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Invasion of the independent games: BostonFIG opens on 9/14

Posted by Michael Warshaw  August 29, 2013 11:03 AM

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By Elicia Basoli

You can’t claim to be the home of anything as unpredictable, fast-moving, and downright cool as independent games unless you have a celebration. Thus, the second annual incarnation of the Boston Festival of Indie Games (BostonFIG) is being held on Saturday, September 14.

_MG_1831.JPGA celebration of independent game development in a variety of media and genres, the 2nd annual Boston Festival of Indie Games promises to be bigger and better than the first, partly because a year has helped to grow and mature the independent games movement. “BostonFIG puts Massachusetts right at the forefront of the indie game scene. We’re really excited to be a part of it," said Seth Sivak, chief executive of Cambridge start-up Proletariat Inc.

Greater Boston is an area where innovation in technology, education, health, and the arts meet as one. Video games intersect all of these disciplines; one of the goals of BostonFIG is to showcase the local talent shaping the future of the game industry. Despite the name, the event – or more to the point, events – take place across the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Free and open to the public, the festival will feature film screenings and other expanded programming, a video-game themed concert at the Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge, speakers, food trucks, and many, many more games on display than last year. Of course, the games are there to be played, including video games, tabletop games, and live action roleplaying (LARP) games. “Independent developers are producing the most exciting and vital work in games,” said keynote speaker Chris Remo of Double Fine, “I'm really proud to take part in an event dedicated solely to indie games and creators.”

The developers that will showcase new games at the festival were recently revealed on BostonFIG.com, all of which were hand-selected by a group of industry veterans. In addition, several keynote speakers have been announced, including Journey developer Robin Hunicke (speaking about “Finding Meaning in Gameplay”) and Double Fine’s Chris Remo (whose subject will be “Specificity – the Indie’s Advantage”). More details on the full event schedule, planned films, and more will continue to be revealed leading up to the festival.

Panels will include “Boston: The Cradle of Narrative Games,” and will feature designers from both Infocom and Looking Glass Studios. The master of ceremonies will be Brian O’Halloran, the actor best known for his role as Dante in the cult hit film Clerks, and the accompanying Boston Plays Indies concert will feature the Video Game Orchestra, Supergiant Games’ Darren Korb, DJ Cutman, Control Group, and deadbeatblast.

The festival will also host an event-long game jam, displays of video game art, and the Figgies Awards ceremony, honoring creativity among indie game makers. Some 4,000 game fans are expected to attend this year.

The event is supported by such sponsors as The Boston Globe, Unreal, Valve, Unity, Microsoft, Adobe, Harmonix, and Comcast.

Registration for the festival and tickets for the “Boston Plays Indies” concert can all be found at www.BostonFIG.com.

Elicia Basoli is a communications and PR consultant serving the video game industry, and a Massachusetts native. She is particularly passionate about the New England games community, has worked with a number of local developers, and contributes to the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Games Circle, the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), and the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Follow Elicia at @EliciaBuzz.

The State of Play blog, organized by MassDiGI, features posts by digital and video game industry insiders writing about creativity, innovation, research, and development in the Massachusetts digital entertainment and apps sectors. MassDiGI, based at Becker College, is a statewide center for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship, and economic development across the local games ecosystem. Follow along @Mass_DiGI

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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MassDiGI 8-24 287w872.jpgThe State of Play, organized by MassDiGI, features stories by digital and video game developers and business insiders. Follow along @mass_digi.

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