Laura Brunts reviews the revolutionary computer game, Spore:

The spawn of six years and an estimated $50 million of development, Spore is expected to earn serious money and pioneer a new way of playing.

The Creature Creator is a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, especially insofar as it is available to everyday users, not just game designers or Pixar animators. It casts the user as the designer -- which makes the game virtually boundless. You can't yet directly play against other people (AI code, not human beings, controls the the monsters in the neighboring village), but you can download other users' creatures into your game-world. So Spore is the sum of the imaginations of everyone who plays. And as that sum expands, the game will only get better.

...You can't play Spore the way you play Monopoly or chess, plotting a winning strategy on a board with predetermined rules and frontiers. You have to play with it the way children play with crayons or dolls -- limited primarily by your own stories and creativity. The problem with Spore could be that many of us have forgotten this old way of playing, and will have to spend some time relearning the habits of youth.

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