LittleBigPlanet turns gamers into creators

Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:39pm EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A new videogame allows players to conjure up their own design ideas and create playable content that can be uploaded and shared.

And gamers can do it from the privacy of their own home with Sony Computer Entertainment America's LittleBigPlanet.

For years, PC gamers have been able to modify games like Unreal Tournament 3 and Half-Life 2 to create playable levels and linear entertainment ("Machinima").

Will Wright took the concept mainstream with The Sims and his latest creation, Spore. On Oct 21 console gamers will be given the tools necessary to build their own virtual experiences.

Everyone from game developers to gamers are looking forward to this sudden shift in the videogame industry.

"The best thing about user-generated content is that it decreases the space between an idea in your head and bringing it to life on the screen," said Kareem Ettouney, art director of LittleBigPlanet and co-founder of Media Molecule, a game development studio in England.

"A few years ago, even if you worked as a level designer inside a game company, you'd have to work with a programer, an artist, a scripter and an audio programer to make your idea come to life."

With LittleBigPlanet, if you think it, you can make it. The game is a collection of intuitive tools that allow players to customize everything from their characters to the levels of gameplay they'll be challenged with.   Continued...

<p>LittleBigPlanet's creation screen is seen in an undated handout photo released to Reuters on September 25, 2008. REUTERS/Sony Computer Entertainment America/Handout</p>