Dreams and doing things with Dreams takes up my whole day. As someone with mobility issues I am not able to do much housework, so my day is pretty boring with nothing to do, and with Covid around my options are limited even more. I was very grateful for Dreams finally launching as it has given me things to do. However, it has become very clear that Dreams is dying on its feet. The amount of creations and plays has dropped through the floor. I can play every Dream released in the last 24 hours in about 2 hours. That shouldn’t be possible, and certainly wasn’t a few months ago. I set a limit on my top 10 VR chart that it would not be worth doing if the levels had less than 20 thumbs up, last week the no 10 slot had 23 and this week it’s 27. The number of plays and thumbs up has dropped to 10% from launch.
With the daily release of Dreams around the 100 mark, I decided I could best serve the community by playing everything, sorting them and finding the stuff that is worth playing. The downside of this is that I am playing everything, and most Dreams are complete trash. There is a small group of teenage boys who make daily content that contains violence, screaming and swearing in very short meme style animations. I reported one as it contained numerous swear words plus a homophobic slur. However the Sony bots told me that they could find no issues with it. Dreams is filling up with this objectionable content, and no one is doing anything about it. The quality level of Dreams is not high. I think I will be lucky to recommend more than 15% of the content. Copyright music is so prevalent, even some of the good content cannot be recommended because they insist on putting Smash Mouth or Megalovania or Little Big Planet music in their levels.
As someone who loves Dreams, and really enjoys playing good creations, I can say that slogging through the rubbish is tiresome and depressing. To someone new to Dreams they are not going to bother for very long looking at the community feeds because they are BAD. The reputation Dreams has outside is not good, and the community content is the reason why. I am hoping my Discover Dreams collection is helping people but due to the poor visibility of collections and lack of information given by the platform I have no idea at all if anyone is looking at it, or even knows it exists.
This is the indreams link for it
I am also looking at music tracks to find favourites (but just for this week). There are about the same amount of music tracks as there are Dreams every day. The big problem with that feed is the amount of copyright stuff in it. Yesterday I found that 49% were copyright recordings, covers or reconstructions. Despite the 15 sec recording limit this is not deterring the person who is desperate to have that meme music in his animation, they just chop it into 15 sec chunks or they remake it using the Dreams instruments. I don’t think people understand that copyright also includes making the music yourself. Another misunderstanding involves the Little Big Planet soundtrack. I believe many people think that because LBP was originally made by Media Molecule then they can use the music. Firstly, they licensed the music and it is still copyrighted to the musicians who made it, and secondly Mm no longer own Sackboy or the LBP franchise. You can search for and find practically any popular game soundtrack in the Dreamiverse. They are not being removed, and games are riddled with it. So what? I hear you cry, it’s not hurting anyone. For myself, I cannot show these creations on YouTube for fear of a strike. I do not want to be banned from YouTube. However more and more creations have copyright elements in them. Before, you could identify the Sonic and Mario creations as having copyright music in them, but now people are putting the same terrible tinny recordings in their original games.
I think it is very sad that Dreams has become this sad collection of meme animations made by violent, swear-y teenage boys who think a few drug references, a gun and a scattering of f words is somehow sophisticated entertainment. I am not sure there is a solution either apart from widespread removal of this kind of content and all the copyright stuff. But then I think Mm will lose the only part of the Dreams community that are actively still participating. They have banned a few of these boys, and their friends are complaining bitterly about it in yet more animations and Dreams “levels”, thus filling up the feeds with more unwanted trash.
Its a huge shame ,as you can see from the All Hallows event there are a lot of talented people in the Dreamiverse, but they are not the ones putting out the constant content, and they are definitely not the ones playing and thumbing up, that is being done by the 13 year olds who really like Among Us, Fall Guys themed levels and memes of people being stabbed, shot or punched.
If this continues I cannot see the Dreams Community sticking with the platform. If poor memes get all the likes, while games that have taken months to make get barely a look-in creators will go elsewhere. We have already seen some YouTubers cutting back on their videos due to lack of things to show (or they perceive this to be the case). A lot of creators have moved on due to sheer frustration (I know because they contact me).
What can be done? Here are my suggestions
- Better visibility for collections and curators
- A new layout for the feeds that encourages discovery of good content
- More filters, especially date
- Better homepages for creators so they can feature creations, make folders, and suggest other peoples work.
- Scrap trending
- Remove obvious copyright recordings without waiting for a copyright claim. Have a 3 strike rule followed by a months ban. If they do it again after that issue a permanent ban.