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Player-made content is future

Say J Allard and Will Wright.

J Allard and Will Wright may be well known names in the world of gaming, but they reckon the future of games doesn't lie in their hands - but in those of players themselves.

At the Entertainment Gathering last week, as reported by News.com, Xbox bigwig Allard described gaming as "the only medium where we yield control of the protagonist".

He believes developers should also "Yield control of the director - and the producer", in order to "take on the Wikipedia model. We're going to take on... The open-source model, if you will, for gaming."

Allard described how he met a young inner city child last year and showed him a new Xbox 360 basketball game. Instead of heading straight out onto court, the boy spent two hours designing his ideal pair of trainers, telling Allard that was what he wanted to do for a living.

Allard admitted that this might not be a typical reaction for most gamers - but so what?

"If only 1 percent of our audience that plays Halo helped construct the world around Halo, it would be more human beings than work at Microsoft corporation," Allard pointed out.

"That's how much human energy we could harness in this medium."

Allard's comments were backed up by Will Wright, the creator of The Sims. He said he is very aware of vast amounts of time many Sims fans spend developing their own unique characters and designing in-game items to use and trade.

And so, Wright's next project, Spore (currently in development for the PC, and possibly the Xbox 360 too), is built entirely around this concept. Spore will let you develop your own unique life form, controlling its evolution from a single cell to a giant, all-powerful entity. According to Wright, a specially designed physics engine and behaviour models will let you create a creature that's just as complex and detailed as a character you might see in a Pixar film.

What's more, you'll be able to share your creature with other players, and visit new worlds inhabited by beings created by fellow Spore fans. "Instead of putting players in the role of Luke Skywalker, or Frodo Baggins, I'd rather put them in the role of George Lucas," Wright said.

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About the Author
Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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