At long last, pictures from the Boston Festival of Indie Games

FiG display


I don’t have a visual imagination, but my friend Eileen does, and she suggested the three-level pedestal for the roses, title card, and bowl of chocolate hearts. I ended up making them out of old textbooks draped with cloth. Out of social psychology, marketing, and operations management textbooks, specifically. Which made me grin a little as I packed them into my Bose canvas shoulder bags for transport. It’s human nature to retroactively impose narrative where it doesn’t belong, but I have to say it was a neat moment. First I was an English major, and then I worked in software, and then I worked in marketing, where I incidentally learned how to do trade shows, and then I got an MBA, and now I use it all. (“Oh, so that’s what that was for. It seemed like a random detail when it was introduced in chapter 3, but now I see it was necessary for the plot to resolve.”)

This is the hall in the early morning, as we were all setting up and the first few people were trickling in.

Empty hall

I don’t have a non-sucky picture of the hall during peak hours, but I’d like you to imagine this space crammed to the edges with people. 5000 people over the course of the day, according to the official numbers. 5000 attendees, come on purpose to an event that is only in its second year, for the sole purpose of checking out Indie games.

The developers ranged from “Indie studio” to “I made this in my basement.” The games ranged from first-person shooters to romantic court intrigues to interactive radio plays to educational archeological games for kids to text adventures about living with depression. The attendees ranged from middle school to late middle age – and the gender divide, interestingly, looked to be about 50:50. This is the way the world changes. Not with a bang, but slowly and quietly, at the bottom of the market, through the pull of an inexorable tide.

All 5000 didn’t stop by my table, but it sure felt like it – we started talking to people at 9:45 and didn’t stop until 6:15. And upwards of 90 percent of the people who did come over started grinning when they understood what Choice of Games is all about. Which was pretty awesome. Overall, a great day.


Me at the booth

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