IndieCade East 2014 was my first convention with a cool title like “Press”. I’ve been to a couple of gaming conventions in the past, but having “press” on your badge really changes your perspective. At first, I felt obligated to go to the panels and soak up as much information about my community as possible. By the end of the convention, I was glad I did. Here’s a short recap of my favorite (and least favorite) seminars.
The panel I enjoyed the most was by Laine Nooney titled When Indie Games Came in Ziplock Bags. As somebody who was sheltered from gaming as a child, I’ve never learned a legitimate history of games. By the time I started playing in the mid-90’s, video games had already appeared on local store shelves.
Laine spoke of video game history with a passion that’s rarely heard about in modern-day gaming. Her knowledge of Atari, Sierra Online, and the first gaming interest magazines were mesmerizing to say the least. One of the topics she talked about was the notion of “borrowing” games, such as Pacman. At the time, programmers were the gamers and they wanted to make games they enjoyed playing.
As gamers, I think we spend too much time focusing on “next-gen” and new technology. Not enough of us consider where gaming originated from. For that reason alone, I give huge props to Laine and I hope her research blossoms into something that people, worldwide, can learn from.
The final line in her speech will be what I end with : “What are you going to leave around for the future me to make sense of?”
An honorable mention goes to Code Liberation and their presentation on women in development. While the seminar itself was sort of terrible, their goals and work within the community is admirable. If you’re in the New York City area, they offer free development classes for women. Check them out if you’re interested. No experience required!
The worst panel, by far, was the Flappy Bird Wake. One of the last-minute events added to the schedule, it was obvious nobody really knew what was going on. I went with the hopes of gaining insight on the rise and fall of such an absurd game, but all I got were people standing up saying what Flappy Bird meant to them. Granted, I couldn’t stomach the event and left about 10 minutes in. The only real amusing part was the ability to play Flappy Bird in front of everyone, but since I’ve never touched the game, I decided against it.
Lastly, the most fun panel was Super Panel Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. The panel itself was full of noteworthy people in the gaming world, but most of the questions and answers were far from serious. The basic concept was to take questions people tweeted in and have the panel answer in a game show style. While it’s a very cool concept, it had some flaws.
Don’t get me wrong. The panel was a blast to be at, but I think it was a wasted opportunity. The talent on stage could have really answered some serious and important concerns in the independent gaming community but it ended up being an hour-long laugh factory.