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"Spore" computer game evolving

In a computer game first, "Spore" worlds are inhabited by aliens made by players instead of professional video game programmers.
by Staff Writers
Emeryville, California (AFP) Jan 22, 2009
A "Spore" computer game that lets people play God by designing life forms is evolving to offer versions tailored for children, space hunters, and fans of Nintendo Wii consoles.

A brainchild of game legend Will Wright, maker of the world's top-selling computer game "The Sims," "Spore" has attracted legions of players since its release by Electronic Arts-owned Maxis studio in September of last year.

"We were overwhelmed by the massive response to the game from the millions of people that created, shared and played in the 'Spore' universe," said Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw.

"This year we're going to experiment with new experiences that extend the powerful creativity tools of 'Spore' to all-new audiences. With the universe as our backdrop, the only limit in the Spore universe is your own imagination."

By mid-year Maxis will release "Spore Galactic Adventures" software that expands an inter-stellar exploration portion of the game, in which players develop microscopic life forms into cosmos-traveling civilizations.

The "Spore" expansion pack will let players "beam" down to planets and embark on missions, some of which they think up themselves.

A stand-alone "Spore Creature Keeper" computer game aimed at children centers on nurturing, teaching and playing with creatures they create.

"Spore" will make videogame device debuts with versions tailored for Wii consoles and Nintendo's DS handheld gaming gizmos.

"Spore Hero Arena" for DS will let players create 3D virtual species and "take them into battle with an array of other creatures across the galaxy," according to Electronic Arts.

More than 65 million creatures have been created by players since "Spore" was released by Maxis, which is based in Emeryville, California, near San Francisco.

Players start as microscopic life forms competing for survival in primordial ooze and work their way onto land, where they evolve into creatures that build civilisations and rocket into space.

Creatures can be made to have scales, fins, wings, claws, extra appendages, additional eyes, or body parts in unexpected places.

The online game's programming gives characters artificial intelligence and creatures can pass on virtual genes to their progeny and build civilizations with cities, governments and economies.

In a computer game first, "Spore" worlds are inhabited by aliens made by players instead of professional video game programmers.

Players can add their creations to an online "Sporepedia" to share with others and record videos of their aliens in action and upload them to YouTube.

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First Muslim-friendly virtual world goes online
Helsinki (AFP) Dec 9, 2008
A trial version of the world's first Muslim-friendly virtual world was launched Tuesday, where users can create an online persona, design their own rooms, buy virtual items and interact with others.

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