This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Spore's Intelligent Designer

Spore's Intelligent Designer - Comments

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 1 by Ishruul

Well, it's still just a game. Why? oh, why? As it come to be such a great deal!

What about Resident Evil? The T-Virus may be the Rapture the christians are so looking for! World of Warcraft: 10 millions people playing with demons and undead magic, nasty witchcraft. Halo1-2-3, please don't telll me there'S plenty of moral value there!

Video Game: the next blasphemy!

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 09:43:00 UTC | #233516

Sciros's Avatar Comment 2 by Sciros

It's worth arguing about.

No, it most emphatically is not.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 09:50:00 UTC | #233520

zeroangel's Avatar Comment 3 by zeroangel

OMFFSM. Speachless over here. This is just beyond ragingly stupid. Ishruul & Sciros, I completely agree.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 10:09:00 UTC | #233528

Blue Monster 65's Avatar Comment 4 by Blue Monster 65

I think I'll wait 'til the Lego version comes out. :)

I would think this game would be a whole lot more fun (if it's supposed to be such) if there were random mutations. As it is, I would rather my kids played with their Legos - more fun and more educational.

Scott

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 10:27:00 UTC | #233534

Quixotematic's Avatar Comment 5 by Quixotematic

Of course the game is about ID. Thats the bit thats fun.

If people want to play evolution, they can always play around with Framsticks

http://www.framsticks.com/

You need to have an awful lot of time on your hands to explore its full beauty but whilst unemployed, I had countless hours of fun with it.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 10:32:00 UTC | #233537

Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy's Avatar Comment 6 by Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy

Having played this game for a week, I have a better overall impression now. I see Spore as simply punctuating how silly it would be to be a god. This would be a very boring roll over a few months let alone an eternity. It's fun to a point, but nature is mostly predictable. So if there were a god, he/she would have left the toys in the sandbox billions of years ago. ;)

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 10:54:00 UTC | #233551

PaulJ's Avatar Comment 7 by PaulJ

Your goal here is to attain sentience.
I've not seen Spore, but that quote settles the question of whether it's about Darwinian evolution or intelligent design.

Evolution has no goal.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:01:00 UTC | #233555

flobear's Avatar Comment 8 by flobear

Well I find this discussion fascinating. Who cares if there's ID in the game. Kids are not stupid - they know it's just a game. Every game is mostly unrealistic and kids know it. As mentioned on other RD.net discussions, I'm sure it'll spark interest about how the real thing works.

On a separate note, wouldn't it be neat if you could try to "beat" evolution in the game? Instead of just the ID route, you could take an existing creature design and evolve it as well. The computer could take a large number of variations and test them each in the existing environment for fitness. Then after a bunch of generations, you could compare your (probably very sloppy) ID (or should we say: uninteligently designed) progress to the evolved version.

If it works, people might be amazed by how well it works. If they did it right, it may even be hard to beat. Alternatively, it might show some of evolution's limitations - specifically that it is incapable of long term planning. The human ID'er might work their way up to having arms by going through some un-fit intermediaries, whereas the computer algorithm might never get there. The game probably requires arms to get to the civilization stage.

And, even though I know it's not goal of the game, having an "evolve" button to start the alternate pathway may highlight the differnce between what they're doing and the way nature works. Users may be amazed by what their computer comes up with and spend time figuring out why it's so good - just like real biologists.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:08:00 UTC | #233558

wiz5's Avatar Comment 9 by wiz5

If you don't bless your beast with a mouth or hands, you won't fare well. Almost anything else goes. At one point, my creature's legs and arms were connected by useless and mechanically impossible minilimbs. I did just fine. In Darwin's world, I would have been a snack for a more efficient predator.


This is precisely the point! If a god existed you would see these things in the REAL world.

How can ID people miss the conclusion in front of them.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:54:00 UTC | #233575

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 10 by Geodesic17

GAMES REQUIRE DESIGNERS, THEREFORE GOD DESIGNED YOU!

