IndieCade is the world's largest international festival of independent games, featuring panels, keynotes, awards, and game play demos, all held at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC in downtown Los Angeles. This year, HTC MDIA senior Joe Cox was awarded the Media Choice Award for his game You Must be 18 or Older to Enter. Cox produced the art and additional design elements of the game, while his brother James Earl Cox III worked as the designer and developer, and Julie Buchanan worked as sound designer.
According to IndieCade, “‘You Must be 18 or Older to Enter’ recreates the feeling of being a prepubescent kid looking at porn for the first time. Through interactive fiction elements combined with ASCII styled art, ‘You Must be 18 or Older to Enter’ blurs several genres together to create an anxious experience. It is akin to horror yet the fear is of being caught by parentals and being embarrassed of looking at the human body. The ASCII art makes the images hard to read close up, making the player embody a child-like role. Audiences at farther distances will be able to see the pictures more clearly, casting them in the role of adults.”
The process of being selected for the award was no easy task. Once games are submitted to IndieCade, they are shuffled through multiple rounds of judging by both peers and professionals. “It’s a long process, but it makes the awards meaningful,” Cox said.
Cox stated that there were many MDIA and Ohio University classes in general that led to him being able to create this game. Specifically, he spoke towards his studies of visual storytelling, the art of editing, and contemporary art theory and criticism. “The biggest tip I could give is go to class, learn the theory, and then make stuff on your own time,” he said, “apply your skills beyond the classroom.”
Cox is continuing to work on multiple projects during his senior year as an Integrated Media major. He studies how best to apply a story across different mediums, and has interests especially in new media and video art.
For more information, see:
Digital LA - IndieCade
You Must Be 18 or Older to Enter