Let’s Play GOD!

I’ll admit that I’m not much of a video-gamer. My idea of a good video game involves running from ghosts or defending the earth from marauding space invaders. Besides, the reflexes aren’t what they used to be, so I leave the video games to the three young bucks in my house. But I can still hold my own and beat them in ping-pong (and probably in PONG as well). Ok, I’ll admit that Number Three did beat me the other night, but that was only because I wasn’t wearing my sweatbands.

I bring all this up to introduce a forthcoming video game currently evolving under the direction of the creator of The Sims, Will Wright. The game is called Spore and will be released sometime next year. Check out this description in this morning’s USA Today:

At the start, you control a single-cell organism β€” a spore, struggling to survive in a tide pool. Using simple tools, you help your spore evolve into a creature that emerges onto land. Skillful adaptation allows you to multiply into a tribe that eventually builds cities, then a globe-conquering civilization.

“I think of Spore as a very personal universe,” Wright says. “Each player ends up roughly creating their own world at every level as they play through the game, and eventually they begin exploring other players’ worlds. Each player is crafting their own personal universe in a box.”

Ok, now let me get this straight. This new game is supposed to simulate general, or macroevolution. Hello, anybody home? Does anybody see something wrong with this picture?

As I understand it, general evolution is supposed to be random and unguided. Wouldn’t it have been more accurate and intellectually honest to make a game in which you would just sit back and watch as your “personal universe in a box” took shape, without any sort of intervention on your part? Oh wait, that wouldn’t work either since the game itself would require a creator too. Start throwing the “C” word around and pretty soon Little Johnny won’t be allowed to play Spore in biology class at the local public high school.

Oh, the complex conundrums facing today’s earnest philosophical materialists! It’s almost enough to make me feel sorry for them. Almost. The fact of the matter is that when Spore is released next year, millions of youths will falsely believe that are playing “evolution,” when, in fact, they will merely be playing GOD.

  1. David U

    Mike, haven’t we already been playing that for years? πŸ™‚

    Great post, bro!


  2. mike the eyeguy

    DU–He’s tanned, he’s rested, he’s ready.

    Hey, how was Malibu? Did you hold the door for any stars? πŸ˜‰

    Yes, I’m afraid you’re right. I just enjoyed the irony of this one so much.

    “Secure is life from mortal mind,
    God holds the germ within His hand,
    Though men may search they cannot find,
    God alone does understand.”

  3. Hoots Musings

    I was going to say the same thing DU said…yeah, right on brother!

  4. mike the eyeguy

    Thanks Hoots. I’m open to the idea that God did much of his creating via a “slow roast” rather than a “quick fry,” but I reject the philosophical materialism that underlies most evolutionary thought these days.

    As for playing GOD, I’m sure I’ve attempted to do my share of that over the years. My back may be giving out, but at least my brain has evolved to the point where I can see how foolish that is.

    Better to leave that sort of thing to the Expert.

  5. Nancy

    Interesting observation, EyeGuy.

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