Us and the Game Industry

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“This new generation of game designers seeks to make gaming a cerebral, artistic, or emotional experience.” — Stephanie Beth

Director: Stephanie Beth
Year: 2013
Country: New Zealand
Running time: 95 mins

Producer: Stephanie Beth
Associate producer: Jeffrey Sens
Photography: Clay Westervelt, Chris Mosio, Torben Olander
Editor: Kat Blair
Sound: Amy Barber
Music: Rhian Sheehan

With: Jason Rohrer, Jenova Chen, Robin Hunicke, Alexander Bruce, Douglas Wilson, Zach Gage, Jonathan Blow, Edmund McMillen, Petri Purho, Robin Arnott, Nils Deneken

Swift and seductive, Stephanie Beth’s take on the grassroots talent of video games is a rare glimpse into a fascinating creative world, and a love letter to the 21st century’s only truly new art form. Veteran Kiwi documentary maker Beth presents a soulful picture of the international game industry, as seen by several of its renowned independent creators, while following the production of the record-breaking – and indefinable – ‘indie game’ Journey. Making a case for the centrality of games to modern life, Us and the Game Industry confirms everything so-called ‘art gamers’ already knew, and brings the rest of us up to speed. Along the way Beth discovers why games – despite being the most successful entertainment form in history – remain relatively invisible, bemoans the imaginative failure of blockbuster ‘AAA’ games, investigates the nature of creativity in the digital age, and argues that we’re just seeing the beginning of gaming as a form. Exciting, eye-opening and perfectly timed, it’s a ‘wow’ look at the interface of art and technology. — Henry Feltham