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May 19, 2017 1 min read
It's easy to take video games for granted. There's just so many of them. By May 2017 alone, over 50 games have had physical releases, in addition to the thousands of titles launched digitally on platforms like Steam. A staggering amount of them were met with critical and commercial praise. The culture surrounding video games, too, is pervasive. People openly care about games. They slip Zelda references into normal conversations and wear sweatshirts emblazoned with Mass Effect logos in public. It's easy to be a fan of video games now because commercials for major franchises play during the Super Bowl. Like light beer and oversized trucks, video games are a token of modern existence, because we see them on TV.
But there's a growing scene of games that thrives in the underground. An increase in readily accessible development tools -- like the GameMaker and Unity suites -- allowed an entire subculture of creators to hone their craft, far removed from the blinding limelight of AAA releases. Out in the margins, a world of niche, low-budget homebrew games exist. There's a shocking amount of them; weird little concoctions that seek to defy convention and intensely personal artistic expressions that feel so far abstracted from what most people consider a video game that they're usually referred to as "altgames."
Unless, of course, you're Steve Cook. He prefers the term "trashgames."
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