This past weekend, Arizona State University science instructor Peter Rillero dissected Spore on it’s ‘portrayal’ of evolution. He breaks down the fact of why Spore should be criticized from it’s inaccuracy of evolution.
I don’t go around boring my friends and family talking about scientific inaccuracies in the media around me. I would not expect history educators to criticize Call of Duty’s portrayal of WWII history. Unless of course, the game made claims that it was a great way to learn history, and started touting all of the historians that had been consulted in developing the game. Spore, on the other hand, deserves to be criticized.
Not only was Spore incredibly hyped, it wanted to develop the idea that it would promote an understanding of evolution. This was evident in the September 9th TV Show: “Build a Better Being” produced and aired by the National Geographic Channel through a partnership with Spore. Getting famous evolutionary biologists to talk about their work, and then showing scenes from Spore, could have encouraged many to falsely believe that the evolutionary biologists were supporting it.
He also points out the fact that Will Wright himself stated way back in September in an interview by Caryl Zimmers of the NYT Science Times section that Spore was “manure to seed future scientists.”
Personally…I have mixed feelings on this subject. We’re stuck with what we have and hope for improvements over time, but I always assumed that there should be more to Spore than what we have…bigger plans and roles of gameplay which demonstrates evolution and physics – in which was probably tossed out to make the game ‘friendly’ to causual users.