Playing with Genre: User-Generated Game Design in LittleBigPlanet 2

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

LUCI Report 2012-003


Computer Science


Although computer and video games are traditionally understood as interactive experiences designed by professional developers, the increasingly social nature of these interactions means that players often become involved in the design process as well. In particular, games that include developer kits and level editors enable a form of participatory culture in which players directly perform user-generated game design—creating their own game rules and challenges for other players—by means of “modding” or other design activities. We explore how players perform user-generated game design by analyzing player-designed levels in the popular game LittleBigPlanet 2,using game analysis to consider the design of selected levels and how those levels are presented to and viewed by other players. We describe how players create levels that build on the game's existing genre, but also manipulate this genre to emphasize their own interpretations of what it means to play a video game. This study contributes an initial exploration of a form of end-user design that is of growing importance in video games, with potential implications for the design of future games and other participatory systems.