Latest 'Tank' Title: "Stupid Fun Club"

No Centers or Institutes today. No joints named via acronym, or after a funder.

And no essaying today on the old favorite topic of, "What is a think tank?"

Instead, we pass along news of Stupid Fun Club, which according to news reports, will be an "entertainment think tank" as content creator.

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First, two explanatory paragraphs from SF Gate; then, a backgrounder about Wright provided by longtime TTLA pal Stephen Johnson. He works for G4TV and is lead editor of the channel's gaming and pop culture blog, The Feed. (Here's an interview with him.)

The news:

Namely, Stupid Fun Club, an "entertainment think tank" that Wright says will "create new forms of entertainment on a variety of platforms," including video games, movies, TV shows, Web sites and toys. Wright launched it in 2001, but he's now leaving Electronic Arts Inc. to run the Stupid Fun Club full-time.

"The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change," Wright says. "Stupid Fun Club will explore new possibilities that are emerging from this sublime chaos."

The backgrounder, from Johnson:

"Will Wright created some of the most innovative games ever. He invented Sim City, the best "lets simulate something!" game ever made. It defined the "Sim" genre, and is regarded as one of the best video games ever. It's a game about urban planning, which sounds pretty boring, but it's endlessly fascinating in practice. Sim City (and Sim City 2000) are the best simulation games that I've ever played, by far.

"If that wasn't enough, Wright also invented "The Sims," the best-selling game franchise in history. The Sims games are essentially complicated dollhouses that simulates social interaction -- relationships, friendships, and enemyships -- as well as resource management and home decorating. Women, traditionally underserved by male-centric video games, have responded really strongly to The Sims series.

"Wright's latest game, Spore, uses the entire universe as the setting and simulates Life beginning as a single-celled organism and evolving through to more complicated creatures, then societies, and finally, interstellar travel.

"The Sims, Sim City, Spore and the rest of Wright's titles aren't "traditional" games. They're more like very complicated toys or interactive works of art. They're not about "winning;" they're more about life. Wright gives players tools to make things and his games inspire creativity as opposed to leading players to victory or encouraging competition."

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