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Friday, January 26, 2007

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Noah Balhaus

If only we could experiment with this further by coming up with a form of Gene simulation based on the way we design our first character and then pass these down by testing the succes of each simulated Gene as we move through the world, the succesfull ones, such as a certain type of walk animation, or a hair colour becoming dominant based on other players rating our avatatrs. These could then be passed onto your next avatar thus it would inherit a set of traits from your previous avatar and whomever you choose to partner with. We'd be well on our way to some form of faked computerised evolution and maybe a simulated kind of mortality too, I'd pay a monthly fee to see how that works out for sure!

Brace

Actually Noah that concept is being worked on by the folks creating Spore.

You start out as a thingydoo floating around in the ocean, and as you grow and stuff you eventually get to be a land mammal.

At each stage of growth you get to decide what types of features you would want in the next generation/incarnation of yer thingydo.

Eventually you are supposed to reach a futuristic space faring culture and then go around and meet other people who've been developing their thingys etc.

Anyhow that's a sucky interpretation, cuz I'm tired as hell. You can check out the various links and/or google Spore:

http://www.spore.com/about.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spore_(video_game)

I've been waiting for this game to come out for awhile. Here's hoping its gonna be in 2007!

Torley

I'm waiting for Spore too — looks so exciting. I keep in mind that earlier on, one name for consideration was "Sim Everything". That's a pointer at how ambitious it is.

What also gets me going about Spore is how they looked to some demoscene techniques like procedural textures, so I wouldn't be surprised if the game moves boldly forward while respecting its roots in a very big way.

Would love to have planets in Second Life, at the rate some Estate Owners are building out their continentS... it's only a matter of time before Residents go beyond the 2D grid! ;)

Vincent

In terms of avatar features such as hair and appearance and what not, the evolution is already occurring in Second Life - forces like consumer demand and competition between producers are at work and selecting for the finest, most appreciated, and most pertinent products. Advances in technology aside, and all other things being equal, just compare how avatars looked 2 years ago and now and you can see that there is evolution in the ways avatars look, and in the items they wear, and in the objects they use.

Megan

actually, that feature is in Sims 2 - you can choose the parentage of your Sim at the beginning, and who you partner with dictates the appearance of the offspring

Mygdala

All that is fascinating for sure, but in terms of fictional characters becoming to any degree autonomous of their creators, the notion, I believe, is to consider the evolution of human behavior once set into context. Once a character is created and placed into a story line, how much of what follows is the invention of the writer as opposed to the character?

For example, in Aurthurian Legend, the character of King Arthur becomes so celebrated in the culture that for centuries people believe he was a historical figure, and to date the debate about his existence as a real biological human being continues. Arthur was famous enough to eventually have multiple creators spinning his legacy - although he initially was created by one man.

In contemplating this very question, I have always wondered where we draw the distinction between a real human being and a fictional character. In as much as all human experience is contained in individual consciousness, and if we consider the possibility that all of existence is simply information, and that information is created in an infinite variety of ways, it would seem that if the deeds of a character are significant enough, then the life and death of Hamlet, Arthur, and Montgomery Norwind all have potential to be created from a number of sources. In that way, their leagcies can become as real as those of any flesh and blood being.

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