23 Jun Indie Game: The Movie Review
Every time I’m busy with a challenging exam I feel like I disappear into an existential bubble. It was the same with Indie Game: The Movie, whose interestingness had to compete with my Algorithms exam. It was the same with my blog actually, the result being that, although I got to see Indie Game: The Movie last weekend, it is only now that I manage to write my impressions on it. (I DID miss you, ol’ blog).
So how it happened was that we had some friends over in an attempt to honor all things indie with a generous amount of beer, munchies and this well-put together documentary(?). The problem with me and documentaries is that I always expect them to offer an out of the box solution for the subject at hand. If I watch a documentary about rockets, it’s because I want to become a rocket scientist. And no, this doesn’t mean that I’m watching documentaries about the World Wars because I want to be the next human tyrant (or is it?). Anyway, if I decided to watch something called Indie Games: The Movie, it was because I want to know more about how games are made and how to break in the industry.
However, this is not what Indie Games: The Movie offers. The documentary tries instead to give a glimpse upon the humanity of video game creators. And seriously guys, we all know that nerds themselves are human: I never thought that games are made by the game fairies in their nerdy head at night, nor did I think that nerds eat transistors for breakfast. And if the nerd word sounds offensive to you readers, bear in mind that I’m one myself. So, instead of hearing and seeing interesting stuff for two hours, I was kind of disappointed to be introduced to the toils of game making, the profile of a gamer and how a typical gamer childhood looks like – stuff I already know by heart, because, hey, I’ve been through that stuff. So, I think it would be more suitable to call this documentary Game Nerds for Dummies or something.
Don’t get me wrong though. It wasn’t all that bad. Actually, in terms of documentary and movie techniques, Indie Games: The Movie is quite an achievement. It has all the right climaxes at the right moments so that you never really get bored and your interest keeps up the pace. And I did enjoy some of Johnathan Blow’s commentaries over the creation of Braid. This isn’t that surprising, since Blow had been into gaming for over 22 years now. And yes, that makes the other people interviewed in the documentary seem like frustrated and bullied high-school blokes. But apart from that, Indie Game: The Movie pretty much lacked substance. I was expecting a lot more than coffee talks but then I’m supposed I’ll have to find a real game designer and stalk him until he agrees to be my mentor.
But hey, if you want a gentle introduction to the gaming world or just a pleasant reminder of why you’re already there, give Indie Game: The Movie a shot.