The BIG Festival: A Celebration of All Things Indie

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You all know I love indie games. Often, I can be found saying that indies are going to be what saves this games industry. In the land of mediocrity, scandals, and greed, the AAA industry has become a breeding ground for manufacturing garbage made just to milk gamers. There are exceptions, but not enough for me to think any less of that statement. So it really does make me happy to see events that celebrate the indie industry, especially ones in places we never really think about. To that end, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of the Brazil Independent Games Festival or BIG Festival. As an indie supporter, I’m almost ashamed that I hadn’t heard of it sooner. But, in case you haven’t either, let’s discuss them because I wish there was more of this in the games industry.

From all that I’ve read (and had to translate) it seems this festival is less of an awards show or press conference kind of deal. While awards are a part of what they do, what I’m happy to see is that they emphasize this being a meeting place to discuss the development and understanding of games. That particular part means a lot to me: the understanding of games. When I think of the industry as a whole today, that understanding on the whole seems to have been lost. I don’t need to tell you about how games used to be compared to how they are today. Yeah, they’ve got way higher graphical fidelity and great voice work and so on, but so many games feel like soulless trash. Indies aren’t exempt as there are plenty of games there that feel like shovelware, but I believe the chances of finding a gem in the indie space is far more likely than not.

This is why this festival is important. NEVER heard of this game, but it looks great.

Now looking through what panels and forums they have, I’m pretty impressed with how many aspects of games they focus on. Audio, careers, development, impact on society, and various others. Though “business” does give me a bit of pause as that segment is dedicated to games as a product or a service. I’d like to see some of these panels and hear how they would present that information. Games typically are bought and sold. That’s just how it goes. But these days, who you buy games from is something worth considering. Buying a game from EA or Activision isn’t the same as buying a game from Devolver Digital; one of them gives you a game and the others give you picrotransaction lootbox hell. I only hope that stays true and places like this keep from that tainted well.

Finally, they have their BIG awards ceremony for a variety of caterogries including education, innovation, games from Latin America and Brazil, social matters, diversity and more. Some of these categories are awarding people for tackling issues everyone else seemed to shy away from while always asking people to keep politics out their games when it makes them uncomfortable. And as much as I’m always looking for good games, events like these remind me that I’m only scratching the surface of the indie space. Of all the games featured for an award, I’ve only heard of about 4 of them. I may not be able to play all of them, but perhaps there’ll be some real gems I can try and report back to you all about them.

Seriously, where are these games hiding??

All in all, the BIG Festival seems right up my alley and any one else’s who have even a passing interest in the indie space. If at all you can catch some stream of it or something, I urge you to do so. THey hold the event in 5 days and counting at the time of writing, so there’s a little time to clear out a little of your schedule to work in a bit of time, yeah? As for me, I’m going to check out some trailers for some of these games. Check out the list and tell us any that stand out to you. From the looks of it, there’s a lot here so I’m hoping I do find a great game or 3. Especially with some of these names. Who wouldn’t wanna play Fake News, the game?

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