Today, I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to IndieCade, how awesome it is, and volunteering. Really tired right now with all the studies and such, but hey! Had to write something about IndieCade (even though it is a poor articulation). I may rewrite this sometime in the next few days.

So last weekend was IndieCade. It was pretty much one of the most BA experiences of my life. I could easily recommend it to anyone and everyone.

For those that aren’t in the know, IndieCade is a festival held every year for the celebration of games, specifically “indie” games.

Indie comes from the word individual and usually refers to games that are made by smaller teams without publisher support who make the game “out-of-their-pocket.” E.g. A small team of four who uses crowd-funding (such as Kickstarter) to launch their game self-published.

IndieCade hosts a variety of events and panels and talks about indie gaming and gaming at large. It’s held every year but this year it took place in Culver City on October 11-13th. It had three different locales for the entirety of the convention. The first was the Ivy where certain speechs and panels were held. The local firehouse held various games for attendees to play. Lastly, there was the IndieCade Village, a series of tends with various activities and games.

There were “Big Games” games, such as Kill the Kraken, which are games played in the real world with real players on a real field. Think ultimate frisbee or tag-style games (although there are many kinds). As an example, Kill the Kraken is a game about ~10 players who form two teams. One team plays as the Kraken and one team plays as the humans. The Kraken is in reality one player who holds a pole with a net at the top with strings attached. Each of the other team members hold onto these strings in one hand and have a pool noodle in the other forming the tentacles. The goal of the Kraken is to go around and flip all the cardboard bases of the humans before the humans can throw sock balls equal to the number of players on the Kraken team into the kraken net.

It’s a really fun game and very creative.

IndieCade also hosts a variety of interactive presentations, card games, board games and experimental games. There was one game that I was able to experience that was quite phenomenal. (Note: The technicalities behind the following project are as I understand them and may not be completely factual.)

Essentially, one developer had set up this large two-person seating device shaped like a very large clamp-shell. The chairs face each other and each person sits in one of the two seats in this design. Apparently, the chair has special sensors inside of it that detect your heartbeat, transform the electrical feedback into sound and then back into electrical feedback for these specialized sub woofers in the other person’s chair. It would then project out the result out of these sub woofers into the other person. Essentially, the experience would allow you to feel the other person’s heartbeat. You would be able to feel the rhythm of the other person’s heartbeat. It was a very surreal and interesting experience. These kinds of experiences are something that could only be experienced at IndieCade (specifically Night Games, the night portion on Saturday).

They had a Playstation booth filled with upcoming indie titles launching on the Playstation platform. The highlight of their tent was probably hands down Starwhal: Just The Tip. It was a competitive 4-player game where you play as one of four narwhals trying to spear the other narwhals. It was both cute and ridiculous.

There was also a Nintendo tent full of upcoming indie titles for the Wii U. Some of the highlights were Runbow, Sportsball, and Swords and Sorcery II. I definitely advise looking more into them.

There was an eSports and Ouya tent as well as two tents titled “Digital Selects.” Digital Selects were indie games that were sorted into two categories, “Adrenaline” and “Reflection” and then presented for participants to play.

There were also some stands for certain sponsors such as Time Warner Cable, Nvidia and Spritebuilder.

There were some stands for VR-related games and even a Oculus Rift RV.

It was filled with so much experience and fun and yet it’s hard to all describe here. There are other things that I won’t go into detail but will leave to you to discover yourself!

One part of it that was definitely worth it all and definitely worth mentioning, however, was the fact that I got to experience all of this for free. How did I do that? I volunteered. IndieCade accepts volunteers who essentially get a free all-access pass just for working a few shifts for a few hours. Did I mention this pass is normally $400+?

I recommend volunteering there to anyone. These games aren’t just for gamers either. The whole experience is available and accessible to anyone and everyone and it’s just a great experience. I walked around with my friends who were also volunteering, ate lots of food, played lots of games, bought a t-shirt made by my friend Katherine Duffy, and so much more. It was an exhilarating experience and definitely worth checking out if you are in the area.

Play. Create. Inspire.

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