This issue of CAMEo Cuts offers a new take on the enduring idea of the cultural ‘fringe’.
The status of the fringe – as an edgy, heterodox and counter-cultural alternative to the mainstream – has long been seen as a source of new, avant-garde ideas, as well as political and social critique. For some critics, however, the now assumed absorption of independent and alternative culture into the mainstream, and the rapidity with which commercial organisations can seemingly commodify any kind of new rebellion or otherness, has rendered the possibility of a the fringe or an ‘outside’ a romantic illusion. But is this really so? Taking the example of independent computer gaming, and based on research undertaken in Melbourne, Mark Gibson argues for the vital and enduring role played by creative computer games producers working at the margins, and the open-ended possibilities that still remain for making and remaking diverse and differentiated fringe cultures.