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Sotamaa Cph290108slideshare


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Sotamaa Cph290108slideshare

  1. 1. Democratizing the Console Environment? Console Games and Player-generated Content Olli Sotamaa University of Tampere FREE TO PLAY: USER GENERATED CONTENT IN COMPUTER GAMES October 29th 2008, Copenhagen
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The role of player production in the console market until recently </li></ul><ul><li>The promise of democratizing the console environment </li></ul><ul><li>The forms of player productivity </li></ul><ul><li>” Console game snapshots” </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the player-facilitating initiatives </li></ul>
  3. 3. Console environment traditionally <ul><li>closed </li></ul><ul><li>proprietary </li></ul><ul><li>oligopolistic </li></ul><ul><li>manufacturer royalties </li></ul><ul><li>strict control of content </li></ul><ul><li>not particularly known for supporting player’s own production </li></ul>
  4. 4. The forms of control over player productivity
  5. 5. <ul><li>” With your help, we can achieve our goal of democratizing game development and distribution. We are building a lightweight and scalable distribution platform for community-created games. We want to ensure that all creators can participate in game development.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dax Hawkins, development manager of Microsoft XNA </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>” By reducing the barriers that make console game development prohibitively expensive, WiiWare showcases original ideas in the most democratic environment in industry history, connecting the people who make games more directly with the people who play them.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> on WiiWare </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. More democratic console environment? <ul><li>Projects like XNA and WiiWare still not for anyone, but for small studios, indie and student projects </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of hard drives and online services has, however, slowly paved the way for player-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>So, what kind of player participation is encouraged? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Homebrew software, wiimote hacks, console case mods etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly tolerated but not supported </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Content modifications: UT3 mods, Halo maps etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Supported, relatively closely controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate the means of consumption (console) and the means of production / distribution (PC) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Towards ”casual modding” <ul><li>No need for programming skills or complicated software </li></ul><ul><li>Limits the possibility space but allows new player segments to experiment </li></ul><ul><li>New functions for games will emerge </li></ul><ul><li>” Console game snapshots” </li></ul>
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  13. 13. <ul><li>Browser games </li></ul><ul><li>for consoles </li></ul><ul><li>Both Nintendo Wii and PS3 have an integrated internet browser </li></ul><ul><li>The browser provides a design environment mostly free from the manufacturer restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Browser gaming has been claimed to be the future of PC gaming, why not console as well? </li></ul>
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  15. 15. Concluding remarks <ul><li>Despite the noble rhetorics, console democracy still in the very early stages </li></ul><ul><li>If manufacturers and developers really want to benefit from player’s creative investements they should not be too greedy </li></ul><ul><li>Providing players with easy-to-use design tools can create new mundane functions for games </li></ul><ul><li>The browser as an open design and gaming environment can challenge our understanding of console gaming </li></ul>