Annual indie games festival IndieCade has lost one of its co-chairs.
John Sharp shared the news on hispersonal website, explaining in depth that his decision to step away was due to a realization that conferences like IndieCade aren’t helping marginalized devs like they should.
"For me, a big motivation for volunteering my time to co-chair the IndieCade conference has been giving marginalized voices a platform to share their work," Sharp said.
"Events like IndieCade and GDC’s diversity track give these developers and critics a platform to share their work, but I fear these events are not providing sustainable, long-term benefit to those outside academia and game development companies."
"I’ve come to see sustainability as the most pressing issue for keeping the margins of indie games from fraying and leaving people more disenfranchised than they were before entering our communities. I’m not sure how this problem is solved, but I am increasing certain that developer-focused conferences can mask the real problems.
"The catalyst for all these artist support initiatives is funding. We are starting to see some government support for games as an art form, but for things to happen, we need individuals and companies to get involved. For companies to really help in this area means doing more than simply sponsoring conferences. It means recognizing the importance of creating an infrastructure to support the medium and not just the commerce. We need non-profit foundations that see the importance of supporting games along the margins-not to help turn them into developers of saleable games, but to allow them to make games from the messy, fragile lens of art."
Sharp currently serves as associate professor of games and learning at Parsons School of Design.