Jane Pinckard of game girl advance has come up with four future trends of entertainment, and they all apply to gaming — while her ideas aren't necessarily 'new,' she does really boil down some of the tensions and innovations facing the industry right now. She points to four trends — tension between immersion and transparency, asynchronous instant communication, credible advertising with integrity, and tools as the content. This last issue is one that's come up a lot, and I really like her take on it — the move from passive consumer to active user:
"Content is king." Well, there's about to be a revolution and some regicide. The consumers of tomorrow want content for free. And they will make their own content. That is potentially more fun and more interesting than consuming carefully planned, carefully made, well-mannered content from a professional. Films and TV are already at that point where they are consumed and remixed freely by consumers. Music was there long ago. Games will be there soon.
The content of the future will be in tools. Tools like the ones shipped with Little Big Planet (although I suspect it's still too early for that game to start a true paradigm shift.) Tools that will let consumers engage directly with the content.
Actually, this is the tipping point when "consumers" become "users". Consumers are passive. Users, active
Quick and worth a read — it's certainly a lot more to the point than some of the longer pieces on the same topics.
The Futures of Entertainment [game girl advance]