Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Spreadsheet for Your Life / A Spreadsheet for God

This Colbert Report interview with The Sims and Spore creator Will Wright shows the game designer making several cross-generic comparisons of his simulation software to unglamorous spreadsheet programs. It's also interesting from a digital rhetoric standpoint to observe the show's tendency to emphasize the "meta" character of particular possible scenarios in The Sims in which you can conceivably watch your characters reading books or even -- yes -- playing videogames. Although this kind of redundancy is often celebrated in digital media, it's a signifier for pointlessness in the world of half-hour and hour-long narratives. In turn, Wright makes justifiably fun of the privileged position of producers of one-way broadcast media like The Colbert Report in which only a select few are allowed to manipulate the content.



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