In my other class with professor Whalen, adaptation, we are working on a worldbuilding project, in which we will expand upon the world of a well known text. Of course, I decided to work within the world of LOST, my favorite television show of all time. The tool I have decided to work with to expand this universe is LittleBigPlanet. This got me thinking about how this game works within the context of this course as well due to it’s user interactivity.
The main draw of games like LittleBigPlanet is the creativity that they allow. Once you’ve finished playing through the initial 50 or so levels the game is not over. You then have your choice of millions of maps created by users. These maps can range from worlds as diverse as Star Wars to Harry Potter. The fine folks at media molecule have created the greatest worldbuilding experience on a home console.
It’s really the level creator where all the fun is to be had in the game. Using the tools is intuitive and fun, and you can create and destroy objects in really anyway you want to. You will immediately get the hang of it.
It’s really not the gameplay that sets this game apart, it is that the community aspect is incredibly unique. Essentially the gameplay is very simple with Sackboy’s controls being limited to jump and grab, and the story mode is more like lack-of-story mode. It is only when you figure out that there is a whole world to explore of other peoples content that the game becomes truly engaging. I doubt that anyone, even the developers expected the unique response of it’s audience.
Sony, having realized the goldmine that LittleBigPlanet had become expanded the idea into their other series Mod Nation Racers. Which essentially uses the same creation tool ideas to have users create racetracks.
I think, that these kinds of ideas are the future of games. Just like the music industry, which now releases the shittiest shit that has ever been thought up by anyone, the videogame industry is taking the same path, with more and more Call of Duty clones being released every year, until that will be the only shit we get to play. But, just like the music industry, the game industry will continue in creative underground ways, with user created content becoming the true gems of the industry. LittleBigPlanet can be thanked for this in a way, by providing users with a long and meaningful experience.