Kickin’ it with Matthew Sainsbury – The Interactive Canvas

by Antonio Garcia

The whole “are games art?” debate has been going strong for the past few years, and now there is a project on Kickstarter looking to end the discussion once and for all (hint: games are art!).

4cr: Time to get this Kickin’ it with started. Could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Sure thing! I’ve been writing about games both as a hobby and professionally for around 15 years now. I started with GBACentral (anyone else remember that awesome site?), and then moved on to put myself through uni by doing freelance for the Official PlayStation 2 Magazine.

Then I worked for Gamepro and various other professional IT publications at IDG Communications, before finally deciding to start my own thing – Digitally Downloaded. I’ve been doing that ever since!

4cr: The Interactive Canvas is a new book that focuses on how video games ARE art. What do we need to know about this book in particular?

The main part of the book will be interviews with the industry’s finest art game creators! From small independent developers right up to the likes of American McGee, it’s going to be a huge range of 30 developers, and we’ll be getting their personal stories; why they make the games they do, what games mean to them, the stories that they’re telling through their games.


4cr: Why ask for $60,000 AUD as the main goal for the campaign?

The book is going to be a collectable, hard cover, full-colour book. And that means it’s expensive to produce. $60,000 is what it will cost to print, and then send everyone their copy of the book.

4cr: Is the campaign open to backers from all over the world?

Of course! The book will weigh over 1kg, so it will be slightly more expensive to ship (an extra $10 for shipping outside of Australia), but other than that we’ll send to Antartica if someone down there is looking for a distraction from the penguins!


4cr: The main page for the Kickstarter project lists several game artists that will be interviewed for the book. Is this list set in stone or are you looking into getting even more people on board?

There’s 15 or so developers that we’ve announced so far. That’s about half the interviews that we’ll be doing! We’re going to announce more as the campaign continues, and then there are a few that, for various reasons, we can’t announce until the campaign is completed.

4cr: One of the tiers mentions a limited edition book at $100 AUD. What will set this version apart from the regular release?

That’s our special edition. The content of the book will be the same, but it will be a numbered book, with a signed (by me) certificate of authenticity. There’s only 200 of those books that will ever be produced!

That sponsorship tier will also get you listed as a “premier” sponsor in the book and on the website (

The Path

4cr: Our time is over. Anything else you might want to say?

Just that I am truly thanks for all our supporters. This is a book that I’ve wanted to write for years, and it’s going to be a truly awesome read for anyone who is serious about their games!

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