Defining the indie game as process: aesthetic, production and community

PhD Thesis

Malek, D. 2021. Defining the indie game as process: aesthetic, production and community. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Creative Arts and Industry
AuthorsMalek, D.
TypePhD Thesis

The video game industry is now considered one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. This growth coincided with larger teams, budgets, and expectations to provide the latest technological advanced video games. However, in the mid to late 2000s there was a different type of game emerging – the indie game. Despite there being preconceptions about the qualifying factors of their classification - such as publishing independence - it has since become clear that indie games are not simply an abbreviation of independent. They represent and reflect different ways of working, ideas, values, and beliefs. In turn, there have been attempts to define “indie”, with some claiming that the term cannot be defined and therefore no longer makes sense. This research seeks to provide an intervention. Asserting that the term “indie” can be – and has been – understood in a variety of ways by a wide range of audiences over a period of several decades. This research draws on textual analysis, original practice-based research involving the production of an indie game, original interviews, and original audience research (drawing on a survey of 966 respondents) to arrive at a definition: Indie as process. Within this notion of indie as process, it is possible to identify three predominant themes. Indie as Aesthetic Process, Indie as Production Process, and Indie as Community Process. These processes, when considered in isolation or together, begin to inform our shared understanding of the indie game, allowing us to move beyond rigid ideas of what makes an indie game “indie”.

KeywordsVideo games; India games; Aesthetic; Production; Community
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Deposited13 Dec 2021
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