August 16, 2022

No Guns, No Dragons: Her Video Games Capture Private Moments

Ms. Freeman made the game for this month’s Triennale Game Collection, part of the Triennale Milano International Exhibition, the show in Milan dedicated to architecture and design. The select group of game designers who were invited to participate in the collection includes others who specialize in the offbeat: Fern Goldfarb-Ramallo, Llaura McGee, Akwasi Afrane, and the team of Yijia Chen and Dong Zhou.

Ms. Freeman creates her games in a home office filled with her collections of Japanese manga books, Disney Tsum Tsum stuffed toys, and vintage board games including “Squirt” and “Contack.” She and Mr. Jefferies live with their two mini dachshunds, Auron and Kimahri, named after characters in “Final Fantasy 10.”

The house has an under-furnished, just-moved-in quality. During much of the pandemic, the couple had been living with Mr. Jefferies’ parents nearby, after having left Portland, Ore. Ms. Freeman said they chose to live in Frederick, a city in western Maryland with a population of roughly 70,000, not only because it was close to family, but also because it was an affordable place for self-employed artists.

She said she made a modest living by selling her games through sites like Steam and Itch; she also earns money as a host on the streaming platform Twitch. On her Twitch channel, which has roughly 12,000 followers, she spends hours at a time in her home office interacting with fans while playing a range of games, including action-heavy hits like “Rise of the Tomb Raider” and “Elden Ring.” She still has a genuine love for those games, she said, although she has no interest in making that kind of thing herself.

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