At Babycastles, near the epicenter of the Brooklyn indie music scene, game designers find kindred spirits and eager players.
Formerly inhibited by the very mechanism that helped indie games grow and thrive — a globally distributed and diverse Internet community that rarely converges face to face — a group of devoted, bootstrapping indie gamers are forging an underground home for themselves. In what’s perhaps an unlikely twist, one place it’s happening is near the epicenter of the ultra-hip wildland neighborhoods where the Brooklyn indie music scene makes its home.
On a city block in Ridgewood, a Queens neighborhood that lies so close to Brooklyn’s edge it feels more like the latter borough’s careless spill-over, sits Silent Barn, a hub within Brooklyn’s DIY music scene. It’s a music venue and art and community space where local bands nightly play alongside a kitchen in a packed room of twentysomethings drinking cheap beer. In Silent Barn’s low-lit basement, a cool refuge from the noise-rich and sweat-slicked music shows that pound the ceiling overhead, there is a small indie arcade called Babycastles (which declares its presence with a yellow neon sign).