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GoldenEye legend couldn't play Flower

Because it was "so emotionally provoking".

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Martin Hollis, creator of N64 classic GoldenEye 007, had to stop playing PS3-exclusive Flower because he found the experience too emotional.

Hollis, founder of Cambridge developer Zoonami, tried to play thatgamecompany's experimental downloadable title but had to put the controller down after experiencing an "upwelling".

"One of the interesting things about Flower was I couldn't play it because it was so emotionally provoking," Hollis told Eurogamer at the Nottingham GameCity festival last week.

"I couldn't play it properly because as soon as I controlled it I felt an upwelling and I had to put it down.

"That's an achievement."

Hollis was chatting to Eurogamer about the infamous games as art debate. Hollis argued that games are art if they leave a lasting impression on the player.

"Another example is Shadow of the Colossus, which I haven't played, because I've seen enough about it to know I wouldn't enjoy the feeling of killing those beasts," Hollis said.

"And yet still it's a part of me now, that game, even though I've made a considered decision not to play it.

"Again, an interesting achievement."

In the 2009 PSN game Flower players assume control of a gust of wind that blows petals around various lush 3D environments.

Hollis struggled to explain his feelings towards the game.

"There's something so magical that I'm not going to be able to explain that," he offered. "Getting analytical, I like the idea of holism and all of nature and humanity being a part of one whole.

"I don't see myself as a tree-hugging hippy, but nevertheless in another life I could have been.

"There's something very moving to me and the way the petals came together to be you, you suddenly leapt to the conclusion that that was you. That was unique and that was very moving."

Hollis, who has worked in the videogame industry for over 19 years, was head of software at famed UK studio Rare.

He was the director and producer of the critically acclaimed GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, although he left Rare before Perfect Dark was released to work as a consultant on the Nintendo GameCube.

His last game was 2009 WiiWare title Bonsai Barber.

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