Indie: not just for music

There’s a fundamental misconception that anything flashy and expensive is inherently of good quality. How else do you account for people shelling out $600 for a Playstation 3 so they can play its disappointing catalog of overpriced games?

It’s true that higher-priced goods tend to be better, but this is no reason for people to pass up the rich works of art, video games, music, literature and more created by artists and developers working outside the system.

Driven by a desire to break conventions and express their creativity, a growing number of small-time, independent developers and creators are making themselves known in all areas of the artistic community. With the internet making it possible to sell your goods and services to the entire world, independent developers are taking a stand against the tired conventions of big business.

Remember how Punk rock was supposed to mean something a long time ago? It was important because it wasn’t manufactured or subject to the approval of a profit-driven board of directors. This, of course, holds true for any band operating outside of a contract with a big-name company.

Today’s indie community is the same sort of thing. Void of large budgets and pesky management, these artisans have produced some of the most unique and intelligent art of the past decade. From the abstract, metaphysical video games made by the talented Cactus ( ) to the whimsical, sometimes disturbing, stuffed toys of Danielleorama, ( independent artists are trying things no company would dare touch.

In fact, one could to say they produce better material than that of big-name companies. Sure, million-dollar video games and big-budget movies have more polish, but that’s about it.

In a time when creativity and invention are stagnating, most of the people trying new things are the ones free of a publisher or producer. To be fair, big-budget companies still make decent music, video games, and toys. After all, Transformers, Half-Life 2, and Kanye West are all connected to big corporations or producers. They are unable, however, to produce media at the accelerated rate maintained by independent developers. While big companies spend months, or even years, grappling with cutting edge technology and corporate interest, independent developers are actually making stuff.’

The internet is full of daring new talent that just begs to be uncovered. By supporting the independent scene with your dollar, you’re helping promote quality and intelligence over corporate America’s stranglehold on the arts.