Several months ago Paolo Pedercini gave at a talk at Indiecade 2012 titled "Towards Independence" - where he discussed what it meant to be an indie game designer today. Rather than a category that is defined by a series of questions with an either / or value that makes one an "indie" developer, he said that being an indie designer is something that exists on a gradient. He said that no matter what, we are always constrained: by technology, capital, protocols, hardware, class, race, sexuality & privilege. What this means is, being indie is an ideal, rather than a stable formation. It is a utopia, a horizon ever receding as we run towards it.
Indie seems, at least in its best formations, to be something diametrically opposed to capital, to the dominant cadre that controls how videogames are made. Recently, Daniel Joseph released a video concerning the oppositional nature of indie and amateur games - showing how in many cases their existence, the practice of making videogames outside massive publishing corporations allows people to articulate politics in new ways.
Manifestos have been written. Feminism is exploding through gamer culture (especially here in Toronto) in a way that 5 years ago would have appeared to be impossible. Class is on the agenda again. What happens next?
There are a diverse group of writers & thinkers such as Charles Eisenstein (author of 'Sacred Economics'), Mark Boyle ('The Moneyless Man') and even Seth Godin ('Lynchpin') who are pointing out that we have reached a crisis point in our pattern of capitalist commodification.
Through the internet and other technology, we have access to gargantuan amounts of information, entertainment, goods and services, much of it for free or at much lower cost than in the past. In many ways we North Americans are needing to change our lifestyles to deal with having too much of things (witness the high growth in the personal storage industry & the rise of diy/voluntary simplicity/sharing subcultures), and yet simultaneously technology is making many types of paid work obsolete.
Are we in the midst of a transition into (back into?) A gift culture? Do we want that? Is it necessary or inevitable? What problems will it solve? What problems will it create?
Panda Robotics makes hardware and software that is easy to use, low maintenance, and designed for creatives. They enable simple workflows but still provide advanced levels of control to enable experimentation, research, and customization.
They saw the possibilities and challenges of 3D printing and realized that no one was focusing on the people who will really make this revolution happen: the creatives and the researchers. In December of 2011 they began work on a printer that would serve their needs and fit their budgets.
Join us for our latest installment of "Test the Impossible" as Panda Robotics demonstrate their 3D printer and talk about their upcoming Kickstarter campaign.