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Old Habits . . .

It is with a renewed sense of direction, then, that gaming stakeholders move forward. The combination of technologies like Adobe Flash and Java opens up new realms of opportunity for indie designers; from Browsers, to games consoles, to mobile phones.

But where are the entrepreneurs in this new movement; the mould-breaking new genres; the culture of bedroom game authoring?

The truth is you can probably find them right under your nose; once again putting the onus on game audiences to be a little more perceptive in their understanding of the scope of the art form.

The final page of this article contains a collection of links to browser games which I believe demonstrate the renaissance of this culture.

It is our responsibility to identify and champion the outstanding protagonists of the Casual Gaming movement; taking the initiative and raising awareness amongst our peers.

In order to do this, we need to identify the one common denominator shared amongst our collective definitions of Video Game progress. The measure is so simple, that it is amazing how often it gets over-looked:

Original design. This is the key to propelling the industry and nurturing creativity. We can forget the other stuff: indie designers cannot accommodate professional voice actors; Hollywood script writers; and multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.

But where in the past our reaction has been to lament these restrictions, some perspective is needed. The inclusion of a good voice-over narrative might accentuate a title’s game play, but it has rarely spear-headed new genres. Similarly – it is unlikely that HD TV’s superior display quality will pioneer either.

So why not leave the monotonous pursuit of perfection through refinement to the big guns, and divert our focus on what really matters?

Indie designers are already starting to demonstrate that they have the necessary tools to compete in creativity and originality.

It is up to us embrace the independent design culture, and reappraise our understanding of what matters in terms of pushing gaming forward. Like any other established art form, the true stand-out creations will prove to be the proponents – and not the exponents – of original design.