Black Boxes and Co-Creation in LittleBigPlanet 2

  • Dave Jones Old Dominion University
Keywords: co-creation, participatory culture, games, black boxes, actor network theory


This  paper discusses black boxes and their role as mediators in the user experience of co-creative networks. Using Actor Network Theory, I trace the people, groups, and technologies that assemble around the moderation of player-generated content in Media Molecules LittleBigPlanet 2. More specifically, I examine the Good Grief! Systems role in mediating the moderation process between player-creators and moderators. This system frames moderation as a participatory practice initiated by people playing levels. However the system also establishes a black box around the processes of assessing and moderating reported levels. This makes the moderation process opaque to the player-creator community, locking them away from the moderation process and disempowering them as creative agents. Co-creative networks enable participation, but use black boxes to structure the participatory activities that player-creators pursue. As a result, much of the coordinative and collaborative work of network participants centers upon the black box, what it renders invisible, and how to test its boundaries.
How to Cite
Jones, D. (2011). Black Boxes and Co-Creation in LittleBigPlanet 2. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 1.