Will Wright's hugely successful games SimCity and The Sims let players shape the structure of urban areas and the lives of virtual humans; his upcoming game, Spore, lets them control the universe.
Although it is just a game, the young gamers of today may grow up to be the bioengineers of tomorrow. If Spore has any influence whatsoever, we foresee an utterly comical genetic future.
Spore has five levels, following a species' evolution from single-celled organisms to technologically advanced space explorers, but players can begin at any level. In the game's editor mode, players design their own creatures.The creatures' movements and behaviors are then determined by algorithms that analyze the structure of their bodies.
At the lower levels, players help their creatures feed and hunt; at the higher levels, they control the creatures' social organization and their built environment. Should provide a fine training in digital-evolutionary thinking. Hence, we are eagerly looking forward to the genetic surprises the Spore gamers will cause later on in their future professional careers.
Spore comes out September 7, but you can already download the Creature Creator and fiddle around with the better beings.