User-created games are nothing new, but now that they've got a nice Web 2.0 buzzword to glom onto, maybe they can amount to something. Microsoft is developing a new app to allow hobbyists to build their very own playable titles for Xbox Live
. The program, called XNA Game Studio Express, will cost $99 a year, and will be available for Windows XP and Vista. Apparently the toolset is a heavily trimmed down version of the one available to actual developers, and will still require at least basic programming skills, but users will own their work. Peter Moore calls it "our first step of creating a YouTube
for videogames." He also added "I'd love to send a royalty cheque to a kid," but we'll believe that when we see it. It doesn't sound like anything incredibly complicated will be possible with the system, but if YouTube video bloggers are any indication, you don't need snazzy effects -- or necessarily talent -- to make it big on the Internet.