I’m living in a deserted house… or at least it feels that way! I returned home last Friday night to find that Spore had been delivered, and I’ve hardly heard a thing from the family since!
Make no mistake about it, Spore lives up to the hype. I remember thinking, when I first heard about the game, that there was too long a lead time until it was released and that there was no way it could live up to the hype but I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Spore is a fantastic game, and with my teacher’s head on, a fantastic resource. My oldest two (and Nikkii) have been rationing themselves to time on the PC and an unofficial race has developed as they try to become the first to reach the next stage of the game (Kids are now in the Tribal phase, Nikkii is in the Creature stage — me, I’m in the soup: the primordial soup)…
A quick look at the Spore website reveals that the games creators knew the impact the game could and would have. You can export to YouTube from within the game, and there’s an accompanying Wiki (called Sporepedia) and the forums are going like the clappers with discussions ranging from Gameplay to Technical problems — which seem to be especially bad if you’re on a Mac… :0(
As to the game itself, it looks gorgeous, and has many educationally valid reasons for playing: it is a microcosm of the evolutionary process (or the player is “God’ if you wish to argue the creationist case), there is teamwork, there is individual progress, and there is a lesson for us all in the way that Spore has deployed a host of Web2.0 tools to support the game’s ‘learning process’. Stunning!
Anyway, I’m away to join the queue in my house to play the game. All going well I’ll be able to give a hands on review soon… if the rest of the family let me!