The New York Times published a rare mainstream article on the state of indie games last Friday, highlighting games like Jonathan Blow's Braid and Thatgamecompany's Flower while also dropping names for several IGF 2009 finalists (Coil, Blueberry Garden, Osmos).

Titled "Can D.I.Y. Supplant the First-Person Shooter?", the piece follows indie developer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Between) as he discusses video games following in the footsteps of other mediums and eventually producing its own Guernica, Blue Velvet, or Lolita. He point out that developers won't reach that milestone by copying other mediums:

'... according to Rohrer and others, video games fall into the trap of using the wizardry and craft of those big teams to emulate movies — bad movies at that. The narrative elements in today’s big games tend to be retreads of film-genre clichés. Or they’re extensions of actual film brands, like The Godfather.

Rohrer calls this cinematic approach to video games 'asymptotic': in his view there’s no point in making video games as good as movies, because we already have movies. 'Just as early film production copied the stage,' he said, video games have yet to escape the influence of film.

'Eventually film figured out editing, camera movement — the tools that made movies movies. Video games need to discover what’s special and different about their own medium to break out of their cultural ghetto.'"

You can read the full article by Joshuah Bearman on the New York Times's site.