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SXSW Review: Indie Game: The Movie

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Directed by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, “Indie Game: The Movie” is a refreshing documentary that follows independent video game developers as they create games and release those pixelated works (and themselves) to the world.

The film primarily focuses on Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy) and Phil Fish (Fez) as they prepare their respective games for release on Xbox Live and at The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Boston.

Pajot and Swirsky’s quirky, touching film also features commentary from indie developers like Jonathan Blow (Braid), who explain the hardships and freedoms of being an independent game developer in an industry dominated by Mega-Studios like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Pajot and Swirsky: “These developers make games with small teams on modest budgets. They sacrifice money, health, and sanity to make these works – games that, to them, are a deep form of personal expression.”

If you found yourself immersed in “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” then you’ll thoroughly enjoy the journey of these developers. Pajot and Swirsky have crafted a wonderful documentary that is insightful, entertaining and heartfelt in the way it documents a creator’s passions and follows the entire process of releasing their games to the masses.

Pajot and Swirsky: “This film encapsulates what it’s like to create in a digital age. What it’s like to create under the Internet microscope. How it feels to put yourself out there and expose yourself to the real-time social media feedback.”

These rather introverted, awkward game developers reveal themselves through their art in very profound ways and talk at length on the importance of games and how an entire generation has been shaped by 8-bit graphics.

“Indie Game: The Movie” is a blast – it’s just fun to watch. It’s stylish and inspirational in the way it crosses the boundaries of, perhaps, a very inaccessible subject matter (the technological world of game development) by connecting with the artists and their passions.

Continue? 10…9…8…7…

Check out the trailer below:

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