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:55:00 UTC | #233576

Koreman's Avatar Comment 11 by Koreman

I like new concepts in gaming. Gaming provides a window on how things might evolve. I admire Wrights work.

I am not going to buy Spore. It comes with a piracy protection that knocks you off the feet. See Amazon reviews for details.

Sorry EA, this is way off the line.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:45:00 UTC | #233611

pedantic_semantic's Avatar Comment 12 by pedantic_semantic

I bought the game. I played the game. I regret spending the $49.99. I found it boring.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:55:00 UTC | #233618

Nova's Avatar Comment 13 by Nova

Luke O'Brien:

last year Wright has donated nearly $100,000 to Republican political causes
This is especially odd since Wright is an atheist... I'm actually very annoyed it included religion. Wright said it wouldn't and it's especially annoying this game trots out the party line of religion being the consequence if you choose peace and don't kill your fellow creatures. Especially that military is opposite to religious.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 13:36:00 UTC | #233648

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 14 by SilentMike

It's important to remember that building a game based strictly on evolutionary principles would be a disaster. How would you play it? Perhaps you'd just end up watching a lab computer churning data.


True. I think that says it all. A game about real evolution isn't much of a game. It can, at most, be a sort of user generated multithreaded interactive movie.

You'd be allowed to design your solar system (no, God didn't do that, but it's not technically part of biological evolution) and just watch as the story unfolds. at most you'd be allowed to throw a meteor, give your planet a little nudge or tweak the sun's irradiance once in a while and watch the results (again, usually those things happen naturally but they are not technically part of the biological process). It would be an engaging interactive movie perhaps,but not much of a game.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 14:52:00 UTC | #233678

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 15 by SilentMike

13. Comment #246604 by Nova

This is especially odd since Wright is an atheist


He is? This is odd then. I don't see any reason why an atheist would do that. Surely he's aware that religion isn't always very peaceful.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 14:59:00 UTC | #233679

amaranthus02@hotmail.com's Avatar Comment 16 by amaranthus02@hotmail.com

there is no such a thing as 'just a game' - games are designed to be won, to filter and promote dominant personalities (even to the point of disorder) and to rehearse scenarios and desensitise players to the consequences of less than altruistic decisions. The villains are whoever the designer casts as villains and players are trained to recognise and deal with them....sorry, bit patronsising then.... but, of course, the player of this new game is not playing God, he is playing Nature..becasue if he were to be playing God then he...like us...also evolved from something...clasic Dawkins argument..who designed the designer and where did he come from, so even the IDers are standing on the flimsy ground once again.... as many of us have spotted...what makes us sooo much brighter than the 'others'?.....perhaps a natural resistence to having our reality defined for us by troglodytes

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:03:00 UTC | #233680

jwalters's Avatar Comment 17 by jwalters

I find it interesting that ID can be so easily turned into a PC game and evolution cannot. It doesn't surprise me that the religious nuts see it as another propaganda tool. I won't buy this game and I'll never play Sim City again.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:07:00 UTC | #233681

amaranthus02@hotmail.com's Avatar Comment 18 by amaranthus02@hotmail.com

it occurs to me that perhaps we souldn't label ourselves (be labelled) AS 'atheists' - becasue it engages with those already in the religious arena; theists use the label given to us as if it were an alternative 'faith' to theirs, thats why they keep saying that atheism is a faith position, when it isn't. If anything, perhps we should be saying that we have no supernatural interests at all and only engage with them on the grounds that they are teaching children to regard themselves as priveledged and superior both morally and spiritually, to others purely on the basis of lies (not 'inaccuracies' but out and out lies); and encouraging children (anyone) to feel unjustifiably superior to anyone else means, of course, that anything they decide to so to the 'inferior' can be justified on that dynamic alone. Barthes' Distinctions is so true in so many ways.. and i'm sure many rampant theists listen to Gangsta rap on the quiet....

as He would say : Thou shalt have no other GOd but me..and i'm sorry if that sounds selfish, sweetie, but its me, me, me ,em ,me...alright?

