Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars

Henry Jenkins's makes the claim that "(w)ithin convergence culture everyone's a participant- although participants may have different degrees of status and influence" (132). The forum members at YoYo Games are all creators, yet just as Jenkins's claims, even a person who creates a game by his or herself may not be able to claim full credit for the game. Often the part that is borrowed from somewhere is the story and characters from mainstream video games. Examples of this would be from such classic games like The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros. and Pokemon. While some people choose to create a "clone" or a version of the game made using the Game Maker software, most often it is a new story or setting for the characters. The problem with the "clone" games however is that they are often of poor quality and lack much of the game play that the original game had. However, with the video game equivalent of fan fiction, it is not usual that a well made video game is produced. One example that sticks out is video game based on the Legend of Zelda by the user Atrius called "Zelda: Just Beginning, The Prelude." It was very similar to the Zelda games that were made for the Super Nintendo, but it had some added features and original puzzles that were quite challenging. Jenkin's notes that "(t)he commercial entertainment industry set standards of technical perfection and professional accomplishment few grassroots performers could match" (135). Yet the examples such as Atrius's game and works of Star Wars fan fiction like Star Wars: Revelations show that it is possible for nonprofessionals to produce professional quality work. It may even be that users of game maker are separated from professionals by a smaller gap because the games that would compete with professional games are either old or simple internet games. This is analogous to Jenkins's reference of George Lucas's interview with Wired magazine that the special effects for the redone Star Wars movies were done using normal computers and a couple of hours. Thus it would seem logical to assume that when we are no longer seeing significant improvements in video game and movie graphics from year to year, grassroots producers will be able to compete with professionals almost at the same level.

An important aspect about the production of fan fiction that is mirrored in its video game equivalent is recreating childhood experiences by creating new ones. Jenkins's cites a fan critic that as a child, Star Wars fans use to pretend being in the movies (146). This is because the myths that these people grew up with, as Jenkins points out, were not William Wallace, Robin Hood or Odysseus but stories about Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Same can be said about many video games. An issue that has yet to be address with game production, in particular with using Game Maker, is the ability of users to make video games based on the characters and stories of other games. Jenkins writes that Lucusfilm holds exclusive rights to the intellectual property of Star Wars, and uses this right to prohibit fan fiction that would cause the Star Wars characters to be represented in a way contrary to the original story. While it is the norm that most companies will not intervene until they feel that they could be losing money or someone is profited without paying for a license, Lucasfilm acts regardless of if money is being made or transacted. It will be interesting to see how game developers react to the versions of their games made using Game Maker, because currently no action has been made against a game made using Game Maker…More to come but this is enough for now.