As I wrote back in early October, legendary game maker Will Wright — of SimCity, The Sims, and Spore fame — has left behind the world of gaming to venture into television. But he hasn’t abandoned his “sandbox tools” ways.
Wright’s genre-busting games are known for giving gamers the tools to play the kind of game they want, any way they want. Non-linear and totally open-worlded, SimCity, The Sims, and Spore may come with certain tiered objectives, but ultimately you can do whatever you want within these unique “sandboxes.” He’s bringing that same philosophy — providing creative people with unique sets of tools and seeing what they come up with — to his first TV show, which is cryptically titled Bar Karma.
Next to nothing is known about the show and how it will work, but it’s planned for Current TV sometime in 2011. Somehow, viewers will become the braintrust behind the show via a “StoryMaker Engine” created by Wright himself, working as a community to dream up and vote on ideas for Bar Karma‘s storylines. Yet on the outside looking in, Wright’s fans are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out what he’s up to and why he turned away from games to work in TV (and other mediums).
To address all the confusion, Wright has filmed the following video to help “clear the air.” Open cheek, insert tongue, and press play:
You know, if I were someone far more important, I would be tempted to think that Wright came up with this video just for me. Because the fact that he’s created an obvious homage to Lost and its choppy/jump-cut archived videos of the Dharma Initiative, which starred the mysterious Dr. Pierre Chang, has endeared him to me ten times more than before.
I couldn’t tell you a single thing he explained in that video, but… Well played, Mr. Wright. Well played.