Indie Game: The Movie (2012) Directed by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot . With Jonathan Blow, Phil Fish, Edmund McMillen.
Turning the ripe old age of thirty-five years myself this year (2012) , I feel as though video games and I have somewhat grown up together. Since those late 70’s and early 80’s ATARI’s and Sinclair Spectrums, it’s fair to say the joy of gaming has come a long way. For many of today’s big selling video games, the emphasis is placed more and more on realism and interactivity. Back in the day, though, games were simple and like George Lucas’ first Star Wars film, simplicity of ideas kept in check by limitations of technology forced game creators to have to keep gameplay front and centre, as opposed to many modern games that often attempt to trick you as to how involved you actually are.
The good news for anyone who loves classic games like Mario and Donkey Kong is that there still exists a vibrant community of gamers out there who devote themselves to these simple, but beautiful games. Enter the fray the subjects of Indie Game, young men who glare night after night for sometimes years on end to create new games for pixel thirsty armies of gamers out in cyber-land desperate for a hit of something new.
What this film does is to chart the rocky path game creators take in single-handedly designing and creating new games to sell to the masses on Microsoft’s XBOX Live marketplace. With the right know-how and a spare three to fours years , there’s a huge amount of money to be made in this field and what is most surprising about this fly on the wall documentary is just how overnight the success for these young men is. They can literally go from your average couch potato, to multi-million dollar business men in the space of a few hours. The film also offers some interesting insight into the psychological toll that isolating ones self from reality can have. In the end, you have to marvel at the devotion and commitment that goes into creating these games, even if the process looks like some sort of self inflicted prison sentence. 3.5/5