Spore is the new simulation game from Will Wright the creator of Sim City and the Sim franchise, today’s launch maybe a landmark in entertainment history. At its most basic Spore is a platform on which users create characters (or creatures) and manage those chartacters from cell to creature to tribe to civilization and on in to space. The survival and prosperity of their creature is informed by genetics and other principles of evolution.
Spore sits at the intersection of gaming, social networks and virtual worlds and represents yet another ‘screen time; diversion from what we used to consider media consumption; the time allocated to spore has to come from somewhere.
What separates Spore from most game like developments is the level of collaboration and networking. The game itself was released today but the tools that enable creature development have been available since July 16th. In the eight weeks since then 3 million creatures have been created which represents an extraordinary collective endeavor. Along with the creatures their creators create video that, like the creatures is shared with other players.
It won’t be long before we see the first branded Spore and it’s far from impossible that advertisers and agencies will create specialist creative and participation units to build and operate assets in gaming environments. It is just as likely brands will invite the creation of user generated branded Spores encouraging brand fans to express themselves in a favored environment.
Given that brands are a significant part of the real world and its scenery it would be appear to be wise to take them to worlds that maybe less less real but just as engaging.