“I believe that video games are not only entertainment – but art. My purpose is to create interactive experiences that come from the heart – worlds in which people may explore, feel, think and play.”
Alec Holowka is a game designer, programmer and composer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Infinite Ammo is home to his personal projects and collaborations with other talented independent game developers. Indie Games are fertile grounds for artists of all kinds and programmers, resulting in hundreds of great examples. Their work demonstrates the power that is in the bedrooms and home-office-studios around the word in a community that is producing a wide range of games with agendas not purely driven by commercial gain.
Teachers may be using applications like ‘Scratch’ in the classroom; but the idea of ‘games’ today is not about geeks cutting code (not that it ever has) – it’s about story telling. For teachers willing to explore new narratives, looking up the Indie Game community (http://tigsource.com/ and http://offworld.com/) will reveal some very talented people, producing some inspirational work – that is accessible. It also demonstrate how collaboration is more than comment and paste, but allows them to begin to understand how large projects can be achieved by teaming up with people who have complimentary skills and ideas to yours.
They are great ways to engage students with writing, from a review, or writing new matrial – away from programming and ICT. And of course they can put their review in the blog comments or even contact the game makers directly. These people are far more accessible that GTA developers. Accessibility is key to student eLearning – they have to see what they are doing as novices leading somewhere later.
Wayne Gretzky, hockey legend said “I skate where the puck in going to be, not where it has been”.
Exploring Indie Games will introduce students to the idea that games are not only made by huge studios with mega-budgets – but there is art and craft to be learned and shared. Here is a great place to start looking. Games are stories we can shape and immerse ourselves in socially, not just as players, but as developers. Just like blogging really, but with code. Is there a market for Indie Games? YES – How many students play Newgrounds and Miniclip? – Is the game industry moving away from physical media? of course. There are some great games out there, such as Time Donkey, and better still these people are on Twitter, on Ustream, they blog and they talk back. Accessible, authentic motivation, you bet.