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OK, this one is a bit inane, but bear with me here. During his talk at GDC 2017, Warren Spector, the man behind Deus Ex, has finally revealed what JC in JC Denton stands for, PC Gamer reports. I must admit I have been wondering about this question for years and now that we have a definitive answer, I couldn't not share it:
[...]At Warren Spector's post-mortem at GDC today, a fan asked flat-out what the 'JC' stood for. And the answer? It really was Jesus Christ.
"But there's more to the story than that," Spector said, as the crowd started clapping at the revelation. "One of my best friends is a wonderful writer named Bradley Denton, who you should all go read" he continued. "And if you want to know about me and my friends, he wrote a book called Lunatics that you should go read, and you can try to guess who I am. Anyway, he is one of the nicest humans on the planet. If you ever need help with anything, he's always there for you. He's so helpful it gets annoying sometimes, so back then I would often find myself saying 'Jesus Christ, Denton. Jesus Christ, Denton, don't be so helpful. So when it came time to name the charcater it was JC Denton.
That line is actually hinted at in the game on a couple ocassions, when characters react to your actions with "Jesus Christ, Denton!" and "Jesus Christ, JC!"
There's always been plenty of ammunition to support the theory that JC stood for Jesus Christ. Religious symbolism. JC's brother Paul. The name 'Deus Ex.' But nobody knew 'Jesus Christ, Denton' was a regular Warren Spector quote.
So now we know, and I have the widest grin on my face. For some reason, I find this incredibly amusing.
And if you want to read something more substantial about Warren Spector's work, I've now stumbled onto this detailed analysis of the same talk on Gamasutra:
Spector acknowledges that a lot of what he's talking about is standard practice in the game industry now, but he reminds fellow devs that it absolutely was not common practice 20 years ago when the game was first conceived.
“Conceptually, I thought of Deus Ex as a genre-busting game, which let me say, really enamored us to the marketing folks. They loved that,” said Sepctor. “If you ever want to make a marketing person unhappy, mash some genres together.”
The game was envisioned as a mix of first-person shooter, adventure game, and RPG. But Spector traces the history of its development back to playing tabletop games, long before he became a game designer.
"I would not be here, you would not be here, if not for that game of Dungeons and Dragons"
“Let me tell you where it began -- this is going to get a little embarrassing,” said Spector. “It all began with Dungeons and Dragons.”
In 1978, to be precise, when he started playing D&D with a new Dungeon Master.
“I would not be here, you would not be here, if not for that game of Dungeons and Dragons,” said Spector.
The Dungeon Master of that game was “cyberpunk guru” Bruce Sterling, and Spector says the experience was meaningful not because of the story being told, but because of how it was being told -- by Spector and his friends, under the guidance of Sterling.
“The story belonged to Bruce, but every detail belonged to us,” said Spector. “I was completely hooked; I played in that campaign for ten years.”
So how does that lead to Deus Ex? Spector says it inspired his entire career in game design, a long-running attempt on his part to try and recreate that experience he had playing D&D for the first time in ‘78.
“That’s been my life mission: to recreate that feeling,” he said. “Every game I’ve worked on, every single one, has been trying to engage players in the telling of the story. My only hope is to do it a little better every time.”