Why “indie” has become a genre word

Bastion gives you the heads-up.Some days ago there materialized a Rock, Paper, Shotgun article about how the term “indie” is…well, let me quote:

In essence, it’s a relic. Perhaps it held meaning once, but now it’s a rusty reminder of bygone times. … We use it constantly, and it’s created a plethora of negative, oftentimes limiting connotations.

Eh. Basically what happened to “indie,” as in indie games, is the same as what happened to “indie,” as in indie rock. The term was chosen because those whose work it applied to were actually independent creators, once. But because these independent creators produced work with certain things in common, “indie” came to suggest a way of doing things, a toolset of tropes and choices. And I’m sure you know what we call such a word. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — it’s a genre.

So, yeah, it’s “limiting.” By necessity. A genre is whichever genre it is by virtue of not being another genre.

If you object to the genrefication of indie (and part of me does, actually), here’s what I’d suggest: let’s come up with a way to differentiate between self-published games with no budgets (i.e. indie games) and games whose experience either 1. results from the direction of one or very few creators, and/or 2. relies partly upon your acknowledging the agency of an individual creator or small team. Because that’s what we mean now when we brand games indie. Minecraft isn’t independent anymore by most metrics — hell, it’s an industry these days — but Notch remains an important part of the whole Minecraft thing, even if he’s stepped away from the project in a literal sense.

This would allow for the existence of seeming oxymora like the EA “Indie” Bundle. It wouldn’t seem so objectionable if we called it the EA Auteur Bundle, which, practically speaking, is what it’s called already.

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A Comment That Grew Too Much; After an Absence That Grew Too Much

So, after blazin’ through a fair share over <memetic number> words on Kannagi, plot, art and discourse – I condemn timezones and odd sleeping habits for not allowing me to participate – I thought a proper response is due. I’m aware I’ve been absent for quite some while, and while my excuses are legion (depression, writer’s block, nonstimulating schoolwork soaking up time like a sponge and constant travelling) they matter little. What matter is gettin’ it on, and now.

I’ll respond on three seperate points I thought I had something at least semi-worthwhile to utter comments about. Being steeped deep in analytical philosophy is interesting in an environment veering more towards continental theory. It is quite giving, since it’s long been a desire of mine to join the two once again, finding the divide unnecessary, harmful even. This’ll also mean that my viewpoints will be at times quite… incongruous to the discourse the others are in (as opposed to disagreeing), but nothing is more beautiful than the harmony of dissonance. Oh and at times (read: most of the time) I won’t respond at all, but only go on about my view on things without really addressing theirs.

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Over 9000 meaningless words

I have to admit, this one’s a little ridiculous, even for us. Ghostlightning, lelangir, Cuchlann, and I all somehow ended up in a chat a scant few hours ago. Initially, the topic was Kannagi, but, when matters of disparate theory arose, things got a little crazy. The title is apt; in fact, what you’ll see after the break is no less than 11,001 words of our discourse and debate. Is it worth reading? Absolutely.

It’s a good thing the concept of tl;dr doesn’t exist on Super Fanicom.

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