Positioned between the main halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Indiecade display was easily the best part of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Here, there were no winding queues, no luxuriously appointed media lounges, no icily smiling PR people to inform the curious that all interactions with the game or the developers were 'by appointment only'.
Here, people just played games.
And what games they were. Physical games that sought to push the usage of peripherals beyond the standards set by Microsoft or Sony stood juxtaposed with games that utilized more familiar mediums to tell unfamiliar stories. In between, there was everything else, from first-person horror to word puzzles to social interaction simulations set in the advent of a certain high school tradition.
Contrasting the rigid formalities of the main exhibit areas, the Indiecade showcase existed in a state of organized chaos. Developers indiscriminately engaged the public in conversation, their enthusiasm seemingly immune to the tedium of repeating themselves time and time again. Camera crews intermingled with non E3-goers. Eloquent volunteers moved one booth to another, readily and competently filling the spaces left by absent creators. Occasionally, there were even developers with games not on the official roster and people, both famous in the industry and not, who were simply there to meet other people.