Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Overthinking - Indie Game: The Movie

"My whole career has been me, trying to find new ways to communicate with people, because I desperately want to communicate with people, but I don't want the messy interaction of having to make friends and talk to people, because I probably don't like them."
- Edmund McMillen

I've had the pleasure of watching Indie Game: The Movie recently. It's a documentary that gives viewers an inside look on how indie games are made. What's interesting about the film was that it gave less attention to the technical aspects of the industry, but instead focused on showing the less visible aspects of development - the visions, struggles and personalities of the people behind the game. It focused on three massively popular games (namely Braid, Super Meat Boy and Fez) and how making games that the creators invested a great deal of personal effort into made it different from the games churned out by game studio giants and their mainstream titles.

I think it's painful to watch, and that's because it hit a little too close to home.

I think that this documentary should not only be watched by those in the gaming industry nor just by gamers themselves, but also anyone who has ever had (or still has) an interest in creating their own content, in whatever form it may be.

Seeing the sacrifices, heartbreak, depression and that finality of releasing their creation to the world is something that should remind us that the people behind the flashy things we take for granted are human just like us - and that their struggle to express and encapsulate their dreams into a tangible form for the rest world to enjoy is nothing short of superhuman.

I think each game's story had something to point out in the personal lives of each viewer - and in turn made it resonate on a personal level. Super Meat Boy's development story made me question what I've done to retain or even realize the far-cried dreams I've had when I was younger. Fez's story was a reflection of refusing to compromise one's vision for the expectations of others even in the face of ridicule and lack of confidence. Lastly, Braid's story was that of hope - that there is always someting of value to find if one keeps looking for it long enough.

Overall, it's a very interesting film. It's one of those things that should have no business in making one reflect on the personal workings of their own lives, but it gets the job done by invoking eerily relatable aspects of our personal lives.

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