Virtual Food Chain

The video-game mastermind behind The Sims franchise now aims to bring out the intelligent designer in all of us. Due in late 2006, Will Wright's new game, Spore, lets players design life-forms, from the single-celled to ravenous intergalactic predators, which are then turned loose to evolve as they move through a sci-fi landscape of the gamer's own devising. The program actually autogenerates creatures, landscapes, civilizations, even planets designed by the user, and, as in The Sims, stores them for others to share. "Spore is the highest-profile experiment in gaming right now," says Dave Kosak of Game Spy.com. "Will Wright is essentially changing the way content is made."

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