Wanna know how to get me to read something? Start it out by talking about Bill Budge and his Pinball Construction Set. Gamasutra has a four-pager this morning that starts with PCS and runs through the rest of EA's "Construction Set" line, including another favorite of mine, Racing Destruction Set. It all gets tied together into today, with mentions of LittleBigPlanet and Visual Pinball, a modern-day equivalent to Budge's pinball builder. It's a solid look at the history of users making their own levels, tables, tracks, and courses. Actually... it skips Broderbund's Lode Runner entirely, but since the piece is really focused on what EA was doing back on the Apple II and Commodore 64, it's forgivable.
The piece is a web-only bonus chapter from a forthcoming book from Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton titled Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. That title's a mouthful, but it sounds like an interesting read. Amazonclaims it'll be out near the end of March.