USC's Interactive Media Takes Home Indiecade Impact Award
IndieCade, an independent games festival considered "the Sundance of games", celebrated its fifth year in Culver City last weekend, and USC game developers were well-represented.
IndieCade is "not just about console or PC games, but all games as a whole,” said Jeff Watson of USC’s Interactive Media Division (IMD). IndieCade is the only independent focused game festival in the nation.
Watson, as well as a handful of students, all participated in the events of IndieCade representing USC and their love of gaming. Watson was there promoting an award-winning card game he developed with Tracy Fullerton (a professor and pioneer of the IMD program) and IMD MFA student Simon Wiscombe. The game was honored with several other noteworthy games that received prizes for their innovation and uniqueness in the gaming world.
The card game, dubbed Reality Ends Here after the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) motto, earned the Impact Award, which according to IndieCade, “Pays tribute to independent games that have had/can have a significant impact on the gaming landscape. They may have social message, shift the cultural perception of games as a medium, represent a new play paradigm, expand the audience, or influence culture.”
One of the student volunteers on-hand to promote the game, Michael Effenberger, said that “Reality Ends Here is a card game developed as a means to increase collaboration between the different divisions of SCA and immediately start projects."
Green cards are essentially project cards that dictate the type of media players will produce, determining whether players will make a trailer, a city symphony, an animated short, etc. Pink cards set perimeters for the content being created. They contain a variety of factors to set limits for projects, such as involving objects, situations, or locations, and help students focus less on the inception of an idea and more on the production.
“Every award was thoughtful," Watson said. "[IndieCade] is a place where you’re recognized as designers, not as an industry. It’s a new kind of play paradigm and a model for how games can change the community.”
The IndieCade awards ceremony resembled a traditional ceremony, but instead of musical interludes, the audience played group games.
The annual IndieCade festival is open to the general public with admission. More information can be found at the main site here.
You can learn more about Reality Ends Here here.