Lock it, fill it, call it, find it, view it, code it, jam, un­lock it


When he un­veiled Lit­tle Big Planet at GDC in 2007, Phil Har­ri­son de­scribed it as be­ing at the van­guard of a new move­ment called Game 3.0. Ver­sion 1.0, he said, was the PC floppy disk and con­sole car­tridge, and 2.0 added on­line play. Game 3.0 was about shar­ing. At the time, it felt like a buzz­word. Look­ing back, how­ever, it’s clear he was onto some­thing.

Af­ter all, this is­sue fi­nally yields a re­view of Player un­known’s Battlegrounds, a game that wouldn’t ex­ist with­out the mod scene and whose suc­cess can be in large part at­trib­uted to its pop­u­lar­ity among Twitch stream­ers. In Push­ing But­tons, we speak to a new breed of de­vel­op­ers and broad­cast­ers who are sub­vert­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions of how games are played, be it with a one-of-a-kind mu­seum piece or a YouTube video of Over­watch be­ing played on a ba­nana. Else­where we check in on what Unity, one of the most pop­u­lar game-de­vel­op­ment plat­forms on the planet that’s used all over the world, from big stu­dios to tiny bed­rooms, has planned for its mil­lions of users in 2018.

Har­ri­son’s ‘Game 3.0’ may not have stuck around, and not ev­ery­thing he pre­dicted that day in 2007 came to pass ( he also an­nounced PlayS­ta­tion Home, and we all know how that turned out). But the ‘Play, cre­ate, share’ tagline with which Lit­tleBigPlanet will be for­ever as­so­ci­ated is so in tune with the gam­ing zeit­geist in 2018 that it wouldn’t look out of place on a new Edge mast­head. Games these days are about so much more than just play; they are de­fined by what you can do in them, the peo­ple with whom you can play them, and the au­di­ence with which you can share the re­sults.

Lit­tleBigPlanet felt brave and risky back then; to­day, Dreams feels thor­oughly of the mo­ment, an all-pur­pose cre­ation tool that takes the flex­i­bil­ity of a pow­er­ful game en­gine and tunes it el­e­gantly to the PS4 con­troller, then makes shar­ing your work – or bor­row­ing oth­ers’ – eas­ier than ever. It is con­tem­po­rary, and as­ton­ish­ing. Our story be­gins on p60.

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