The New Yorker:
At a certain point in the performance, the crazy ambition of Spore became clear: Wright was proposing to simulate the limitless possibility of life itself. The simulation falls between Darwinism and intelligent design, into new conceptual territory. Wright had worked out the algorithm for life, as described by the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, in “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.” Dennett writes, “Here, then, is Darwin’s dangerous idea: the algorithmic level is the level that best accounts for the speed of the antelope, the wing of the eagle, the shape of the orchid, the diversity of species, and all the other occasions for wonder in the world of nature. . . . Can it really be the outcome of nothing but a cascade of algorithmic processes feeding on chance?” The old dream of the M.I.T. hackers who came up with Spacewar—to re-create life on a computer—was coming true forty years later, right here in the Spore Hut, in the form of a spindly, striped creature that looked a little like Will Wright himself.
After Wright’s encounter with the other planet, he pulled back to reveal a vast galaxy of other worlds, some computer generated, some created by other players in the game who had reached the status of intergalactic gods—“more worlds than any player could visit in his lifetime,” he said. As people in the audience gasped at the vastness of the possibility space, Wright’s spaceship zoomed into the interstellar sandbox, looking for an uninhabited planet to colonize, just as young Will had promised his father he would.