Tuesday, June 2, 2009

EXP Podcast #28: Power to the Players?

As we all learned from Uncle Ben, "With great power, comes great responsibility." When Paragon Studios gave players the tools to create their own quests in City of Heroes, it soon became a case study of what happens when people discover a new-found power. Upon gaining the power to design quests, some players began to exploit the system for maximum experience points with the minimum amount of work. This kicked up a storm amongst the City of Heroes players, as well as in the larger video game community. This week, we use Nels Anderson's post on the subject as focal point for discussing the role and regulation of player-created content. As always, we're interested to hear your experiences, so feel free to create some "reader-generated" content in the comments.

Some discussion starters:

- How should player generated content be regulated? Should it? By whom?
- Are games with player-created content fated to be dominated by an elite class of creators? Is democratization necessary or ideal?
- Why do players exploit games? Where is the line between optimization and exploitation drawn?

To listen to the podcast:
- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 26 min 56 sec
- Nels Anderson's post, via Above49.ca: "About that Player-Generated Content..."
- Nate Ralph's post, via Wired: "Handed Keys to Kingdom, Gamers Race to Bottom"
- Music provided by Brad Sucks

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