This might be a computer game of interest to you biology buffs. Will Wright, creator of Sim (anything), recently presented a new project: Spore. The impetus behind the game is that users should be able to design the content and share it online with other users.
The game starts out humbly enough, with little microorganisms slurping around a puddle of green goo. Wright led his tiny microscopic creature around, eating little green cells and avoiding brown cells or black cells that tried to eat him. “This is kinda like Pac-Man,” he explained. After he ate enough, he was rewarded with the ability to lay an egg – which he did.
Clicking on the egg brought up a creature editor, and allowed the player to “evolve” with a new generation of critters. The editor was amazingly flexible. Wright could give his creature extra vertebrae, he could give it fins or tails to move faster, he could add claws or extra mouths, whatever he wanted. More importantly, all the creature animations weren’t hard-coded; they were dynamic. If he put six tails on his creature, the game would figure out how a six-tailed creature would move. The critter was completely his.
The game goes much farther, but I won’t say anymore, or I’ll ruin the surprise.