Making players into designers – Little Big Planet 2

I’ve recently been discussing how the barriers between players and designers are being broken down in games, as can be seen in the rise of player content creation. As part of Sony’s make.believe campaign, this Sponsored Post documents how a player achieved his dream job of becoming a game designer through creating Little Big Planet levels, and considers the benefits of this approach.

Sony’s recent game, Little Big Planet 2, follows the precedent set by the first game and by kart racing game ‘ModNation Racers’. It aims to empower players to move beyond merely the passive role of receiving content in games, and take the active role of creating content. By providing easy-to-use tools, LittleBigPlanet 2 aims to make this possible for everyone – not just those with a large degree of knowledge about computing or game design.

There are obvious benefits of this approach for Sony. Not only does it allow their game to have a large degree of content created for free, but it also gives them the an ideal route to access and recruit talented amateurs, as can be seen in the video.

However there are also numerous benefits for the players in this method of content creation. Not only does it give them access to a potentially endless supply of content or games, but it also teaches them useful skills and gives them the possibility to make it big in this field. Much like Neverwinter Night’s design tools, it can also provide great portfolio pieces, showing game design skills without requiring a wide degree of knowledge about potentially irrelevant fields such as art.

To see John’s story of how LittleBigPlanet level creation let him get his dream game design job, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvcdD5Byzxs

What do we think about Sony’s make.believe campaign, and the promotion of player-created content? Please feel free to leave comments below!

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