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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Will Wright: The Need to Learn Long Term Planning

(note: safari (beta) users may not find the video... for some insane reason it disappeared. if you do encounter that error, may i recommend visiting for the streaming video: here. For firefox/mozilla browser users you should be fine and you can view it from this page. Internet Explorer users, sorry, i haven't tested if the video works or not for your platform, but if it doesn't please follow this link, to view the video. thank you and sorry for the trouble.)

Who is Will Wright? Have you ever played a game of Sim City, a city simulator, where you are the mayor and you build your little town? Maybe you've played a game of the Sims that simulate real life from being born to raising a family, to finding a job or starting a business, even taking care of your real life pet? Will Wright is a game designer. Sim City and Sims family of games are his creations. He is the game designer. But what has it got to do with the need for humans to gain long term planning?

The thing about his games is that they are addicting, engaging and you can literally spend countless hours immersed in that world. The vision for his next game is the most ambitious of his creations. Spore is for a lack of a better way to describe it: Maya for kids plus the Sims plus Civilization. What Will Wright hopes (well one of many, I suppose) is for Kids to learn the value of Long Term Planning.

will wright's TedTalk (stream up or download here.)

In Spore, his next game, the player starts out building a character from a single celled organism. It is the player who takes that organism and turns it into a sentient being. He guides it through the process of civilization--- even to the point of being able to fashion an entire planet in the process and push that civilization to the stars. The simulator is sophisticated that you can for example manipulate the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere--- raise or lower planetary temperature and watch your creations deal with the consequences of doing that.

It is a subtle way of teaching long term planning and consequences of our actions, which quite frankly, I must agree with Will Wright, is one of our biggest fundamental flaws as a species.


sparks said...

hey cocoy,

i tagged you over at my blog. hope you don't mind. should be fun. :)

Cocoy said...

i don't mind. yep, it should be fun!