Indie Games Developing an Indie Scene
Andrew Groen over at the PA Report posted about attending a Divekick party and the implications it heralds for gaming culture. While I love the points he makes in the second half of the article, the first half is slightly concerning. He establishes that the indie scene in games is becoming akin to the indie scene in music. While it’s nice that gaming culture is diversified enough that such an indie scene can arise, a scene that revolves around young people enjoying independently developed games at small parties, it can be dangerous in how exclusionary this grouping can become. Indie music scenes are associated with cities. Oftentimes, the New York or LA indie scene can hold a magnified importance due to their proximity to media.
Gaming culture has benefited from being closely tied to technology and to the internet (whereas music had to jump to PC via the MP3 format, games have been a PC staple for decades) which has allowed gaming to develop all around the world — independent of any requirement that a large city be nearby. An indie scene would result in a city-based culture; one that may start to marginalize the small developer working out of their garage in some random suburbia. Then again, the small developer may be no more than a mythical stereotype, just like the stereotype of the hipster douche, and essentially I’m fearing the bogeyman. Either way, Groen’s article is noteworthy for the culture he describes and the hope he ascribes for the future.