i’m home temporarily, midway through my tour: toronto’s ahead, the baltimore book festival, san jose co-op and indiecade are behind me. i wanna talk about the latter – indiecade – because it’s frankly the best games conference i’ve ever been to. i felt safer there than at any other games event i’ve been to (my point of comparison is gdc, but what else is there? pax?). it’s the only games conference i’ve ever been to that cared about diversity – not only were there women, queer folks, people of color everywhere i looked, they gave us PANELS. big, prominent ones, not hidden away in the back corners of moscone center like gdc does.
i’ll echo robert in saying that another of indiecade’s virtues was that nothing, in fact, was hidden. most of the festivities took place in a series of tents and tables in a public plaza, and people who had no connection to the games industry just wandered in and encountered games that they might never have otherwise been exposed to.
the best part of indiecade – “night games,” an after-dark festival of games digital and otherwise – was exactly this. there was a hundred-person laser-pointer game and a game played on a midi controller. swordfight, a game for which i experience deep professional jealousy, broke before i could play it. (the person who broke it later apologized. we’re cool.)
what i did was set up a tent with a free bar and six games that i collectively called METAGIRLACTIC BONERS BATTLE AT THE EDGE OF TIME. my slut got people to draw portraits of boners and we assembled a gallery on the walls of the tent. every time someone came over to ask what was up with all the boners, she told them something different: “it’s an inversion of the male gaze,” “it’s about making a queer safe space,” “we just like boners.” (all are true.)
the games that i ended up running were:
dildo tank by jazzuo (hosted by me for the time being; jazzuo’s site is down)
duel blasters 3000 by erotic nemesis (same)
ruin diver 3 by kkairos (run it in megazeux)
i love you but you kiss like a girl by mkapolk
multicolour alien olympic by michael brough
triple threat by ryleigh kostash
the tent was really bumping! then, right before rachel weil set up track+feel 2, slut tried to give an indie dude a piggy-back ride and broke her arm. richard hofmeier and his partner jenny abandoned the giant lamp they’d bought as a wedding present and which was taking up the back-seat of their car so they could drive us to the nearest emergency room and stay with us until four in the morning. being uninsured in america is the kind of game that is not easy to win, which is why, over a week later, slut has still been neither operated on nor even given a cast. (we’re going to a free clinic tomorrow to see if they can at least do the latter for us.)
because she’s such a goddamn trooper, and because she wants to see toronto so badly, the tour goes on in a few days. if i can manage to find the time to put them together, i’ll have zines available at CANZINE – my preview zine of star wench, about which i am currently talking with a publisher (!!!) and something new, a knock knock joke zine that slut and i made together.
some or all of my indiecade talks were recorded and should be online within the week. that’s another thing that separates indiecade from something like gdc – all the recorded talks will be public and free. meanwhile, my roommate recorded my hastily-improvised talk at san jose’s cooperative gaming co-op, including my justifications of my selections for the zinestar cabinet.
come see me in toronto! i’ll be leading some sort of game-making workshop at bento miso on friday the 19th.