Robert Kurvitz

Robert Kurvitz

Robert Kurvitz (real name Robert Kurvits, born 8 October 1984) is a creator of video games, writer of song lyrics and author of one novel.

Until October 2022, Kurvitz was one of the leading figures of the cultural grouping ZA/UM (the grouping was founded in 2009 together with the web magazine of the same name). Robert Kurvitz’s 2013 book Püha ja õudne lõhn (‘Sacred and Horrible Smell’) is a novel where the action takes place in the fictional Elysium world. The book concentrates on three men who have decided to look up their classmates twenty years after their mysterious disappearance. Kurvitz planned to use the book as a prologue for a novel cycle but, instead of writing a sequel to the prologue, he created the video game Disco Elysium. The game is a mixture of literature and multimedia art in which the players have to shape the protagonist’s character and moods. Therefore, it is an exercise in empathy and creativity that functions similarly to literature.

The game received praising assessments from the world’s leading game critics and was chosen to be among the best video games of 2019. In 2020, the President of the Republic of Estonia issued Kurvitz the Young Cultural Figure Award for the game.

Kurvitz has also written essays and co-wrote the script for the film Free Range. Ballaad maailma heakskiitmisest (‘Free Range. Ballad on Approving of the World’).

L. P. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Püha ja õudne lõhn: proloog romaanitsüklile. Tallinn: ZA/UM, 2013. 232 lk.