A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far from here, Lindsay Gold brought up the game of "Spore" which is to be released by Electronic Arts in the fourth quarter of this year. I thought that I'd continue that conversation with a new post and a couple of new links. A quick review: Spore is a computer game modeled on evolution, except that there is human interaction. You guide a "spore" (yes, I know that the term is inaccurate) through evolution. As you go along, you can add features to yourself, and your technology progresses as well. You can even acheive space flight! So for those of you interested, here are a couple links: The Official Site A Google Video of gameplay As for me, I'm really excited for this game to come out, especially to see how much free will they've actually implemented (aka, what happens when you're idle?) and how well they have implemented it. In the Sims, if you know the cheat codes, you can actually adjust the percentage of free will. It will be interesting to see if they've included that sort of mechanism in spore. Perhaps it's because of a gaming class I took last year, but I'm continually obsessed with the community of World of Warcraft, even though I've never actually played the game. Different phenomena have emerged from the game, the most recent of which was the disease factor. During one part of the gameplay, players could be infected with a disease which could be passed to nearby players. The disease then became a weapon because infected players would band together to attack people with the disease instead of their broadswords. It's also become a forum for social issues. I however have been wondering what the connections were between the players in the "real world;" what connects them outside of the game? Would we see a pattern in those networks? Would there even be a network, or is the only thing that connects them a passion for MMORPGs? I find these online communities fascinating, especially when people interact on such an artificial level as players in a game. Has anyone else noticed other phenomena in such communities?