The Bush of Goats

Marc Williams, writer & designer: 'Life's too short for empty slog ans'

The Little Big World of Work

This isn’t a review of what might well be a very good game (and my expectation is that it will be exactly that) but a thought on how it fits in, and why it works.

“Little Big Planet’ on the PS3 (and quickly we’re at the nub of why this isn’t a game review: I ain’t got no PS3) allows you to create levels and experiences to play through yourself or to share with others. I’m sure the sharing and the showing off part is the major draw for many, but it’s the building that interests me. The essential gameplay involves you building levels from a collection of graphics and objects that reminds me, as a designer, of using PhotoShop.
We are making work into play.
Clearly everyone wants to express they-selves, but I wonder as to the ripple effects this may set off. Manipulating graphical elements to achieve a desired result is directly in the hands of everyone: we are porting the idea of being good at playing a game into being proficient at art and design. This is isn’t about ‘giving people the tools’ (a much over-used phrase now stripped of any real meaning) it’s about redefining what the tools and the job are in order to make use of other skills we may have already, and that they’re skills we never thought would be relevant is exciting. Isn’t it?

The promo-site illustrates the idea quite well:


Filed under: Games, Noticing

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November 2008


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