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Abe at IndieCade: Day 2

Hey everyone. I know it is getting late on east coast time, but after a full day today I wanted to check in and give some updates about what is going on out here at the IndieCade conference.

I have been preoccupied with this question "What is Indie?" all weekend, and today was great as it seemed to be tangentially addressed by a bunch of talks.

John Sharp, Frank Lantz, Brandon Boyer and Rich Lemarchand lead a talk called "Punk Rock, M***** F*****" which examined ties between the punk rock musical and cultural movement and this seemingly new wave of indie game development. It was a rambunctious, hotly contested, and very lively discussion with tons of audience involvement and a great setting in a bar. Punk was so much about embracing alienation and being subversive, and I think some indie developers are working in that space. It seems, however, that indie developers want to create subversive works and be embraced all the while, having their cake and eating it too.

Colleen Macklin lead an interview of John Romero talking about his Romero Archive. I think this confronted some of my questions about indie classification, largely because Romero is an iconoclast who has both enjoyed commercial success and created subversive, culture challenging works.

Finally Brenda Brathwaite delivered an absolutely heart-breaking/warming keynote to which I cannot do justice in text. It reminded me that subversion is not inherently destructive. Confronting established norms can be for good, not just change for its own sake.

I've got so much to think about and I already know that this trip will inspire my own work. Right now I feel as though I am standing in front of a blank canvas, with paint all over my hands, and I just need to find the courage to start touching.

more to come

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