LittleBigPlanet – ‘Changing lives means more than awards’
Speaking exclusively to Play recently Media Molecule’s Mark Healey revealed to us that finding out how LittleBigPlanet was changing people’s lives has meant a great deal more than any of the numerous awards the game has picked up. Since its release in 2008 LittleBigPlanet has been awarded Spike Awards, AIAS awards and even BAFTAs, but Healey told us some stories that meant much more to him.
“There’s a guy that we’ve go working here called John and because of LittleBigPlanet he now works in the games industry, he’s got a job here,” Healey told us. “Before that he was working as a builder and it was just a little secret dream of his, but he didn’t know how to get into the industry or what to do. Because of LBP he’s done it.
“For me that’s what makes the game a success… I like the idea that there’s a route for people to get into the games industry without having to come from a privileged background, gone to university or any of those things. I guess you have to be able to afford a PlayStation, but they’re getting cheaper and cheaper. Anything like that where someone gets a chance to fulfil a dream that they might not have been able to before is kind of our high, ultimate ambition”
But Healey had an even more touching story than that to tell. “More recently we had a letter from these parents who have a child who was diagnosed as autistic or having aspergers syndrome, but is quite a young little kid and they bought him LittleBigPlanet,” Healey began. “He just really got into it and started creating things and they were so amazed because they said it started to really pull him out of his shell. They sent us this letter saying he’s really into it and he’s started creating all these things and he talks to them about it a lot.
“We invited him in to the community day actually and he came with his parents. He’s only six or seven years old or something. We showed him around, got him involved in the community day and the week after his parents wrote us another letter telling us how much he had loved it and how they were totally amazed to see him talking to other people. That’s an amazing thing I think. That’s much more valuable to me than any of those awards. It makes you feel as if your job is actually worthwhile. It really touched me that story.”
Want to know more? Read Play’s Exclusive preview of LittleBigPlanet 2 featuring interviews with Mark Healey and Alex Evans in Issue 195, on sale 5 August. Available in stores in UK and Ireland, via the Imagine eShop or on your iPhone/iPad.
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