The future of gaming?

March 6th, 2006

A friend brought this preview of a game to my attention that has blown me away and considering that I’m not really much of a games player, thats saying alot.

The basis of the game is evolution [oh yes, the ID crowd will love this!!]. You begin as a single cell lifeform, eating bits of food until you reach the stage where you can reproduce and lay an ‘egg’. At this stage you can select what direction to evolve by choosing body parts which determine what you can eat, how you can defend yourself when attacked by foes, kill your prey or increase mobility, thus opening different paths to evolve throughout the game. The game enviroment also evolves according to the choices you make. Pure emergent game play.

This really excites me as I don’t like the main stratergies of what most games are built on: you hold a gun and kill everything in sight or you organise armies on an overview level to conquer and kill everything in sight.

What I also like about this game is that it is a different mental challenge and so will create and reinforce different neural pathways in the minds of the people who play it. For too long, the vast majority of games have been about annihilation and so instill/install that the best method to respond to a situation is ‘KILL! KILL! KILL!’. It is only games like The Sims, et al, that through emergent based gaming systems, that provoke a different mental response to situations. Build, sustain and evolve rather than destroy and conquer.

I’m tingling through the thought of how software programming has evolved so that games like this are now a possibility. I have been since reading Steven Johnson’s book ‘Emergence’. (thanks for that one Anthony!).

There is this 30 minute preview video with running commentary describing gameplay and possibilties of evolution, etc on The official site is here:

Did I say I was excited about this?

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