Creation as Stunt

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has recently been posting links highlighting the use of the iPad for content creation, accompanied by a comment about these individuals “not getting the memo” that the iPad is a consumption device. Here are two recent examples:

‘Apple of My Eye’
Short film by Michael Koerbel, shot and edited entirely on an iPhone 4. Someone apparently forgot to send him the memo that iOS devices are only for consumption, not creation.

‘Eye of the Tiger’ Remix, Played Entirely Using iPad Apps
We need reprints of that memo about the iPad being for consumption, not creation.

Here’s the thing, though – these types of projects happen regardless of a device’s utility for content creation. Sometimes they happen precisely because of a device’s unsuitability for the particular task. I mean, do we consider the Wii a content creation device because a DJ used it instead of scratching? Or the Game Boy a content creation device because of chip music? Or what about the TI calculators, which have had a thriving programming community for years; are they now considered content creation devices?

When iMovie for the iPhone was announced, one of my first thoughts was “How long until the inevitable ‘Shot and edited on an iPhone’ movie comes out?” (as noted above, it didn’t take long). But the point is that I knew that it would be done, because that’s just how these things work. It’s like porting Doom to the device-du-jour. The idea isn’t that it tells you something about the device, but rather about the creator. These projects aren’t done because the device is so great for content creation, they’re done because the creator thinks it will differentiate them, because no one else is creating on these devices. We will know that the iPad is a true content creation device when the creator doesn’t even mention that they used an iPad.