Let's go straight into the comments for once, in celebration of the fact that the new Extra Punctuation schedule actually allows me to reply to comments from the most recent video.
"...this game is pretty much only limited to your imagination so it shows Yahtzee isn't all that imaginative..."
- jamesmchapman, from the Scribblenauts comments
Except it isn't limited to my imagination, is it. It's limited to their imagination. The developers. If it were limited to my imagination I'd have been able to enter "difficulty curve, story campaign, connected series of increasingly complex levels and a movement/combat system that doesn't make me want to break windows," and been given a better game. Don't get the wrong idea about this game - what it definitely is not is a flawless miniature Star Trek holodeck that will manifest your every whim. And good thing too, because as entertainment goes I couldn't imagine anything duller.
What, exactly, Scribblenauts is, or rather what it was supposed to be, is the big question. I'm going to stop calling it a "game." The "create anything you want" concept poses no real challenge or structure. As the video may have implied, I suspect it's a chance for a developer to show off how many words they can think of and how unafraid they are of daunting art asset lists. But then again, it could just be what it appears to be: a creativity toy for idiots.
The world is full of idiots. Forgive me for the redundancy of that statement, because if you're reading this you must be on the internet, and are well aware that you could enter communication with an idiot within two clicks of the mouse. Or even faster if you have a mirror on hand. Yes, you see, I'm saying you're an idiot, too. I felt I should make that clearer because you're an idiot.
And the trouble with having a majority of idiots is that they have a detrimental effect on global culture. Non-idiots in the creative industries learn that catering to the idiots is a safer bet, and when idiots themselves attempt something creative, it's usually unappealing, derivative, fashioned from dry twigs and covered in a strange sticky fluid. I wouldn't trust them to make a hat out of newspaper, let alone design a game.
But there's been quite a trend of late for games that emphasize letting the user create their own experience. Little Big Planet is the most obvious example. With its editing tools and physics engine, I'd call it Scribblenauts taken to a considerably scaled-up degree. They made a system that allowed literally every single player to contribute to their library of levels. And what happened? Idiots happened, that's what. An avalanche of copies of levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, flaming cocks and a thousand variations on a theme of "drive very fast into a wall."