September 21st, 2012 | By Meg Stivison
Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick has declared September 22nd to be “Independent Games Development Day” in the commonwealth. The proclamation highlights the importance of game development, especially indie games, for creating jobs and contributing to the economy as small businesses, and for encouraging creativity and innovation in Massachusetts.
Exciting times for indie developers, and players!
September 22nd is the date of the first annual Boston Festival of Indie Games, created by Boston Indies, Be Epic and the MIT Game Lab. The festival will be held at the MIT Campus in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although it’s on the MIT grounds, it’s a free event and open to everyone. The festival promises to showcase indie games, with a focus on Massachusetts and the rest of New England, and includes electronic games, tabletop physical games, location-based games and interactive fiction. IGM’s Jonny Borron has more to say about Boston FIG here.
I’m especially pleased because I’m an east coast girl myself, and it’s sometimes a bit annoying to see how many industry jobs are out of major game development cities like San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and so forth, all on the west coast. Massachusetts might not spring to mind as a hotbed of game development, but with the rise of Boston game jams and this upcoming Boston Festival of Indie Games, that could well be changing!
And I bet the rest of the IGM staff is as excited as I am to see Indie Games Day spreading!
Here’s the full text of the proclamation. I don’t think whereas really gets enough use these days, do you?
Whereas Massachusetts is a world leader in technological innovation and home to one of the largest and most diverse clusters of video game companies and talent in the country, with over 90 companies and over 1,500 direct employees (not including retail) now in the Massachusetts game industry; and
Whereas in 1961, MIT students Martin Graetz, Steve Russell and Wayne Wittanen invented the game Spacewar!, one of the first video games ever created; and since then the game industry has continued to flourish and proven to have the wherewithal to take us into the future; and
Whereas Throughout the Bay State, innovative independent game developers are pushing the limits in game design while supporting one another through a vast community within the State; and
Whereas On this day, the first-ever Festival of Indie Games takes place to celebrate independent game development, supporting and showcasing the efforts of local developers and creating an intersection between community, academic and independent interests in game play,
Now, therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim September 22nd, 2012 to be
Independent Game Development Day
And urge all citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
I won’t be in Massachusetts on Saturday, but I’ll definitely be participating fittingly in it’s observance by playing indie games!
(Proclamation text via Indie Game Dev Day in MA on Mass.gov)