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Indie Game
Collaboration: Emerging
Creative Territories
Patrick Crogan
Bristol Games Hub
May 2014
Indie Games
• Recent growth of indie
game production and
viability
• ‘Maturing’ of the form:
becoming ‘art’,
expression
Other models of ‘art’
• ‘critical’ and
non-entertainment uses of
games as explorative and
simulational experience
• the Endgame Syria (Auroch Digital
2013) controversy
• And the Paper Please
(Lucas Pope 2013) success
Factors
• bundling sites, Steam and indie marketplaces on major
platforms eg. X-Box Live Indie Games
• Crowd-funding sites eg. Kickstarter
• Apple and Android (and other) mobile apps
marketplaces
• Flash and more recently/significantly Unity Game
packages with cross-platform capabilities (vs console
developer kits, licensing)
Structural factors: the ‘industry’
• Is not ‘one’: multiple, dynamic, vulnerable to
technological trends, unstable vertical
structures, global economic competition
• Contract and just-in-time employment
promotes independent project development
‘on the side’
‘Creative Economy’
• Major focus of research
today including for AHRC
• First funding stream dedicated to video games
research had this emphasis from the Nesta ‘Next
Gen’ recommendation to:
support better research-oriented university/industry
collaborations with a view to accelerating innovation and
maintaining competitive advantage in the video games industry
Creativity ?
• Often assumed, or missing in creative economy models
• Emphasis on economic, legal and infrastructural
conditions
• Economy as quantitatively imagined: export revenue,
job growth, UK immaterial economy ‘brand’
Creative Territories: To explore
creativity in context
• Creativity as collectively enabled
• As technological/cultural/economic
• Multiple motivations: questions of value,
‘investment’, community identity,
Other models: Contributory territory
Bernard Stiegler
Digital technologies, he argues, “can equally wither the life of a territory as
revive it – to the extent that local government make either possible. The
digital is a ‘pharmakon’ which, in order to become therapeutic for a territory
instead of toxic, requires that new knowledges and new dynamics are
cultivated there. In this regard, the attraction a territory holds for investors is
increasingly related to what Amartya Sen calls the capacitation of its
inhabitants, their sharing of values and mutual support, all of which
constitutes a reflective social milieu, which is to say a critical space, much
more than a ‘smart city’.”
Territories
• Place as important element in creativity
• Overlapping territories: local/immediate and
regional/national/international; the
community milieu
• The digital and the physical/analogue
Introducing: Project partners:
The Bristol Games Hub
Media and Culture Studies,
Utrecht University
Special Guest: Jan-Pieter van
Seventer of the Dutch Game
Garden
Ph D. Researcher attached
Contacts/comms
• creativeterritories.dcrc.org.uk
• Tweet to @CreativTurf ; #creativeterritories
• creativeterritories@gmail.com

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Crogan intro for creative turf may wkshop

  • 1. Indie Game Collaboration: Emerging Creative Territories Patrick Crogan Bristol Games Hub May 2014
  • 2. Indie Games • Recent growth of indie game production and viability • ‘Maturing’ of the form: becoming ‘art’, expression
  • 3. Other models of ‘art’ • ‘critical’ and non-entertainment uses of games as explorative and simulational experience • the Endgame Syria (Auroch Digital 2013) controversy • And the Paper Please (Lucas Pope 2013) success
  • 4. Factors • bundling sites, Steam and indie marketplaces on major platforms eg. X-Box Live Indie Games • Crowd-funding sites eg. Kickstarter • Apple and Android (and other) mobile apps marketplaces • Flash and more recently/significantly Unity Game packages with cross-platform capabilities (vs console developer kits, licensing)
  • 5. Structural factors: the ‘industry’ • Is not ‘one’: multiple, dynamic, vulnerable to technological trends, unstable vertical structures, global economic competition • Contract and just-in-time employment promotes independent project development ‘on the side’
  • 6. ‘Creative Economy’ • Major focus of research today including for AHRC • First funding stream dedicated to video games research had this emphasis from the Nesta ‘Next Gen’ recommendation to: support better research-oriented university/industry collaborations with a view to accelerating innovation and maintaining competitive advantage in the video games industry
  • 7. Creativity ? • Often assumed, or missing in creative economy models • Emphasis on economic, legal and infrastructural conditions • Economy as quantitatively imagined: export revenue, job growth, UK immaterial economy ‘brand’
  • 8. Creative Territories: To explore creativity in context • Creativity as collectively enabled • As technological/cultural/economic • Multiple motivations: questions of value, ‘investment’, community identity,
  • 9. Other models: Contributory territory Bernard Stiegler Digital technologies, he argues, “can equally wither the life of a territory as revive it – to the extent that local government make either possible. The digital is a ‘pharmakon’ which, in order to become therapeutic for a territory instead of toxic, requires that new knowledges and new dynamics are cultivated there. In this regard, the attraction a territory holds for investors is increasingly related to what Amartya Sen calls the capacitation of its inhabitants, their sharing of values and mutual support, all of which constitutes a reflective social milieu, which is to say a critical space, much more than a ‘smart city’.”
  • 10. Territories • Place as important element in creativity • Overlapping territories: local/immediate and regional/national/international; the community milieu • The digital and the physical/analogue
  • 12. Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University Special Guest: Jan-Pieter van Seventer of the Dutch Game Garden
  • 13. Ph D. Researcher attached
  • 14. Contacts/comms • creativeterritories.dcrc.org.uk • Tweet to @CreativTurf ; #creativeterritories • creativeterritories@gmail.com