User—generated content is an issue that has been getting a fair amount of press as of late (even Stanford is looking at how to make it easy for everyone to create nice models to share); Mark DeLoura takes another step, and discusses average fans making entire games. My gut reaction is that if everyone could make games, there would be a lot more crap out there than there is currently, but I suppose lowering the barrier of entry is not always a bad thing. Where does the novice get started?
Let's say you want to make a game today. Where would you start? Assuming you want to share the game with your friends, the consoles and handhelds are virtually off-limits due to their strict distribution rules. Microsoft's XNA Creators Club for the Xbox 360 is about as flexible as you get, and even after buying into the service, you can only share your games with other members of the club. The PC and cell phone aren't a bad way to go, but conquering the installation process on systems with such varied hardware is hard, even for a professional. Your best bet is probably the web, which leaves Adobe's Flash, which is installed on 95 percent of today's PCs. But even Flash is fairly complex, and the development environment is expensive. Really, it's very difficult for a novice to strike out on his own.
I suspect in future years, we'll be seeing a lot more attempts to let everyone get in on game design, beyond RPG Maker.
What If Everyone Could Make Videogames? [The Escapist]