"Spore" video game creator Will Wright

Studio 360

(image: EA/Maxis)

The new computer game “Spore” lets users create single-celled microbes and, as the game progresses, they “evolve” into complex creatures and highly developed civilizations. The game’s creator, Will Wright, who also invented "Sim City" and "The Sims," weighs in on the intelligent design debate.

This game, even before it was launched, in the last few weeks, has gotten considerable attention from biologists and evolutionary scientists.  "How careful were you, as you were developing it, to stick to, or allow yourself to depart from the realities of earth science?" asked Andersen.

"Well, at any stage, if it felt like that was interfering with game play, we diverged.  In some sense, we didn't want this game to be overtly educational.  What I really wanted was for it to be inspirational and motivational," says Wright.  "It is kind of interesting that one of the original inspirations of the game was the SETI project, looking out into the universe for alien intelligence."

Wright continues, "It is an interesting question to me because it ends up collapsing all of the known sciences, physics, chemisty, biology, and astronomy, into one interesting question that any five-year old can understand.  And so, 'Spore' was really an attempt to give an overview of all of the sciences in that context."

PRI's Peabody Award-winning "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen" from WNYC is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy — so let "Studio 360" steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.

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