Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Indie Game: The Movie opens in Seattle on Friday, 4/27 and is screening at SIFF Cinema at the Film Center through 5/3}

Confession: I don’t play that many video games. But I want to. The problem is, most of them make me motion sick, so playing them involves more misery than fun. BUT! But but but. Indie games are rad because a lot of them are kind of retro-styled platform games that don’t involve the nauseating 360-POV, so uh. I could get into that.

And thus, Indie Game: The Movie—a really interesting, in-depth look at the folks who design independent video games—was super fun for me to watch.

Focusing on four indie game designers and developers (Edmund McMillen & Tommy Refenes, who created Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish, who created Fez, and Jonathan Blow, who created Braid), this documentary shows you the frustrations and celebrations of small crews operating on even smaller budgets, a glimpse into the world of game players who both idolize them and take glee in hurling insults at them, and their fight to produce a successful product that reflects their vision and their joy.

These are the guys who have Aqua Teen Hunger Force posters on the wall (my people!), grew up obsessing over Mario, and are striving to create games that their childhood selves would have loved. It’s really lovely that they’re only motivation is to make the best game possible—just for the thrill of creating something awesome. Sure, they know at the end, they’ll be money involved, but that’s not the WHY of what they’re doing.

I got so drawn into the world of these nerdy, likable guys that I think I kind of have a crush on all of them. I mean, their brains are INCREDIBLE. How do they even think of this stuff? Let alone figure out how to develop it into a game? I want to know. Is there a way for me to ask them out to coffee just so I can listen to them talk about video games? (You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. It would be amazing just to talk to them one-on-one sometime.)

Do I think this documentary is going to be of interest to everybody? No. But do I think everybody should watch it? Yes. Everybody would benefit just from seeing how hard these guys work doing something they love to death. Their enthusiasm is awe-inspiring, and I can’t wait to see what all of them come up with next.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go purchase Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Braid. If I don’t write anything else for the next 2 weeks, don’t be alarmed—I’m just having lots of fun playing indie video games.