Linden Lab bills itself as “the makers of shared creative spaces,” and they’ve taken this motto to heart. The creators of Second Life have experienced a creative renaissance in 2012, first with Patterns (a more sophisticated version of Minecraft), Creatorverse (a 2-D gamemaker), and most recently dio (a photo-sharing site on steroids). Their most recent venture, Versu, is out today. And instead of an emphasis on visuals, Versu is taking on the written word.
Versu, for the iPad, looks like a simple choose-your-own-adventure game—and for the most part, it is. However, it’s a little more sophisticated than that. You select one of the (currently three) free stories, and choose a character. The characters react not only with actions but also emotions. But more importantly, each time you play through a story, you’re given different options, so there are variations in the outcome.
The “shared creative spaces comes in” with the ability for you to create your own stories…in future releases.
According to Linden Lab, the company “is going to roll out a tool which allows users to create their own character. Then, they will roll out a tool that will allow them to create their own scenes and even entire stories. In the end, they will also be able to monetize those stories and sell them through the platform.”
Versu won’t appeal to everyone: My husband rolled his eyes when he saw that one of the examples of narrative came from the chick lit class, Pride & Prejudice. (He’d be happier with stories that include robots or magic.) But it seems like a thoughtful experience, one that you can use to introduce your literary friends to video games.
Check it out.
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