Play, Create, and Share Is The New Sandbox Genre


Last year, Sony and Media Molecule both used the expression “Play, Create, Share” to describe the gameplay style of the award-winning PlayStation 3 title LittleBigPlanet. What “Play, Create, Share” meant was that players who picked up the game would be able to play the game by themselves or with friends, and create content within the game to play and share with people online, around the world and within their own homes. It was a phrase that stuck, and became a staple of the title’s success, but this year Jack Trenton announced that “Play, Create, Share” is not exclusive to LittleBigPlanet.

Jack Trenton described this motto as the title of a new genre in gaming. Just as we saw Grand Theft Auto III define the sandbox genre in gaming years ago on the PS2, we have witnessed LittleBigPlanet define the genre that is “Play, Create, Share”; and at this year’s E3 the next title in that line of genre was announced: ModNation Racers.

ModNation Racers is complete with playing, creating and sharing, giving players the ability to easily create characters, cars, and tracks for the game (full details here). From what we’ve seen of the game so far, it looks extremely promising to deliver the same type of fun that gamers experienced when LittleBigPlanet first entered our PlayStation 3’s.  With this new “Play, Create, Share” genre what else can we expect from the future of Sony, it’s creator, or even Microsoft, a potential adaptor?

We have seen many takes on the sandbox genre, once thought to belong solely to the Grand Theft Auto series, from Saint’s Row to Spider Man 2, Prototype to Crackdown or inFAMOUS. The sandbox genre is extremely popular, especially in this era with the hardware that is available to developers to be able to create such immersive worlds and “sandboxes” for us to play in.  With the sandbox genre taking off like it did, how long will it be until we see more developments and games that are defined in the “Play, Create, Share” genre?

With LittleBigPlanet being the first of such games, followed by ModNation Racers, it is extremely exciting to be able to witness the birth of a genre, and an opportunity for more possibilities in the industry to make amazing games. Here’s to “Play, Create, Share.”

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