IndieCade 2016 – The Most Interactive Expo Ever
Most cons consist of lines, sitting, watching, and listening, but that was not the case at Indiecade 2016, where all you do is do.
A few weeks ago (I’m very backed up on my pieces) IndieCade 2016 was hosted on USC’s Campus and it was glorious. It is hands down one of the most interesting and fun expos/cons/shows you can attend. Most cons are very similar, at least if you’re going to a comic/anime themed one. Not to say that is a bad thing, but it’s usually: check out the show floor, go around for free stuff, check out some panels, and enjoy the cosplayers’ costumes. It’s a lot of fun, and pretty much why I’m at one every single month. Where as in what I will dub “traditional cons” you do a lot of observing, IndieCade you do a lot of doing.
A large part is the focus of the con, video games draw is their interactivity. Since it’s all about games, you can’t get away with just showing off a trailer like at a traditional con. People want to PLAY. And you get your fill and then some at IndieCade. Developers from all over the world come to show off their games and let attendees play them. What is really nice about the setup, is that players are given the opportunity to interact with the developers. So after playing the game, any questions or comments can be immediately received. It’s a very intimate setting, especially in contrast to traditional cons.
Speaking of intimacy, what I really took away from IndieCade was the story these developers really strive to input into their games. Some of them are entirely creative, but others who completely personal. One of the biggest standouts of the entire event, to me, was a game called Revisions. Revisions is a truly personal story, brilliantly embodied through a series of minigames. It not only tells the story but really connects to the player as you metaphorically play/live through the author’s, Steve Cha, life. Check out the game at their site, it is completely free to play and I think is one of the best examples of storytelling in video games ever developed.
Aside from all the fun of playing video games, IndieCade really shows the evolving of the medium. IndieCade and Intel hosted an area call “Gaming For Everyone” that features games that are developed by minority demographics, and for minority audiences. I apologize of my phrasing isn’t the best, but know that this was the most amazing part of the show. There were games created by girls in their summer camp, games from and for the LGBT community, game controllers for the physically challenged, and then some. It was truly inspiring to see how gaming reaches everyone and what else gaming can do.
IndieCade 2016 was one of the most enjoyable con experiences I have had, and also one of the most educational. Gaming is a growing medium and beginning to include much more than sheer entertainment value. Gaming is all about fun, and people are now finding ways to share their stories, dreams, and messages, through it. If you like gaming at all, I cannot recommend checking out IndieCade enough.