Massachusetts will honor its indie developers and its game industry heritage tomorrow in a way no other states has -- it has declared September 22 as Independent Game Development Day.
It's not an informal declaration without weight to it, either -- Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made the state-wide day official with a proclamation, and said, "[I] urge all citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance. "
The state's Executive Office of Economic Development hopes the day will help highlight the Boston Festival of Indie Games event that will take place on Saturday, co-presented by MIT Game Lab and Boston Indies.
A recent survey by the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute found that the state's game industry -- one of the bigger development hubs in the U.S. outside of California -- directly employs 2,041 workers (a 78 percent increase over numbers in 2009).
"Independent game developers are a key part of the state's video-game cluster and our creative economy," said the Executive Office of Economic Development's Helena Fruscio.
She added, "Not only are they pushing the limits of game design, but these small businesses owners are supporting community growth by creating jobs and expanding opportunities within the cluster."
In his proclamation, Governor Patrick also notes that the state's independent game development history goes all the way back to 1961, when three MIT students began making Space War, one of the first video games ever created.