Discussion by: thekidrioI am a software developer and avid gamer. I am also very upset when I see YEC or any creationists gaining ground with younger people using comic books, cartoons, and other means of direct communication to children.
I see the casual gaming boom as a potential place to teach evolution via a video game.
This idea is very early in development but here is a rough outline:
There are several ‘stages’ of the game starting out simply and gradually increasing in complexity. There is a game called “SPORE” that is a great example but there is too much direct control of individuals to really have an analog of natural selection. There is a creature creator trial available (
http://www.spore.com/trial ) that I think most of you would enjoy. No I do not work for them 🙂
Stage I – Single Cell organisms with choices by the player being faster movement by selecting a flagella of various lengths etc. These cells are then released into the “nature” of the game and you see if they can survive against the programmed environment and the other cells that other people playing have created. Once your cell can start to replicate in an ESS they get to “evolve” to the next stage.
Stage II – This stage increases the level of complexity of the objects by allowing a broader gene pool to select from. This stage will primarily be populated with mostly flora with the fauna being very simple at this stage, yet more complex and more variety visible in the “world”. Again once your creature survives long enough to establish some sort of ESS you can move up.
Stage III – This is where it really can get interesting. Animals are much more complex, social structures start to emerge as now instead of watching your single creation move through the stage, you can actually see how generations of your creation are progressing. There might even be some generational mutations that give the player a choice of possible mutations based on the current gDNA (game DNA, hehe) of the animal i.e. if you have a 2 inch tail, you can grow it or shrink it by a small amount. and so on.
Stage IV – I am not sure, but this could be where social interaction becomes more important or your animals develop intelligence or some such.
Still raw, so any and all comments are welcomed!