Ron Gilbert, creator of Monkey Island (with newly recurring partner Tim Schafer) and DeathSpank, released a tirade against the “corporate control” over media publishing on his blog. Although most of his ire is directed to the musically-oriented Apple, he credits a lot of companies with ties in the video game realm for squashing creative innovation with bureaucratic politics.
“Apple has maintained an almost North Koreanish dictatorial control over the devices, becoming the arbitrator over what is good and bad, what is allowed and not allowed,” Gilbert fumed, “Apple apologists say that Apple needs this control to maintain the ‘specialness’ of the device. I say that’s a load of crap. Anyone that uses a Mac will tell you that much of the software (completely out of Apple’s control) is beautiful and highly functional, unlike the sea of garbage that finds its way onto Windows.”
“The truly sad part of what keeps the iPad from being a serious tool for creation and not just a toy for consumption is Apple’s pathological control over the device,” he continued. “Why can’t there be a common Documents folder that any application can save documents to? Why must all applications be locked into a sandbox, unable to communicate with each other in unthought of and creative ways without using some kludgy URL scheme. To protect us Apple will say. Bullshit I say.”
Gilbert cites a specific photography application for Apple’s iPhone as an example of his point,
“Ideas are often censored not because they are bad, but because they are not understood and mistaken for bad. The damage here is that truly brilliant ideas can take a while before their importance and genius is truly appreciated or that people are ready for them. Ideas can also be upsetting and disruptive to the status quo, the very institutions that have the power to censor…I don’t need corporations to protect me and limit what I can or can not create, express or enjoy. I’m an adult.”