Next Gen Generative Gaming

One of my favorite things about new devices is that they often spawn new forms of gameplay.  The touch interface, big screen and in-your-lap coziness of the iPad has enabled lots of innovation, but my favorite by far is what I’ll call Generative Gaming, because I don’t quite know what to call it.  There’s no such official category in the app store, but you can find lots of examples of generative gameplay in the top of the charts, especially in the entertainment and music app sections.  Check out titles like LoopSeque, SounDrop, Beatwave, MixxMuse & Ions.  But to really see what I mean, give those apps to a kid and watch them play, for hours, and hours.  No achievements, no story, no characters.  Just a super intuitive gameplay mechanic and an infinite opportunity to discover. 

These iPad apps remind me a lot of some Xbox Live Arcade titles like Lumines Live! and Chime.   But are these apps really games?  Who cares?  They’re fun, approachable, addictive and pure play.  As such, they are great examples of innovation spawned by new form factors.  I can’t wait to see how this generative movement evolves, mutates, and hopefully spreads back onto more traditional gaming devices.

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