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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Independent Games Summit: How to Navigate the Fringes

Chad Toprak  (Artistic Director, Freeplay Independent Games Festival)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

In this talk, independent curator and experimental game designer Chad Toprak explores the intersections of games and art, while diving deep into his own creative practice of game making and curation.

Join along as Chad unpacks the lessons learnt, the dos and don'ts, and the crucial chunks of knowledge on how to navigate the fringes of game making as creative practice. Alongside all of this, Chad highlights the important role curation plays in this process and shares anecdotes from directing Freeplay, the world's longest-running independent games festival; curating the Contours exhibitions of Australian fringe game makers; and producing parties, gatherings, and events through Melbourne's curatorial-duo Hovergarden.

Chad articulates the importance of inclusion and care when approaching game making and curating, and how these values are threaded through his own work.


Attendees will learn about the many benefits fostering a vibrant experimental games scene can have for local game developer communities and ecologies. Early career experimental game designers will learn about the different avenues that may be available to them when pursuing their creative practices at the fringes.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for developers interested in learning more about the fringes of games communities, and for early career experimental game makers, curators, and event organisers. No prerequisite knowledge or experience is required.