Matthew Wasteland on the big, deep currents of history in game dev

I missed this at the end of last month (I am hunkered down in hardcore thesis/teaching/marking/paper-writing mode) but Matthew Wasteland distilled something really interesting and important about where “game development” is at right now. The interesting thing is the way that the former “Indies” have gone mainstream, and in their place the “zinesters” (aka Twine gamers, DIY game makers etc) take up what they’ve given up. Here’s Matt talking about the latter group, but go read the whole thing:

This group consciously and deliberately rejects indie’s failed split from the mainstream and its poorly-concealed capitalist underpinnings, and instead upholds personal expression as the highest ideal, the only goal that matters. And in order to do that successfully, they must break off completely, not at a branch somewhere on the tree but at the very root of the established order. This cannot be papered over or explained away; no amount of hemming and hawing over the definition of the word “game” will fix the fact that there are games out there now that willfully abnegate other games.

I think Matt has got the historical narrative just right in this piece, even if I missed attending GDC in person I definitely got a similar sense.