#1 Edited by Dougie_Com (26 posts) -

Have Indie Elitist statements from across the board - such as Tommy Refenses' statement that AAA games are "Shit", and he doesn't make "Shit" (Indie Game: The Movie) - impacted the way members of the gaming community interact with each other? In connection, are Jonathan Blow's statements referring to the notion that all games should be of higher concept (Indie Game: The Movie, CBS Interview and more), attempting an artistic vision fitting of his standard, a fair assessment of the gaming industry at large? Or, should the subjective nature of the art lend to a more diverse pallet? While games hold an impressionable stance, is it fair to debunk games that simply aim to be games? Do we need social commentary on a grand scale in games like VVVVVV, or is the simple whimsy and companionship displayed by the game enough?

#2 Posted by Helimocopter (369 posts) -

Well, I think it is fair to say that Johnathan Blow and Refenses are rather extreme in their views of how the world should work. Is it fair to say that a good action movie isn't worth any time? There is an inherent value in something that is well made, as a couch doesn't need to be made from expensive materials, or have some artwork embroidered onto it to have value. So long as it is comfortable, doesn't break when you pop a squat, and can be cleaned easily. The makers of the couch set out to do nothing other than make a good couch, and damn it, they made a good fucking couch (I went couch shopping recently).

#3 Edited by arjybarjy (92 posts) -

There's room for the entire spectrum of games from high art (or pretending to be high art depending on who you ask) to simpler games that don't have any narrative at all.

At the moment a certain area of that spectrum shifts more units (leaning towards the simpler side of the middle, I reckon) than others but defining that as a success is subjective.

I think if Tommy Refenes and Jonathan Blow didn't have that drive for what they think is better, they wouldn't have made such outstanding games. But I wouldn't take their opinions as gospel. Edit: I also would add David Jaffe to that list being a AAA game maker and outspoken character.

edit: probably made a better response.

#4 Edited by BlastProcessing (917 posts) -

I believe that if a game is solid entertainment, then it deserves no ill will. Games are foremost a form of entertainment, and I believe indie cunts like Jonathan Blow represent everything wrong with the industry. If they wanna make a more meaningful experience, more power to them, but to think what they're doing is an absolute game changer, and the way the industry should go is ridiculous and egotistical. Not everyone wants to come home from a hard day's work to play an emotional journey like Braid, they wanna just switch off and play a couple games of Halo, or any other multiplayer shooter, and it should stay as that. And frankly, I'd much rather play a game from Kojima or Warren Spector rather than a game from Blow or Phil Fish.

I like Jenova Chen, he deserves mad credit for his work, and not being an absolute cunt.

#5 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

@arjybarjy said:

I think if Tommy Refenes and Jonathan Blow didn't have that drive for what they think is better, they wouldn't have made such outstanding games. But I wouldn't take their opinions as gospel.

This is probably the best way to think about this. It's individual philosophy, and it's the reason film and music still have the power to be fascinating today.

#6 Posted by IzzyGraze (850 posts) -

I think there's room for both as in every form of media. And I don't think we've had enough indie titles for people to go full on hipster gamer. Indie titles are still finding their place with steam's new green light project, xbla screwing over some titles, and some people looking to independently produce(ex: Minecraft).

I would definitely enjoy deeper meanings in more games but I don't think it has to be there. I enjoy my Mount and Blade conquests as much as the next person and I thank the bandits for their compliments about my head but I don't think they're trying reference Descartes.

#7 Edited by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

I think dudes like Jon Blow are totally within their rights to hate on AAA games cause they are out there doing it, making their own games, getting heavy cake, swaggin the world.

Doesn't mean I have to agree with him. Shit I can't even beat Braid without wanting to shoot some Locust after a couple hours nawmean

That being said, games made with that single minded artistic vision are often mindblowing

p.s. you can download an early demo of this game when it went under a different name right here and if that link doesn't work just google Hazard: The Journey of Life and you'll probably find it.

p.p.s this game feels like the future

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9697 posts) -

There are assholes in every line of work regardless of the scale and quality of the work. There are asshole indie developers. There are asshole main-stream developers. There are asshole chefs, cops, athletes, etc. etc. That's just reality. I don't see this as being an 'indie developer' thing. It's a human nature-thing. But the worst thing you can do is shine a spotlight on the assholes and give them a figurative soapbox. Sort of like this thread...

Online
#9 Posted by tourgen (4495 posts) -

If games are ever going to be accepted as art we will need arrogant, elitist, blowhards. If the art world is any indication, it's the only way to be taken seriously.

