October 29, 2008

Is It Really Possible? [8:09 am]

Sony is starting to get it? LittleBigPlanet - A Game for the PlayStation 3 With a Tawdry Look but Virtually Endless Possibilities (pdf)

[...] No matter: LittleBigPlanet is an infectiously endearing gem of high-definition entertainment, and one of the best indications of where mass media is headed.

[...] In basic story mode, the game shouldn’t take more than 8 or 10 hours, depending on your dexterity. But its dirty, wonderful element is that the scenarios provided by other players are actually much more fun than the polished levels from Media Molecule, the game’s developer.

[...] Frankly, I felt a little guilty at first for thinking LittleBigPlanet’s level-editing tools were cooler than the game itself. But then I realized that putting the power to make and share myriad visions — a haunted castle, a rocket race, a journey through the human body — is so much more interesting than celebrating one particular creation.

Of course, as with any such tool, even one as simple as a pencil, the mere fact that anyone can use it does not a genius make. It takes hours of effort and deep thought to assemble anything that other people find entertaining. [...]

You can then share your progeny through the PS3’s Internet connection. Sony has made it easy and intuitive on screen to find what other people have made, whether that is a fanciful Super Mario Bros. re-creation or a journey through someone’s sock drawer.

None of the major companies that make game systems — Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo — has been known to embrace user-created content. Instead all three have been overcontrolling and paranoid. That it is Sony that has opened the avenues of creativity is no small shock. I haven’t hesitated to call out Sony’s missteps. Sir Howard, this time your people got it right.

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