Thats the problem with God - he seems to think its all about him

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:23:00 UTC | #233683

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 19 by phasmagigas

i think i'll stick to street fighter II.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:25:00 UTC | #233684

aoratos philos's Avatar Comment 20 by aoratos philos

Whether its interventionist simcity, or ID Spore; if either of these titles were actually called "freemarket - city" or "Evo-Spore" the player wouldn't have anything to do but watch!

I always thought that Sim City was more of a socialist model.
Taxation for resource generation and Urban top down planning are the hallmarks of a socialist state.

OK, I'll just remind myself again that this is just a game! :)

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:38:00 UTC | #233689

Nova's Avatar Comment 21 by Nova

15. Comment #246635 by SilentMike

Wright said there wouldn't be religion in there, so I doubt it was up to him, most likely some EA pencil pusher.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 15:55:00 UTC | #233693

Wosret's Avatar Comment 22 by Wosret

I vegetarianed it up, and took over the world with religious means. I am now purchasing star systems. After you get an empire of about twenty star systems, and have terraformed several dozen planets, the game gets pretty boring.

Also, in the TED talk, he got out of the spaceship, and attempted to interact with some primitives, but they decided not to allow that for players for some reason. That would have been fun.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 16:54:00 UTC | #233701

Pony's Avatar Comment 23 by Pony

It would be cool if there was an AI opponent in the game, and it was controlled by a natural selection style algorithm.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 19:25:00 UTC | #233727

ColinM's Avatar Comment 24 by ColinM

http://antispore.com/ - Seems spore takes it both ways

The god game is not new, regardless of your views on religion the prospect of becoming a god for a day is a appealing. All gaming is escapist fantasy and sometimes a game is just that, a game.

Sadly spores shallow gameplay killed it without any help from any view of religion

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 21:06:00 UTC | #233748

H-bar's Avatar Comment 25 by H-bar

It is about evolution, but it has a designer component because the main focus of the game is user generated content.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 21:18:00 UTC | #233751

Raiko's Avatar Comment 26 by Raiko

And then there were taxes. Raise them enough, and your citizens would riot.


Oh, no! How unrealistic! (/sarcasm)

It's important to remember that building a game based strictly on evolutionary principles would be a disaster. How would you play it? Perhaps you'd just end up watching a lab computer churning data.

Somehow, this amused me to no end. It's so true.

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 00:01:00 UTC | #233762

HeathenAngel's Avatar Comment 27 by HeathenAngel

I dl the game the other day and have played it quite a bit. It's a fun game, but far too easy to "beat".

I like the idea of "playing god" and designing the different creatures. There IS "something missing", however. I kept waiting for something to happen, the mutation that someone mentioned, two different characters getting together and having a DNA swapping session.. something.

If I had any complaints about the game, that would be in. Otherwise, I am finding it entertaining.

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 00:33:00 UTC | #233768

JeremyH's Avatar Comment 28 by JeremyH

They're games for Christ's sake! Honestly, just because I play a game based on capitalistic land value ecology, that wont change my ideas on political issues. Whether Spore is pro-evolution or pro-ID, that that wont change people's beliefs. World of Warcraft has magic in it. That doesn't make me believe in magic.

What a meaningless article. The only interesting part was when it said Will Wright donated money to the republicans, and supports McCain. That makes me wonder whether he's quite as smart as I once thought...

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 01:01:00 UTC | #233770

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 29 by DamnDirtyApe

Is there potential for a mod community for this game?

There's always a chance that can produce positive 'mutations'. :D

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 01:27:00 UTC | #233774

Francis Clarke's Avatar Comment 30 by Francis Clarke

This game is very accurate about some things! The religious on this game as extremely intolerant, violent and self-righteous, whereas the followers of the philosophy of science are peacefull, only waging war when nessecary for their survival.

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 10:05:00 UTC | #233857