Los Angeles Times: Indies start to make their mark

James Silva is one of the amateurs changing how the $40-billion video game industry defines fun.

The 26-year-old from Utica, N.Y., paid his way through college by scrubbing dishes at a diner. That job might help him become the Quentin Tarantino of video games: He used it as inspiration for "The Dishwasher," in which the title character becomes a ninja and slashes his way out of a kitchen overrun by villains.

Microsoft Corp. agreed to publish his stylized action game on the Xbox 360 console and highlighted it at the Game Developers Conference here last week. More than 16,000 people, many of them novices with similar ambitions, attended the show.

He's not alone.

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