|Indie Game: The Movie|
Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky's documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, follows the developers of two major indie games–Fez and Super Meat Boy–as they struggle to meet two separate deadlines: a release date in the case of Super Meat Boy and a gaming convention in the case of Fez. Throughout, the designers talk about the inspirations behind their games and what they mean to them.
Roger Ebert has said, rather infamously, that video games are not and cannot be an art form. If Indie Game does anything well–and it does lots well–it proves him wrong. If you come away from Indie Game seeing Fez or Super Meat Boy as anything less than personal, expressive works, you weren't paying attention. These games don't just exist to entertain or earn a profit; they're extensions of their creators. They tap into memories, hopes, and dreams, and they reflect some aspect of each designer's worldview, the same as any artwork does.
But all that aside, Indie Game does what the best documentaries do–it helps us to understood, identify with, and even care for people who are wildly different from us. If I had caught this one last year, there's no doubt it would've found a spot on my year-end favorites list.