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Popfly Game Creator

When Microsoft launched its Popfly mashup creation site and tooling, it was seen as an early effort to get Silverlight out in front of the non-coding public and to help blunt the momentum of innovative mashup tools like Yahoo Pipes. Since the May 2007 launch, Popfly has managed to do just that, emerging as a popular mashup tool for non-programmers.

Now, Microsoft is taking the Popfly concept in an intriguing direction: game creation.

The way Microsoft figures it, Popfly Game Creator will tap into the next wave of user-generated content. Microsoft Developer Division Senior Vice President S. Soma Somasegar blogged about the new offering here.

As Jacqueline Russell, lead product manager for the Popfly team, told us:

"When we think of the domains that the phenomenon of user-generated content has penetrated already -- text, video, images -- games are really the next on that list, and Popfly goes a long way towards making that easy and accessible for everyone."

No surprise, Microsoft isn't targeting the suit-and-tie set with this offering, instead chasing what it calls "students, hobbyists and other non-professionals." What Popfly Game Creator could do, however, is draw more than a few bright, young minds into the area of game development. Just as sites like helped give birth to a generation of young Photoshop experts, Popfly Game Creator could help inspire a lot of creative talent.

By lowering barriers to entry and opening a compelling new flank in user-generated content, Microsoft is doing a good thing. The question is, will it lead more people to take up the study of computer science and software development?

You tell me. E-mail me at with your thoughts.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 05/06/2008 at 1:15 PM

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