Make Your Own Fun

User created content. Not since Tinkertoys has making your own fun been quite so easy.

Make Your Own Fun

"The actual creation process is somewhat a black box; how does a novice create a game? When I was young, the barrier to entry was more dependent on how much code I wanted to copy than it was trying to figure out the process, but these days development is much more challenging. There are a handful of efforts to simplify the development tools and process, but even the simplest game development tools at this point are complicated.

"But what would happen if we could make game development simpler? What if everyone could make videogames?"

Make Your Own Fun

"What's surprising is the rigor with which the communities themselves select and train recruits for their virtual wars. 'Some teams will require you to beat the game environment with only bits of the GUI,' says my soldier sim insider. 'Applicants can use the in-game compass, read maps and have to navigate to a set destination in a certain amount of time ... if you can't go on maneuvers, then you're probably not going to be on the team.'"

Jim Rossignol joins up for the Virtua Corps

Make Your Own Fun

"They didn't start very complicated. In the early 1990s, Doom allowed users to record their play sessions. At first players swapped clips to compare and study matches and speed runs, and when Quake followed with more advanced recording tools, player clans began to do it wholesale.

The Quake community produced the first widely viewed machinima in 1996 … the videos were known as 'Quake movies' at first, and it would be a few years until machinima earned its proper name."

Cat Rambo dissects machinima.

Make Your Own Fun

"The idea of Metaplace is to really make MMOGs work the way the web does, and what that means is making it so that it is very easy for people to set up their own MMOG. It's very easy for these MMOGs to link to one another, it's very easy for these MMOGs to interact with anything else out there on the web, to provide kind of a technology platform ... it's really kind of the equivalent to Blogger, but for virtual worlds."

Dana Massey interviews Raph Koster.

Make Your Own Fun

"Glitches, anomalies and bugs can indeed hamper a game, but in the hands of the right player, they can be a lot of fun, too. Is leaving these bugs in a reason to get mad at the developers? Perhaps, but there are some players out there who want to thank them."

Philip Miner explores exploits and the gaming of the game.