Featuring an interview with EMP Senior Curator, Jacob McMurray
As described by EMP’s Senior Curator, Jacob McMurray: “There’s a lot packed into this gallery. There’s 20 playable games (each with their own curatorial text) within a structure of interpretive displays (primary ones on What is Indie, How are Games Made, What is a Game; secondary displays on Music and Sound Design, the Pacific Northwest as a Gaming Hub, Diversity, Crowdfunding, Digital Distribution, Where Games are Going, and How to Get in the Game), 43 exhibition films focusing on creators and their creative process as well as thoughts on the independent gaming space, a gallery soundtrack featuring 22 composers working in indie games, and a contextual timeline of 50 years of indie gaming (covering 50 games and 20 cultural data points).”
Fortunately, Indie Game Revolution is here to stay at EMP for a while, McMurray says, “My hope is that this will continue resonating will visitors and continue evolving as the indie space evolves and we’ll see Indie Game Revolution at EMP for quite some time. Regardless, I think gaming is part of EMP’s DNA now – it’ll be here in some form, always.”
McMurray went on to express that Indie Game Revolution is bound to make fans out of a wider audience than just gamers: “I know that there will be plenty of people that come to EMP because they are passionate about one of our exhibitions and they will wander into Indie Game Revolution and initially think that they aren’t interested in games, but the process of experiencing that gallery I think will go a long way to changing some people’s predispositions toward games. I think I’m less concerned about turning non-gamers into gamers, and more interested in showing everyone the creative potential that games have. Half the challenge is creating a space in which the audience can appreciate the medium on the same level as those creating the games. Games still have this decades old reputation as only being frivolous or only for kids and lacking in serious cultural worth. We need to get to the point where the audience is as excited about the possibilities of games as the creators.” From another perspective, I’d hazard to say that aging generations are starting to change those impressions and exhibits like Indie Game Revolution are making that cultural shift evident.
So now it’s up to us, Gen X & Y, to get our non-gamer friends into EMP to check it out; as Jacob said, Indie Game Revolution is here to stay for the foreseeable future and will be updated from time to time with fresh games so repeat visits will definitely be rewarded! I’ve been twice now and even if you go once just to play hard on a single game for 20 minutes you won’t regret it. I leave you with an excellent Shigeru Miyamoto quote from the EMP gift shop display: