The Future of XBOX is User Generated

June 27, 2008


Wired reports on Microsoft’s XNA Creator’s Club Online – a budding project that allows civilian users to access the XBOX 360 development framework to build their own games.  The results are unpolished, but suggest that this previously-untapped creative resource of non-pro developers could be ready to boil over.

The games, of course, aren’t designed to visually stun.  Jellycar is one of the more popular games and is rendered in crayon in 2 dimensions.  It uses, though, the unusual and delicious physics of gelatin snacks to make the Jellycar bounce around its environment to achieve race-based objectives.

The Creator’s Club isn’t meant to be a secret arcade.  It is, rather, more like being in the thunderhead in a brainstorm.  Here’s what Wired thinks:

Playing them is like being in a pitch meeting for the Nintendo 64 or something. It's a bunch of roughed-out ideas with placeholder graphics and very little of the polish that actually makes games fun. It's less amusing and more intriguing, a glimpse at the very early stages of the development process that outsiders rarely get.

Many people (like McKenzie Wark) argue that video games are the emergent cultural medium of our generation. So, this project is akin to meetings in the Paris café with the literary expatriates of the Greatest Generation, or perhaps to Warhol’s factory.  Don’t let the nerdiness throw you, this is important.