hello_robotto: (creatures)
[personal profile] hello_robotto
Why do you like Creatures? If your interest in it has come and gone and come again, what brings you back? Despite how hard it can be to run on modern machines and the total lack of official support now, why do you play?

(DS and C1 work perfectly for me on Windows 10, and C2, while not completely functional on my main laptop, works almost 100% on my old one, so access is not a huge issue for me at the moment. I think there is one or two official tools that don't work, and Nornpose can't run on W10, but that's about it so far.)

For me, the appeal of Creatures is the appeal of alife: of seeing something new and wondering what it can say about the things we see in the real world, or could in an alternate world.

Creatures is alife that has nice graphics. Creatures is alife with complexity - social interaction and learning and genetics and biochemistry and neural net. Creatures is alife I can take apart. Creatures is alife that I have access to.

(There are more than few fascinating-sounding alife programs out there that aren't freely available, but which you can only read about in the author's papers.)

(The scientific part of me is also fascinated by how people interact with and get attached to and emotionally driven by Creatures and virtual life critters, but that's a topic for another day.)

On an emotional level, I love the community and the creative things it's kept coming up with even more than a decade after the last game had an update - like the Garden Box and Magic Words and the recent work on new C2 genomes and CreatureLink and really, I could go on. There's an active and helpful wiki, forums that are rather slower than the heyday but still full of people, and generally everyone is quite friendly.

And the creatures. Even now, I still get attached to one occasionally, and feel compelled to help them out when they're in trouble (when it's not my fault). They're frustrating, but they're lovable.

My interests wax and wane - don't most people experience this? But some things I leave behind and never come back to. Creatures has yet to be one of those things. It may happen someday; but even now, even when I don't play it much, it keeps popping into my head. It helped inspire me to do a senior project at college, which got me into graduate school - and now an extension of that program is the core of my research project.

So.

Thanks, Creatures. Thanks, CC. Thanks, Steve Grand. I'm glad I threw my sanity into the skull-shaped basket with you all (if anyone still gets that joke).
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hello_robotto: (Default)
Hello, Robotto

December 2016

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