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Why Spore Is Special 77

The New York Times is running a long piece by Steven Johnson, author of "Everything Bad Is Good For You." In 'The Long Zoom', Johnson describes just what is so special about Will Wright's Spore . From the article: "Despite the fictions, many of the themes of Spore are immensely valuable ones, particularly in an age of environmental crisis: the fragility of life, the connection between micro- and macro- scales, the complex networks of ecosystems and food webs, the impact of new technology on social systems. Spore's players will get to experience firsthand how choices made on a local scale -- a single creature's decision to, say, adopt an omnivorous lifestyle -- can end up having global repercussions. They will detect similarities between one level of the game and another, the complex balancing act of global trade mirroring the complex balancing act of building a sustainable environment. And traveling through a simulated universe, from cells to constellations, will, ideally, make them more curious about the real-world universe they already inhabit -- and show them that they have the power to shape that universe as well."
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Why Spore Is Special

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  • I call bollocks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <capsplendid@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:56PM (#16367821) Homepage Journal
    I'm as optimistic as the next guy, but to think a videogame will make us more aware and caring about our environment is just pure shit. We have a plethora of other mediums all telling us this and we're still not listening, what makes him think a game can do it?
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:01PM (#16367919) Homepage Journal
    Spore has all the appearance of an amazing single player game. Single being the opertune word. Single player games are great, but they are by definition limited. The only possible competition is between the player, and the PC. The reward level is greatly reduced.

    Think about it, how many (geeks) people talk about the great fight they had in Morrowind? Compare that to the number of people who boast about frags and kill:death ratios, complete with dramatic reinactment.

    Spore will do well, I'm planning on buying it, and playing it (for a while). But in the long term, with out some form of multi-player competition, cooperation, and communication, it'll be nothing more than a nice single player game.


  • by SimHacker ( 180785 ) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:06PM (#16368973) Homepage Journal

    I hate to be sappy, but I think there's a point to games that make people think about the real world. Hopefully Spore will make people think about Mother Earth, the Solar System and the Universe, the same way The Sims makes people think about their Mum, Family and Society.

    Here is a message about The Sims titled "No other game has done this... []", posted in April 2000 (one month after The Sims was released) in the newsgroup (the Sims fans took over the, newsgroup because there wasn't a newsgroup for The Sims game yet).


    Hi... no need to reply to this cos it's just a whimsical thought :-)

    When I first got the game I tried to make my own family, trying to get their personalities accurate too. When making myself, my dad and my sister, I attributed points to all the personality categories, and I found I had points left over. But when I made my mum I ran out of available points and was wishing for more -- I wanted to give her more points than are available. It made me realise for the first time in years how much I love my mum :-)

    Now what other game has ever done *that*? :-)

    Gavin Clayton

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.