An immensely entertaining study of the video game as creative expression.
DIRECTED BY LISANNE PAJOT and JAMES SWIRSKY
The ongoing debate over whether video games should be considered art is sure to be re-ignited by Indie Game: The Movie, a look at the world of small video game developers. As the film points out, a generation of kids that grew up with consoles like Nintendo and Playstation have finally become sophisticated enough to create their own games. Now, some of them are making highly personal interactive products with design, coding, and imagination that intertwine in something resembling—dare we say it—art.
The focus here is on three creators and their works: Jonathan Blow and his already universally acclaimed puzzler Braid; Phil Fish and the highly anticipated but much delayed 2-D/3-D shifting Fez; and Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refene’s tongue-in-cheek side-scroller Super Meat Boy, which features a boy without skin who attempts to save a girl made of bandages from a fetus wearing a top hat and monocle.
These three products are at various stages of completion, and each one undeniably reflects the personality traits of its creators, whose commitment is both inspiring and oddly touching. It’s apparent that what these game developers are devoting their lives to doing should be considered no less technically demanding than painting a picture or writing a novel. So does that make it art? You be the judge.