Pong, Mario Brothers and Evolutionary Biology
Written by: Mike Harwood
New video game tackles astrobiology.
Remember the good ol’ days of maneuvering a joystick to get a frog across the street? Think about the challenge of racing a heroic yellow circle to eat glowing white dots. The evolution of electronic gaming has come a long way and now Maxis Software is tackling the subject of evolution itself . . . via video game.
According to Reuters, the mastermind behind the Sims franchise, Will Wright, has developed a new cross-media game. The new game, Spore, allows players to create their own alien species, starting from single-celled organisms and eventually to intelligent beings bent on interstellar domination.
Wright and his team consulted with scientists in areas of physics, chemistry, biology, sociology and astronomy in order to determine what content would be most useful to the average gamer. A great deal of research went into this project, which was developed for over four years.
Spore is described as a god-game/life-simulation/strategy genre. While other users contribute to the content of the Spore universe and players can communicate online, it is not considered a true “real-time” game.
For instance, if a player decided he wanted to do something fun, like destroy a neighboring planet, the player who originally created that planet would not have to start from scratch. Therefore, Wright describes it as a single-player game with user created copies.
Spore will make its official North American debut September 7 on computer-based platforms.
Finally, the average person can enjoy all the fun astrobiology has to offer.