The theory of Web 2.0 is quite liberating. It encourages everyone to get involved and shape the digital landscape through their own customised personal space and user-generated content.
However, sift through sites like Youtube and you will find that many users have used this creative freedom to muck about and make mind-numbing video fads about a dancing bananas infatuation with peanut butter jelly and other throwaway gimmicks.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…
Over time, some really credible content has started to appear as people come around to the idea of the internet as a real opportunity to have their creative content out in the public domain for all to enjoy.
Strangely, gaming has always been steeped in similar creativity, but has never enjoyed similar widespread appeal as a creative outlet. Since the days of early bedroom coders, making a bit of cash on the side by selling independent Spectrum games or Commodore 64 games, everyday people have found a way to create their own games.
This went on throughout the Amiga shareware era when you could pick up a floppy disc with a couple of indie titles for a mere snip and would continue right through to today’s PC mods, such as the now infamous Garry’s Mod for Half-Life 2.
Could Little Big Planet’s Sackboys be the new face of console creationism?
I might sound like I’m veering off the course a tad here, but game developers are really coming round to the whole ‘make and share’ idea on home consoles big time, especially now that the big three machines are hooked up to the internet.
Recently Far Cry 2 has boasted a rather ace, if not daunting level editor. Spend a bit of time with this and you can come up with some pretty neat multiplayer arenas to take online and test by blowing up complete strangers. Then there’s Little Big Planet, where the onus is on creating your own stages for playing with friends.
Fridays release of Guitar Hero: World Tour includes the excellent GHTunes and already, users have created metal renditions of the theme tunes from Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Banjo Kazooie and many more, free for the masses to enjoy. The most impressive so far has to be a cover of The Final Countdown I came across, the gamer must have toiled for hours with this one, as GHTunes, while effective, takes a great deal of patience to learn.
GHTunes allows you to make some brilliant songs…if you have the patience mind
It’s refreshing to see console owners given the chance to create and share their stages, songs, car decals and replays online. In some ways it may even give players a greater sense of belonging to a wider community. Whether this can be viewed as an offshoot of Web 2.0 or not is debatable, but there’s definitely something curious about its appeal.
Now it’s back to GHTunes to fail at making a decent song again.