User-generated content is any kind of media content that is produced
by end-users, rather than professional writers, editors, and
producers. Trend watchers noting the recent explosion of
user-generated content on the internet have spawned a number of
terms for users who create their own content and share it with
others, such as
Generation C and
and user-generated content are a natural pairing, for a number
- The concept of associating user-generated virtual content
with specific real-world locations is easy to convey to users.
Associating things with physical locations is an everyday human
experience, as we humans have outfitted the real world with tons
of user-generated content: buildings, parks, streets, cars,
- LEGs that are custom-tailored to specific locations can
fully exploit the real-world fun potential offered by those locations.
For example, a location-specific LEG might incorporate:
- The direction the VW bug was likely traveling when it
was snatched by the troll under the Aurora bridge (in Seattle,
- The spot where the the shadow of the tip of the Washington Monument
falls at noon on summer solstice(in Washington, D.C.)
- The direction Gloria Swanson's footprints are headed (in Hollywood,
But the task of selecting and "ground-truthing" locations (i.e., making sure they are suitable
for play) can be time-consuming and expensive, and the world is
too large a game space for any professional design team to
custom-outfit all of it. Players, OTOH, could outfit their
own game spaces in the locations that work for them.
- The real world can accommodate an infinite aggregation of
virtual content tailored to the interests of different players.
Imagine a player walking the streets of Washington, D.C., who
can "tune" a history game so that he encounters characters from
the War of Independence, the Civil War, or the Civil Rights
movement. Another player walking the same streets might be
on the lookout for virtual spies, gunmen, and briefcases full of
The Wikipedia entry for
provides a good overview of trends in user-generated content.
article in Trendwatching.com discusses the "avalanche of
user-generated content that is building on the web, thanks to the
contributions of "Generation C."
Second Life is "a 3-D
virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since
opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is
inhabited by a total of 5,057,224 people from around the globe."