11.3.07

Feeling more at home on a Planet

Sony's Game Developers Conference keynote had two memorable components: the introduction of Home, their Second Life-styled real world, and Little Big Planet, a game about users creating their own game levels and sharing it with others.

The contrast between the two could not be greater. Home appears as a 21st century Microsoft Bob-style metaphor of all the functionality of the Playstation 3. Users can design and layout their realistic environment, and, as repeated multiple times during the presentation, players can purchase merchandise from the Sony store online to show to their friends. The question that comes to my mind when thinking about Sony's Home is "what's the point?" Second Life conjures up a similar question, but the level of flexibility and sharing is miles beyond anything Home offers.

Little Big Planet approaches the "problem" of what to do with an internet connected console with an entirely different, more interesting and plausible approach. Instead of trying to provide a physical metaphor and community about all of the activities available on the PS3 console, Little Big Planet focuses on a few users working together to create content (in this case, game levels) for themselves, and then the ability to share these creations in a community about the game.

Home is community for community's sake. Little Big Planet attempts to provide a community to extend the value and enjoyment of a game.

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