The Power of Player-Generated Content

February 9, 2007

Shreyas: all these different anthropological approaches are all dancing around a point that i can’t put my finger on, but it might simply be ‘there isn’t an easy way to talk about the complexity of human culture’

Jonathan: yeah, maybe that’s it; i think my point is that player-generated content is better because it can be more complex; content that fits in a book is, by necessity, simpler

Shreyas: mhm

Jonathan: therefore, i’m suspicious of it

Shreyas: that is really excellent and important to say i think; i was just saying a similar thing at jiffycon: i’m wary of packaged creativity because it makes your brain stop

Jonathan: right, and also you accept it without questioning it

Shreyas: all of us react this way even when we know it happens

Jonathan: like racial bonuses

Shreyas: and it’s just not fun

Jonathan: because it’s part of the game

Shreyas: yes

2 Responses to “The Power of Player-Generated Content”

  1. Brand Robins Says:

    There’s also a thing I’ve been struggling with for a good time in my own brain around the current design of a lot of Indie games with their assumed setting/light setting/do it yourself setting combos… and that is that there is a real limit on how interesting I can find material by people who don’t have a certain level of knowledge. That knowledge could be about history, or literature, or philosophy, or film, or just about life… but it can’t come easily in a book, and it isn’t coming at all in most of the books on my game shelf. I know that I’m getting tired of shallow settings in which we endlessly retread nothing but our current cultural conceits and phobias in different window dressing.

  2. Jonathan Walton Says:

    Brand, I think you’re onto something there, but I want to talk with you about it more at some point, because I’m not sure I’m totally getting what you mean. I don’t necessarily think that any particular indie game designers don’t have the level of knowledge that you’re talking about, but it’s certainly true that there is a tendency to build a fairly simplistic framework and not deal with anything too intently or specifically. But let’s chat about this at some point.


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