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The Wright Stuff: Sims Man Takes Over TV

So this is what Will Wright did next. It seemed highly likely that the mighty-brained chap behind the Sims, Sim City and Spore would be working on some kind of absurdly ambitious game project in the wake of leaving Maxis and EA. And indeed he is – but he’s doing it via television. Remember television? It’s that old thing that’s like a game consisting only of cutscenes.

Anyway, Will Wright + TV = The Creation Project.
IGN’s the source of the story, having established that Wright is working on said show with the help of an ex-Nickleodeon bigwig. ‘The Creation Project’ might sound a bit Songs Of Praise, but it’s also a title which clearly reflects his latter-day creed of user-created content.

In this case, it’s TV viewers creating a TV show – initially by submitting and voting on story ideas, but where it’s of interest to us is that they’ll apparently be doing so via the web, and something called ‘The StoryMaker Engine.’ This enables anyone involved to “quickly make their own storyboards to accompany their ideas using pre-existing images or those uploaded by the users themselves,” says IGN. Ad-hoc Machinima perhaps, or will it simply be Windows Paint doodles and static pictures from webcams? Oy, that could go wrong. Doubtless it’ll be heavily monitored at the TV network’s end to prevent penisogeddon, however.

All very interesting, if it does indeed get off the ground. Perhaps it won’t ultimately be gamey at all, but frankly anything Wright does tends to be conceptually fascinating, regardless of the end product.

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Alec Meer

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