How are the Jericho squads formed and bound together? Are you trying to say anything by setting it in the modern-day Middle East?
Barker: There’s no doubt that if Jericho is liked by players, we’ll take our psychic squad out on other adventures (assuming, of course, any of them survive). The human appetite for mystery and terror has never waned even when, as now, the world is filled with very real terrors. Maybe that’s the connection. Maybe we seek out games and stories that allow us a measure of control over the horrors of the invented world: a control which we do not have, regrettably, in the real world.
Do you miss the UK at all now that you’re based in sunny LA?
Barker: I miss many of the friends I made in my home city of Liverpool, and later the colleagues I worked with making the first Hellraiser in London. I miss rain. I miss autumn (but not winter). I miss thunderstorms, which are incredibly rare in Los Angeles. But I’m sitting here, towards the end of January with a clear blue sky outside and the palm trees swaying as the balmy Santa Ana winds blow. What’s not to like?
Dogs or cats?
Barker: Both cats and dogs. And white rats, huge koi and geckos that we buy from the pet store and set free in the house so that they can make homes in the drapery. Plus my parrots, Malingo and Smokey, and my beloved Gonzo, the cockatiel I hand-raised. I could go on. Animals are blissful evidence that the creator wants us to have fun.