Will Wright’s hugely successful game The Sims let players shape the lives of virtual humans; his new game, Spore, lets them control the universe. 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. Spore comes out September 7.
Courtesy of EA
Cost: Less than $50
Company: Electronic Arts
Other products in this section:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
How DARPA Took On the Twitter Bot Menace with One Hand Behind Its Back
When DARPA ran a competition to find Twitter bots designed to influence online debates, it inspired a new generation of anti-bot strategies.
How One Intelligent Machine Learned to Recognize Human Emotions
Nobody knew how to identify people’s emotional states by looking at their brain waves. Then a machine learning algorithm stepped in.
How an AI Algorithm Learned to Write Political Speeches
Political speeches are often written for politicians by trusted aides and confidantes. Could an AI algorithm do as well?