Video games have become a large part of today's culture. Some parents find that their kids spend more time in front of the TV playing video games than doing anything else. According to Jane McGonigal, an American game designer and author, currently there are more than a half a billion people worldwide playing computer and video games at least an hour a day -- and a 183 million in the US alone. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be a gamer -- 99 percent of boys under 18 and 94 percent of girls under 18 report playing video games regularly.
At one point or another, almost all these young minds playing video games have wondered what it would be like to create their own game, even if it was just changing something small to make their gaming experience better. With the release of new consoles later this year, that idea is going to become a reality. Known as Project Spark, Microsoft is trying to make it easier than ever to create your own game by turning that process into a game itself.
Similar creations allowing enthusiasts to create their own games exist, but many are strictly limited to working from a PC -- most notably Game Maker, Flixel, RPG Maker, and Twine. Project Spark will be the first of this type released to a console system.
Players will easily be able to create their own worlds, characters, and actions, then play through their own game. The Kinect is going to be available for use in creating games with the Xbox One. Players will be able to take images of themselves or their friends and use them in a game. Users can also record their own action moves, which can then be integrated into the game.
A game made specifically for designing other games gives users a chance to express their creativity in a way that was previously impossible. What Microsoft and others are also hoping is that it provides a source of inspiration and motivation to take it a step further into the world of coding. This is an area where Game Maker did particularly well. As users progress through making a game, they have the additional option to gradually begin adding in blocks of code rather than sticking with the drag-and-drop style of creating.
Project Spark should provide gamers with an endlessly creative game. They can even share and play with friends. There is a beta version, which is set to be released for the PC this October. The Xbox One version is set to be released in January of 2014.