Posted inGames / Rant n' Rave / WTF?

It’s just a game!

I read a very interesting article earlier tonight on the upcoming video game Spore, which was already featured in a previous blog posting. It gives more details about the mechanics of the game, which unfortunately isn’t due to be released for another year (or probably more)…

The game will let players create a custom-built microscopic germ that can evolve into a macroscopic critter that can walk on land, build its own cities, and eventually discover the secret of space travel. One of the most intriguing features of this open-ended game is how it will focus on “procedurally generated content” — that is, content that’s created on the fly by the game in response to a few key decisions that players make, such as how they make their creatures look, walk, eat, and fight.

Sounds very cool.

However, this particular entry was inspired not by the article itself, but by the six pages (at current count) of reader comments following the article. Even that’s not all that note-worthy given the hype and anticipation surrounding this game. What surprised me is that, because the game models an evolutionary process, a majority of this commentary is an argument of evolutionism vs. creationism, or more accurately an argument between a few anti-creation zealots vs. a few anti-evolution zealots.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I absolutely agree that everyone has a right to believe whatever they damn well want to. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Voltaire (or is it?) is, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. I think this is the epitome of the American ideal.

However, when a limited number of extremists on either side of an issue, any issue, control the dialog about that issue, that dialog can get loud and rancorous enough to interfere with my right not to give a shit.

For the record, do I believe in evolution? Yep. Do I believe it’s the absolute answer to this particular question and that it precludes any and all other alternatives? Nope, I’m not that smart… I don’t have those kinds of answers.

Do I have opinions on other issues that divide our towns, our states, our countries, our planet? Yep. Am I going to rant and rave in the vain hope that you will end up believing the exact same thing that I do? Definitely not. I simply ask that you extend me the same courtesy.

OK, I think I’ve gotten it out of my system now. I’ll step off my soapbox and get you back to your regularly scheduled blog… ;-)