The Best Five Years of my Life

Back in 2011, in desperate need of a hobby other than watching dash-cam footage of Russian car crashes, friends and family said I should start a blog. I had narrowed it down to two concepts: one was writing about lesser seen movies. The other was doing gaming, which not to sound sappy, but video games have been the love of my life. I wasn’t sure which to do. Then, one day, while going through my Xbox 360 collection, I spotted a game called Breath of Death VII that I had purchased a while back. “Oh yea, I totally forgot, there’s homemade games on Xbox 360.” Curious, I tried to find out what were the better games on the market of these so-called Xbox Live Indie Games. What I found were sites where the concept of critical analysis was unknown. It reminded me of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes a food critic. Everything was eleven thumbs-up! And if the game was no good? Well then, it got the lowest score ever: seven thumbs-up. They weren’t exactly useful reviews for people who wanted quality for their dollars. Then a lightbulb went off. After grabbing a couple 4,000 Microsoft Point cards (remember Microsoft Points?) and buying far too many XBLIGs, I launched Indie Gamer Chick on July 1, 2011. Honestly, I never expected to stick with it, nor did I expect anyone to read it.

Being wrong never felt so good.

I love indie gaming. I love seeing dreams realized. I love seeing hard work pay off. While I’m noted for being harsher than the average critic, the truth is I’m so very in love with the entire community. There is nobody out there who wants to love your games as much as I do. I feel like someone who had court-side seats for an expansion team, and gets to see everyone grow up close. When I started IGC, indies were on the fringe of gaming. Today, indie games are highlighted by the console manufacturers during E3. They’re an essential part of modern gaming economics. We live in an era where Microsoft paid half the cost to acquire an indie property that Disney paid to acquire Star Wars. What a privilege to see. It’s a Golden Age for indies.

I won’t like all of your games, but I’ll never stop marveling at the potential you all show. Sometimes I even get jealous. I don’t consider myself a particularly creative person. I wish I could do what you guys and gals do. I have to settle for the occasional reader thanking me for exposing them to hidden indie gems that flew under their radar. There’s a rush that comes when that happens that words fail to describe. It’s an incredible feeling. One that seems to happen more often, as the community realizes the extent of its talent. Remember, you are limited only by your own drive and determination. If you’re receptive towards feedback and strive to outdo yourself, the sky is the limit for you. You could be the next studio targeted for a billion-dollar acquisition. That’s the indie ceiling. It’s so high you need a telescope to see it.

Five years later, and you, the indie community, still have the capability of leaving me in awe. That’s why, even five years later, I still get excited every time I boot up a new game. Win or lose, it’s rare that a game doesn’t leave me optimistic for the future of our community. When people thank me for what I’ve done at Indie Gamer Chick, I feel like I don’t deserve it. Without a thriving community of talented dreamers, I wouldn’t be anything. All I am is a messenger for what you accomplish. Whether you want to hug me or shoot me (or both), my message has been the same for five years now: gaming’s future is so bright that it’s almost blinding. I didn’t do that. You did. So now, as a I celebrate five years of my silly little indie review blog, I want to thank the entire indie gaming community. For the amazing games you’ve created. For those yet to come. My life is so much better for having found you, and for that, you have all my love and gratitude. No take backs.

-Catherine Vice
June 30, 2016

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About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

3 Responses to The Best Five Years of my Life

  1. Tim Hurley says:

    Congrats on five years, Cathy! It’s amazing to see how far you and Indie Gaming have come since then, and a lot of the words you said ring just as true for me. Who’da thunk XBLIG had some real winners in that haystack? It’ll be sad to see it go dark in a few months, but you are absolutely right; the future’s bright for indies, and XBLIG’s legacy is secure as a first stepping stone for plenty of awesome careers (and games). Thanks for doing what you do!

  2. GamingPicks says:

    Congratulations! And yes, I also love playing these games, you can always find s0me great games.

  3. This is awesome, and inspiring. I’m in a creative rut….well I’ve been in one for years and am trying to get out and find out outlet that allows me to express myself with a community that appreciates it. I haven’t really found my solid niche yet, but I’m looking forward to when I do. Also, the Russian dash cam part was hilarious. I had that finish this after that lol. Congrats on 5 years and best of luck for the next 5 and beyond

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