ELIZA: a live playthrough of the new visual novel by Matthew Seiji Burns (with Jason Schreier)

Monday August 12: 7:00PM 9:00PM

This event is free to attend!

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

Visual novels are interactive games focused on story and narrative, often consisting of extended passages of text combined with images, voice, and music. Thanks to a diverse and enthusiastic group of independent creators, visual novels are a growing genre, producing some of the most exciting and interesting stories told in games today.

Eliza is a new visual novel set in present-day Seattle where a major tech company has developed an AI-driven counseling program that uses human “proxies” to interact with its clients. As one of Eliza’s proxies, your job consists of reading a script delivered to you in real-time through AR glasses, leaving you no autonomy over what you say. Is Eliza a technological marvel that brings therapy to those who otherwise couldn’t access it? Or is it simply another way that technology companies are gaining control over our lives?

Join us in the Rare Book Room as Eliza’s creator Matthew Seiji Burns plays through the first chapter of his game with live commentary, followed by a Q&A with journalist and writer Jason Schreier!

Matthew Seiji Burns is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked on all kinds of video games for nearly fifteen years. His previous writing work includes Opus Magnum, Apology Simulator, and The Writer Will Do Something.

Jason Schreier is the news editor at Kotaku, co-host of the Kotaku Splitscreen podcast, and author of national bestseller Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made (Harper).