The first ever Boston FIG (Boston Festival of Indie Games) happened this past Saturday and it was an amazing event to be a part of. There were over a thousand in attendance, which I think far exceeded the expected registrations for the the event. The main feature was a digital games showcase which housed a select set of indie games from the area which you could both play and vote on – with the developers themselves showing them off. There were a number of keynote speakers, events, and talks, and even industry famous movies to watch, such as Get Lamp and Indie Game: the Movie. There was also a game jam and an art exhibition. Awards were given at the end of the day which included many prizes from those who graciously helped sponsor the event.
The best part of the day was of course, that the governor of Massachusetts declared September 22nd, the day of the first Festival of Indie Games, to be “Independent Game Development Day”. You can read the proclamation on mass.gov. There was an official announcement with a lot of fanfare surrounding it, tying the proclamation to the festival and to MIT where one of the first video games was created. All I can say is that it is very cool that I live in a state and city that has such a rich history in computer games and really supports and fosters games in many aspects of life and the industry and individuals who create them – there are very few places like this.
MIT, or more specifically the MIT Game Lab, was hosting the event in the building where the lab is located on the MIT campus. The facilities were excellent and the festival was spread out among a number of classrooms and auditoriums there. There were also a number of sponsors that helped out supporting the event. As a volunteer I helped with setup, tear down, and the VIP/Press registration table. I got to meet many people in the industry and many more indie developers and students working on gaming related degrees. The whole place was a bundle of energy and excitement and I am happy to say I participated in the first one. It will undoubtedly be a growing annual event in Boston’s gaming scene! I would do it all over again just for the opportunity to hang out with all the cool people involved – and to enjoy the after party, which was just as fun.
You can see the details about the event on the BostonFIG website, and a Boston Indies member and photographer put together a nice collection of photos. One of the more famous faces in the gaming world, Peter Molyneux, was there. He came to speak at a related gaming symposium by the MIT Game Lab the previous day called “Games In Everyday Life And Why That Matters To You”, and was a hit at BostonFIG trying out the indie games. The first two pictures show him with some famous area indie developers and the founders of BUG (Boston Unity Group)!
Some of the great press coverage:
dig Boston: REPORTING LIVE: BOSTON FESTIVAL FOR INDIE GAMES
GAMASUTRA: In Boston, strong community means resilience in the face of change
Blast: The best from the Boston Festival of Indie Games
BostInno: The Best of Boston’s Indie Gaming Community
See you there next year…