Editor's Note

Outside the Box


This weekend, I introduced another friend to LittleBigPlanet and got Sony another PS3 conversion in the process. My friend was so taken with the experience when I played the game with him yesterday that I received a text from him this morning saying he was out buying a PS3 and a copy of the game. The last game he played with any conviction was Halo 2. Thank you, Mr. Stringer and Mr. Hirai.

While LittleBigPlanet immediately drew him in with its unique style and superb premade levels, it was the user generated levels that won him over. Over the course of an evening, we ran through the human body shooting viruses with paint guns, raced tanks over hills and played an insanely ambitious, if not always successful, recreation of what I think was the movie Delta Force.

As we played through all these creations, some great and some not so great, I realized that much of the fun was in the unexpected and how easy it was to try all these levels. Allow me to coin the term level-surfing to describe the experience. Mods have always been available, but only recently have we reached a point where playing them has become a seamless experience.

And that ease of access is the lynchpin for this whole issue. It’s hard to imagine LittleBigPlanet winning over my friend so thoroughly had he been forced to watch me dig through a server for a strangely named file, install it and hope it played on the first try. Instead, we looked at buttons on a patchwork globe to determine where we would be traveling next.

This week we take a look at the people who are taking games’ appeal well beyond the store shelves.

Tom Endo

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