Kickstarting Lifeform: a fun, educational game about evolution


#1

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#2

Oh sure, I pony up some cash to get the game made, and then Bill Nye swoops in and buys it for two billion dollars! Fool me once, Kickstarter,…


#4

So, the player picks and chooses which traits your lifeforms has? Yeah, that’s called intelligent design, not evolution.


#5

Sounds like a cool idea and fun game, but also sounds potentially misleading as an educational piece about evolution. I haven’t played it yet, but it sounds like it reinforces the false idea that entities evolve “on purpose” and in response to specific challenges encountered in the environment, and that all mutations are adaptive. Intelligent evolution is comforting to some as an idea, but is an insidious misunderstanding of natural selection…


#6

Cool idea! I can’t wait, until Spore finally comes out…


#7

How long before we see a Creationism-based competitor?


#9

Seems like an actual evolution board game would have you pulling various traits out of a hat and then seeing if they help or hinder. Ones that hinder would die off and ones that help would spread to the rest of the population. Makes for a very random game though, not much fun for the players involved.


#10

The game is more about the rules of genetics than teaching evolution. Some traits are dominant, some recessed and players need to reproduce with other organisms to improve/express those traits. If it happened without the player’s involvement, it wouldn’t a game.


#11

@doctorow I’d be more than happy to provide more detail about the game or my experience. It might be helpful to look at my portfolio on http://botsko.net - that’s the former name of the company and represents the “client-work” side. Helion3 is a new company and represents the internal/open-source ventures.


#12

That’s why you ad sex to the gameplay.
Fun for the whole family!


#13

Understandable with the Oculus fiasco yesterday.

We’re not for sale. You can see from this that we’re looking for funding from the community, people who will play the game and take this journey making it with us. If this game, or our other products are ever successful enough that we attract interest from other companies, I’m not going to be open to turning our hard work over. For better or worse, I’m in this for long haul.


#14

On the one hand, I agree, on the other hand, do we need to have exactly one game in each genre?


#15

If this game is more about genetics, you really should discard “evolution” from the title. This game is not teaching evolution, not remotely. You are misleading your backers and any potential parents or teachers who use this game if you refer to it as an “educational game about evolution.”

I understand the difficulty – I’ve actually written a number of genetics and evolutionary models for an educational company myself. It’s really hard to create a game which doesn’t get stuck in the teleological trap – accidentally teaching kids that evolution happens because organisms “want” to evolve, or that evolution is directed in some way. But it isn’t, and any game that implies otherwise is a bad way to teach evolution.

In our software (which is more about models, so we’re not as stuck on the “game” aspect, though we still want it to be engaging), we had this same dilemma – a “real” evolution game would mean setting the initial conditions and then sitting and watching for 100 million years – so we typically took the tact of allowing the student to change the environment (abiotic factors or predators/prey). The population of organisms then changes in response to this.

I think the game itself may be fine, but if I were you I would focus on the genetics side, and scrap all notion that what you are doing is in any way related to teaching evolution. Because that really is wrong.


#16

Sounds more like selective breeding. Intelligence optional.


#17

ah, the pastafarian option.
ramen !


#18

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