#10 Edited by mosespippy (4170 posts) -

I don't think these sorts of comments have impacted the way members of the gaming community interact with each other. I'm going to ignore anything with a zombie or Call of Duty name on it and zombie gamers are gonna play zombie games. I don't treat them any different because of the ideals of the people who create my favourite games. I'd treat zombie gamers the way that I do regardless.

I do wish that there were more tripple A titles trying to do interesting things with the medium.

#11 Edited by Dougie_Com (26 posts) -

The reasoning behind this thread is not to shine a spotlight on the people exulting their own art; rather, it is questioning the motive. Independent music, for example, has a bad habit of being exclusionary. The "I can't believe you haven't heard this" mentality creates a sort of impasse for people looking to get into a new genre. The same thing is starting to surface with independent games. All indie developers, and all main stream developers as well, mean for their games to be a personal, enjoyable experience for any who might wish to play. Why then create a pedestal from which developers claim to be "better" than others? The general consensus on this thread is that there is room for diversity in the industry. It can be even argued that indie games would not have the appeal or draw that they have without the existence and popularity of AAA games. Where does this disdain come from, within the independent community, and why has it started to thrive in so many circles?

I appreciate all of the comments thus far. It should be noted that this thread was created primarily for research purposes, as I am attempting to write an article on the subject. There is no better way of going about it than starting with the gamers themselves. So please, keep on with the flow of opinions - they are wonderful.

Cheers.

#12 Posted by A_Cute_Squirtle (686 posts) -

@Endrdoug said:

The reasoning behind this thread is not to shine a spotlight on the people exulting their own art; rather, it is questioning the motive. Independent music, for example, has a bad habit of being exclusionary. The "I can't believe you haven't heard this" mentality creates a sort of impasse for people looking to get into a new genre. The same thing is starting to surface with independent games. All indie developers, and all main stream developers as well, mean for their games to be a personal, enjoyable experience for any who might wish to play. Why then create a pedestal from which developers claim to be "better" than others? The general consensus on this thread is that there is room for diversity in the industry. It can be even argued that indie games would not have the appeal or draw that they have without the existence and popularity of AAA games. Where does this disdain come from, within the independent community, and why has it started to thrive in so many circles?

I appreciate all of the comments thus far. It should be noted that this thread was created primarily for research purposes, as I am attempting to write an article on the subject. There is no better way of going about it than starting with the gamers themselves. So please, keep on with the flow of opinions - they are wonderful.

Cheers.

"I can't believe you haven't heard this" can surely be said in a neutral tone that expresses passion more than it does a sneer or gibe. I think we can all understand that you're pointing out a mentality that expects a similar level of awareness among all interested users and looks down upon those less informed, but it's important to set aside true passionate people who have the "I HAVE to show this to everyone" mentality from those scoffing at the less experienced. There is a fine line between passion and the elitism you're talking about, and I think the latter is often an overdeveloped ego borne from a surplus of the former.

#13 Posted by hanktherapper (378 posts) -

Just think of those guys as internet commenters who are given a microphone instead of a keyboard.

#14 Posted by Spoonman671 (4633 posts) -

Those guys sound like dicks.

#15 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1807 posts) -

I should write a blog post about this.

Edit: Also, Spec Ops: The Line is why I agree with Jonathan Blow. That being said, I still like a lot of big-budget/no social commentary games.

#16 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Indie dudes should be people I like and root for. But most of them all sound like jaded assholes, especially when compared to dudes who make AAA titles like Ed Boon. It makes me want to not support these guys, when it should be the opposite.

#17 Posted by Hailinel (24721 posts) -

@Barrock said:

Indie dudes should be people I like and root for. But most of them all sound like jaded assholes, especially when compared to dudes who make AAA titles like Ed Boon. It makes me want to not support these guys, when it should be the opposite.

Unfortunately, it's the assholes that get the most press because theirs are the statements that make the best headlines. Independent studios like Gaijin Games have made some very artistic, high quality titles of various shapes and sizes, but because they don't have a mouthy jerkass at the helm, they aren't the ones being quoted.

#18 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Barrock said:

Indie dudes should be people I like and root for. But most of them all sound like jaded assholes, especially when compared to dudes who make AAA titles like Ed Boon. It makes me want to not support these guys, when it should be the opposite.

