Before he produced his first game, Jonathan Blow was respected within gaming circles as a journalist and an articulate commentator on the philosophical and ethical issues that underpin game design. He supported the pursuit of excellence and experimentation in gaming through regularly hosting the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at the Game Developers Conference and establishing the Indie Fund.
Blow’s influential game, Braid (2008) won the Best Design award at the Independent Games Festival in 2006 and was praised highly by critics, who recognised it as embodying the concept that he has long championed, that of linking gameplay with the story in intrinsically meaningful ways.
His latest game, The Witness (publishing in 2012), features some very difficult puzzles that don’t need to be solved immediately to progress through the game. As Blow remarks, ‘If games are good at interactivity, isn't it a shame if interactivity is only allowed in very strict ways? Something about freedom and openness facilitates more player choice. To me that's the heart of games.’