The Torontoist Tackles TOJam

The Torontoist, a publication which i admit i don’t think i’ve consciously allowed myself to realize exists (being that they devote themselves to Torontoism, which i am fundamentally against), has published an article by Steve Kupferman, who was a fly on the wall at TOJam 4 this past weekend:

The piece is expertly written and does a great job of capturing the mood of the warehouse space, the anxiety during the final hours of development, and the tortured genius of Jimmy McGinley. i’m referenced briefly as the guy with the gecko idea, but Jim steals the show with his concept of characters crawling up a disgusting old man’s back.

Naked Old Man

Welcome to level two. Can you find the warp pipe?

At one point, the author notes

Most of TOJam’s participants were either involved in selling their own games (though not, we should note, their TOJam games)

He clearly didn’t get a chance to interview all ninety jammers (his count was eighty-nine, but number ninety late-entry was a musician floater who happened to live nearby). i’ve actually been trying to sell my first TOJam game, Two By Two, for the past year with horrendous results. Read all about it in a series we call Pimp My Game.

The one place where the article lost me was its thesis that indie gaming was without a home in Toronto. What home could indie gaming possibly have? Should everyone who attends the jam quit their jobs and pack into an incubator somewhere, to make piles of interesting but commercially poisonous games? To me, pulling an all-nighter in a ramshackle warehouse in Corktown next to an array of tube TVs with their live wires exposed, and deciding between the bathroom down the hall or the one where the door doesn’t close all the way, is the very definition of indie. You want to pull ridiculous hours next to properly flushing toilets AND get paid doing it? Go work for UbiSoft.

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