<3" survey and how it helps me in my quest of finding more on indies psychological needs.
Before we begin...
I just want to precise it again: the survey was not an actual study and won't be used as data for any research whatsoever - it's only used to give me some kind of lead into where I'm headed during my future research on indies psychological needs.
Can you tell something a bit more concrete from the results?
Because of the methodology - not much can be taken directly from the answers, but they do provide some interesting questions and thoughts. There are some things I already talked about in a previous article but are even more relevant now that I have more answers. Let's see what questions popped up in my head while compiling the results.
1. How do indies express themselves in general?
The majority of the indies who answered put a big emphasis on how they can create what they want, that they have the freedom to choose what/when/why/how they work. This can also be interpreted to "having control on my things." It makes me wonder how's the rest of their lives going. From all the answers I read, their identity as an indie seems to be taking a lot of place in their definition of "self" because the anxiety attached to it affect every aspects of their lives. That's not something we could see in any kind of job. This "indie identity" seems to be central.
Is this "indie identity" really helping or providing more anxiety than a feeling of belonging or a feeling of being important/creating something that matters? I don't know - but the thing is that there is clearly something to be looked into when it comes to 1. how they express themselves in all the different aspects of their lives, 2. how they manage their anxiety and 3. why do they have this anxiety.
2. There seem to be a giant lack of anxiety management - is that the case? How come?
It really seems that indies don't really know how to handle the stress of being an indie. It can make sense because you'd think that going indie means doing things on your own - so one popular way to do that would be attending the school of life. Experience gives a lot to a person, but no such thing as solutions to reduce and control anxiety - at least not as good as other means. Maybe it's not really the case, but from the answers I got - I feel there's a big need of education among us.
2.1 Where to get/give this education?
I saw a lot of websites and toolkits and facebook groups about how to be an indie and how to make games and how to succeed as an artist and how to sell your products and etc etc. I haven't seen a lot of things on how to deal with the success, the failures, the anxiety, the money problem, how to change the way we see success/failure/money, etc. There's a hole and this hole sadly can't be filled by "indie psychologists". It needs to be filled by actual empirical research, and that's what I aim to do.
~Let's do this~
Initially, in my 4 years experience in the indie scene, traveling across North America and the internet, I thought that the people from the scene were very supportive, welcoming, warm. With the answers I got, it's not entirely false, but not entirely true. I think we're a very close scene, but we don't really grasp how to help each other on a psychological level. Which makes sense. We try our best as human beings, like every other human beings. The thing is that we could use this trust we have in each other, this warm and welcoming nature, to do greater. We could educate ourselves to be a better support, because we've already built that network. We are not missing a lot - but we're missing something. The good news is that we can get there. We will get there - and I'll do my best to clear things out for us.