Indiecade: Sundance of Gaming Industry come to CMD

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Santa Monica College’s Center for Media and Design (CMD) takes pride in providing an environment where imagination and ingenuity take precedence. Whether the ends are to affect global perspective or simply to entertain, CMD acts as a platform for unique thinkers. 

This sentiment also holds true with the newest large-scale three-day event that will use CMD’s facilities, the International Festival of Independent Games, better known as Indiecade. This event hosts some of the world’s most ingenious and thought-provoking game designers and developers across all platforms. They are true masters of escapism. 

Indiecade will unfold over three days. Thursday, October 11 hosts IndieXchange which acts as a networking day. Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13 are when the festival is in full force. All three days engage the festival goer with a variety of events from lectures to game testing and even SMC’s own student showcase.

Indiecade holds several “Conference Sessions” which encompass lectures, demonstrations and workshops that capture the gaming industry’s forward-thinking voice. Diving deeper in the lecture, “The Neuroscience of Games: One Weird Truth About Learning Styles That Will Change Everything You Know About Play” breaks down player's stereotypic behavior. The Independent game development team of fiction writer Natalie Mesnard and neuroscientist Patrick Watson explore how gamers are given an opportunity to reevaluate personal identities with games.

A collaborative environment is a productive environment for this industry. Indiecade nominees, husband and wife team, writer Jeff Crocker and director Andy Crocker take you down an existential rabbit hole creating a play with escape room elements, “Escape from Godot.” Both wanted to re-imagine Samuel Beckett’s classic game "Waiting for Godot" by creating an interactive experience filled with puzzles. Jeff Crocker suggests that Beckett’s classic game, while profound, can also be profoundly boring, “We came up with the concept of what if you have the ability as the audience to be able to escape from that production.” 

He explains how both his and Andy’s background complimented each other and aided in their production, “On my side that sort of theme park experiential entertainment world, and her side, it was taking a classic piece of theater and making it much more playful which is really sort of Andy’s ethos.” They want to immerse the audience in a post-modern understanding of the classics, “We are starting to use new tools to invite the audience to experience these themes. If you’re a video game player and you don’t go to the theater that much maybe this is the perfect center of the Venn diagram for you to experience it.” 

Nominee Pornsima Duangratana’s board game, Stress Express, paints a humorous version of 21st century stress. She creates chaos through multiple timed tasks. Duangratana uses competition between players to mimic real life anxieties, “to compete with each other is much more stronger in board games and actually brings out stress that is actually very humorous.” She said the goal of her game is to make the audience to reevaluate their everyday stresses and how they deal with them. 

Festival passes are available with a variety of access such all access or IndieU for students. SMC students and alums receive an exclusive 50% discount. To see a full schedule of events and tickets prices visit www.indiecade.com and immerse yourself in the innovative future of gaming.