Spore Video Game
Developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright

Commonsensemedia.org rating: 11+
ESRB rating 10+

Evolution Adventure Game

Spore is an open ended game where the player begins as a micro-organism in a primordial pond. The spore navigates through a Darwinian pond where only the fittest survive. Eventually, the creature grows legs and lungs and evolves onto dry land. Here, the creature continues to evolve, find a mate, determine and whether he is herbivore or carnivore. The goal at this stage is to find a pack to help you hunt. This is accomplished by dancing or singing for different tribes until you have successfully impressed them enough to join you. Eventually, the creature evolves into the ability to explore space.

I have read that Spore introduces the notion of intelligent design and science to kids. That may be true, but Spore wouldn’t be so popular if it wasn’t fun to play. I liken it to creating a video comic book. The creatures you design can be manipulated into different adventures. You provide the dialogue which is written onto the screen and sounds reminiscent of the adults in the Peanuts TV shows. The creatures and adventures you create can be uploaded to the online Sporepedia to be shared and downloaded by others to play. Spore also has plenty of online cheats to keep the hackers in your family happy.