Unfortunately, it's the assholes that get the most press because theirs are the statements that make the best headlines. Independent studios like Gaijin Games have made some very artistic, high quality titles of various shapes and sizes, but because they don't have a mouthy jerkass at the helm, they aren't the ones being quoted.

or the fact that they're not American/English; take Ice Pick Lodge, who's made 3 really super interesting and unique games, but the most attention they got was from a RPS article.

#19 Posted by TheHT (11242 posts) -

I'm just glad those who hold such sentiments don't run the entire industry. I'm glad no one person runs the entire industry.

Sometimes I want Call of Duty, sometimes I want Dear Esther.

#20 Posted by mosespippy (4170 posts) -

@Endrdoug said:

The reasoning behind this thread is not to shine a spotlight on the people exulting their own art; rather, it is questioning the motive. Independent music, for example, has a bad habit of being exclusionary. The "I can't believe you haven't heard this" mentality creates a sort of impasse for people looking to get into a new genre. The same thing is starting to surface with independent games. All indie developers, and all main stream developers as well, mean for their games to be a personal, enjoyable experience for any who might wish to play. Why then create a pedestal from which developers claim to be "better" than others? The general consensus on this thread is that there is room for diversity in the industry. It can be even argued that indie games would not have the appeal or draw that they have without the existence and popularity of AAA games. Where does this disdain come from, within the independent community, and why has it started to thrive in so many circles?

I appreciate all of the comments thus far. It should be noted that this thread was created primarily for research purposes, as I am attempting to write an article on the subject. There is no better way of going about it than starting with the gamers themselves. So please, keep on with the flow of opinions - they are wonderful.

Cheers.

First, independent music isn't a genre. Hipsterism is a mentality that involves seeking out new and unique experiences and supporting the artists that create them. I wouldn't call independent music exclusionary either. You want to see an indie band then go down to your local pub, concert hall or even church. Indie bands will fucking play anywhere for anyone.

Secondly, this distain comes from the pain of seeing middling products getting marketing and financial success while creators of quality products struggle to get by. Look at Duke Nukem Forever. It's derivative of all the first person shooter trends of the last decade and a half and it does it terribly. By all accounts it was a bad product and yet even with all the money spent on it over the years Take Two still made money off it and it sold really well. Then look at Jason Rohrer. The guy made Diamond Trust of London by himself. He has a publisher for it and yet he still needed to do a kickstarter to get the money to publish his game.* Basically, hipsters and the indie elite want to see creators of unique quality products succeed. It hurts when they see the masses spending money on generic products like Homefront or Bulletstorm or any number of other "me too" video games. When the casual observer spends money on a bad product then they aren't likely to spend more money because their experience is soured. If all games are the same then they can get burned out or bored. Again, the end result is negative for the medium because it leaves a bad impression and kills potential spending.

*http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/8/14/3239295/blood-diamonds-nintendo-ds-rohrer

#21 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

Basicly people idealize creators of things by what they create. We do it with the way people write. We do it with the way people talk. We do it with actors, what roles they take. And we do it with games.

#22 Posted by FriedConsole (53 posts) -

Indie games have become more stale than the big publishers now. Indie games are now either a pretentious puzzle platformer or a retro 2d platformer with nothing really else.

Technically indie games are no longer self published games but games that have a certain aesthetic regardless if it is published/developed by EA or Microsoft. Kinda how if you tell someone they are an "indie band" it could be any independent band that could play anything like Zydeco but really you know it just means they probably sound like Arcade Fire and could be on a major label.

#23 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

I personally believe in letting the games speak for themselves. Blow's design philosophy surely shines through in Braid, and it's a great game. But it's definitely not the only kind of game I'd like to play, so I'm glad there are other developers and companies with their own styles and philosophies.

#24 Posted by kalibr (120 posts) -

I think that anybody who makes broad generalizations about games' value as entertainment impacts the community negatively. However I am definitely sick of hearing some of these vocal indie developers talking shit about anything that is made by more than 3 people. The bottom line is that if a game is fun to play thats what I care about. Ive played some amazing AAA titles as well as shitty Indie titles and vice versa. The elitist indie devs need to get off their high horse and be thankful for the AAA devs who make it possible for them to have a platform to develop on. Sony and Microsoft are not gonna be able to support the PS4 and new Xbox on Fez 2 and Braid 2 but there is an audience for both types of games. Who cares who makes the game as long as someone enjoys it? Alienating potential customers because they like Call of Duty is stupid when selling more copies of your "high concept" game will help you make another one.

At the end of the day I am more excited to play Borderlands 2 and Assassins Creed 3 than some indie game that is less derivative but only fleetingly entertaining.