste Mountain as an act of self validation, while tackling many relevant topics such as depression and anxiety.

The game is very important to Thorson, for a number of reasons, so I would love to ask them questions about how their personal experiences influenced the game. Celeste has such a realistic and profound approach to how anxiety can affect you, and one of the main themes is how accepting your mental health is the first step in overcoming it, so I’d love to know if any specific moments Thorson has experienced influenced these themes. With a game that approaches mental health in such a nuanced manner, it’s a very important piece, and I’d love to know why Thorson decided on making a game with mental health as the main theme.

Promotional artwork for Thorson’s game Celeste. Source:

I’d also be interested in asking them about the decisions made on the difficulty of the game. Celeste is quite well known as a difficult game, and Thorson has stated that that decision is intentional due to the tough subject matter being aided by tough difficulty, but I would want to ask what made them decide on how the level difficulty progresses throughout the game. Some areas are much tougher to beat than others, even in the exact same level, so it would be interesting to learn what creative process went into deciding difficulty progression.

However, one of the most talked about ways the game has affected Thorson is the decision to make Madeline transgender. While developing the game, Thorson realized that Madeline as a character helped them come to terms with their own gender identity. If they were comfortable enough talking about it, I think it could absolutely be beneficial to ask them about how Madeline became so helpful in helping them realize they’re non binary, and to talk about how much of an inspiration Madeline has become for trans women in particular, not only to understand Thorson’s own feelings with regards to gender, but to further normalize trans and non-binary people who are into gaming.

Maddy Thorson has made other games, but the questions I’d love to ask them are about Celeste because of how personal the game is to me, and to Thorson themself. They are a huge inspiration for me when it comes to storytelling because of this game, and I’d love to interview them because of how much I admire their work on it.


4 thoughts on “Interviewing Ideas

  1. This is a wonderful piece that you wrote and hopefully one day you can actually interview Maddy! I have never heard of her until this blog post (I’m not much of a gamer. Mostly Fortnite and Sims 4) so I will definitely check out the games that she’s released. What about “Celeste” makes this game important to you? You also mentioned that this game deals with important topics such as depression and anxiety. Would you recommend this game to someone who is dealing with those issues?


    • Thank you for the compliment! Celeste is really special to me because I suffer greatly from anxiety, and the game really helped me cone to terms with admitting to myself I had a problem. I’m also non-binary myself, so it’s really inspiring to see someone like me succeed in their field. I’d absolutely recommend the game to people with mental health issues, the difficulty may be a concern, but you can toggle it to your liking to a setting that works for you specifically.


  2. Celeste sounds like an interesting game I would enjoy playing, because the theme is centered around overcoming depression, anxiety, and gender identity. A lot of aspects that many people deal with in their life, including me. The game developer Maddy Thorson should be proud of herself to create such a game that is not your normal standard game, but instead focuses on a new way to level up in one’s personal life through games. With mental health on the rise due to not knowing one’s true self, traumatic events, and more, a game that can help anyone facing these battles overcome themselves should receive more recognition. Thank you for this helpful and inspiring post on a new way that touches base with overcoming depression, anxiety, and even gender identity.


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