Feral Vector, the successor to game events Bit Of Alright and World of Love, is happening right now in London. We'll have a report from the event next week, but there's no reason you can't pretend you're there now by watching organiser David Hayward's pre-recorded talk. Titled Games Are So Much More Than An Industry, it's a fifteen minute monologue about why working in games can be embarrassing, what Games Workshop executives might talk about in private, and what both major and independent developers commonly forget.
It's funny and carries an implicit message about how nice it is to go walking in the countryside. Find it embedded below.
The blog post accompanying the video sets out the core question:
The explosion of new games and independent developers that’s been reverberating for the past seven years isn’t just an expansion of the games industry, it’s an expansion of games and game cultures.
Game development is cultural activity, and if most independent developers seem bound to suffer the poverty of authors, artists and musicians, why is so much of what they do still bound to industry?
There are a lot of good answers to that question, but the freewheeling video above is less about answers - the existence of the conference is, I guess, in some ways the answer - and more about outlining the problems with current discourse. And jokes about space fascists. It's great and worthy of thought and discussion.
Personally I'm still holding out for the conference which treats games not as business or culture, but as games.