Fans making games

As a class, we’re playing Gamestar Mechanic, a game that teaches how to build games. I just picked up LittleBigPlanet 2, which is a game that also provides in-game tools for building games. Echochrome, one of my favorite puzzle games, comes with tools for players to build their own levels.

My friend Dr. Anastasia Salter writes and teaches about games. In her paper “‘Once more a kingly quest’: Fan games and the classic adventure genre”, she discusses fanmade remakes of games like the King’s Quest games, Maniac Mansion, and others. Here’s the paper’s abstract (you can read the whole thing online at Transformative Works and Cultures):

[0.1] Abstract—The classic adventure games—part of the earliest traditions of interactive narrative—have not disappeared, although they no longer occupy space on the shelves at the local computer store. Even as changing hardware and operating systems render these games of the 1980s and 1990s literally unplayable without emulating the computer systems of the past, fans are keeping these stories alive. Authorship of these games has changed hands: it is now under the control of the fans, the former and current players. Through the online sharing of fan-created game design tool sets and of the fan-created games themselves, these new coauthors create a haven to revisit these decades-old games using fresh eyes and fresh systems. The products of these folk art–reminiscent efforts also offer a venue to reconsider video game fandom in light of genres. They also allow us to understand these “personal games,” productions of one or more people that are not intended for commercial sale, as carrying the heritage of the classic era forward into the next generation of gaming.

Between games that teach games and the availability of tools for gamers to make their own games from scratch, people are not only growing up video games but also with the ability and tools to build their own. So as you’re working on making your games in Gamestar Mechanic, what are your thoughts about gamers as game makers?

Professional football, and video games

This is the Wired article Barry was talking about.

In fact, a quick google search shows that Wired is actually fairly interested in learning from video games…

(thanks to the people who posted this on the live question tool!)

3D Video Games???

A couple of days ago, I posted an entry about motion games and their new place in the video game world.

However, I was reading Entertainment Weekly and learned of the new phenomenon that is going to sweep the nation: The 3D video game. In case you do not know what I am talking about, see the article below:

This  3D thing is getting a little ridiculous. How much more do we need? Nintendo obviously thinks this could be a big hit but I am a little skeptical with prices as all 3D products are expensive.
Thoughts? is “an online Secret HQ for gamers and game developers who want to help change the world and make our real lives better. Think of it as a cross between a professional network and a creative brainstorming space. The goal is to make it easy for anyone making or playing world-changing games to find collaborators, mentors, jobs, ideas, and funding. And of course, to discover fun new games to play.” Designed by Jane McGonigal (who worked on games like EVOKE or World Without Oil–ARGs that attempt to change the world), the site is part clubhouse, part Facebook, and part game. It’s worth a quick look, even if you don’t sign up. But be careful if you do, you might be strangely driven to get to  level 7, even if you don’t know what that means or why it matters. (Of course, by the end of the semester, you will know why.)