Saturday, January 7, 2006

Creative Blocks


Lego has just recently put up some free software called Lego Factory that lets you design your own creations, post the resulting model in a gallery on the site, and order a kit from them of the actual pieces necessary to build the model in real life. Obviously the parts cost money. And, if you're like me and my son, you've probably got all the parts necessary to build 3,248,905 models straight out of your head. And I'm not sure we needed a virtual building tool for modeling a real building tool that was already about the zippiest, most creative toy ever invented. But...


I can't quite figure out why. Maybe because it bridges some virtual-to-real gap or divide. Maybe because it will let me create something in my head/computer, and then on my kitchen table. Maybe because it is another example of those super-duper crazy-creative Danish Lego-monkey-freaks doing everything they can to improve my building experience.

I can't say enough good things about Lego. Some people get all pissy about their tie-ins with movies, about the whole "Bionicle" thing and how they've "gone commercial." Screw 'em. My son, at 3.5 years of age, because of Lego, came up to me and asked, "What do you call somebody who decides how things are built?"

I replied, "Those are 'mechanical engineers.'"

"That's what I want to be when I grow up," he then told me.

He's six and a bit, now. And that's still what he says he wants to be. God bless Lego, I say. Bionicle, Harry Potter and Star Wars tie-ins and all.

Now... back to the neat idea of this virtual-to-reality thingy...

Think about ways to connect your Internet communications and media to what you've got going on in the real world. Think about ways to engage your buddies, customers, employees, colleagues, peers, pets, imaginary friends, etc. not just online... but in online-to-offline ways. Or ways that offer true 360-degree creative communication a-la "The Lego Model."

Here's an idea for us: I invite any of my four regular readers to assign me blog topics at any time. Go ahead. You tell me what to write about. I don't promise to do a good job, but I promise to give it a whack. I'll build your blog post in this space. Leave the idea as a comment to this post, and we'll see what happens.

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