The following is a guest blog from Miguel Romero, a.k.a Red Pill Junkie, and Cryptomundo appreciates his insights into this speciality topic:
Electronic Arts (EA), one of the biggest developers of videogames in the world, is about to release the much anticipated Spore, created by Will Wright, the man behind the acclaimed SIMs titles that let gamers create and administer entire cities, or manage the lives and social interactions of customized virtual characters, also known as avatars.
But Spore is a much more ambitious experience—which is one of the reasons it has taken so long to be developed—since the goal of the game is to let the players create their very own planets & life forms, from unicellular microorganisms to evolved sentient creatures that will develop a whole civilization, and finally interact with different life forms created by other gamers once they reach the level of space travel.
That’s right: Spore lets you play God!
The game is scheduled to be released on September 7, but in the meantime EA has released Spore’s Creature Creator, which is kind of a mini-game within the game, and it’s the part in which people can model their creatures using an intuitive interface that permits them to choose from a large canvas of eyes, legs, antennae, horns, wings, etc. Any aspect of the creature (i.e. size, color, texture) can be customized, so that the design possibilities are seemingly endless.
Here you can see a video in which Magazine Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanof is trying the game for himself here.
So, you might be thinking “Cool game, but what’s got to do with Cryptozoology?” Well, it turns out that after you finish modelling your creature, you can upload it and share it with other users through Spore’s social network, Sporepedia.
The game was released last Tuesday, and there are already more than 600,000 creatures uploaded! And not surprisingly, many of them are modeled after some of our favorite cryptids. In his ‘I love the Yeti’ blog, Henry Stokes has taken notice of the Yeti-like creatures shown at Sporepedia.
But there are also dozens of Bigfoot, Nessie, Mothmn, Jersey Devil, you name it (all you have to do is type the cryptid you’re looking on the Search tab and Voila!); and although many are somewhat—shall we say— “off-model”, others show that they have been clearly created to follow the descriptions of those beings made in cryptozoological circles, or at least as closely as possible, given the natural limitations of the game, or the possible lack of ability of the users.
So, what are you waiting Cryptomundians?? Now’s your chance to create your own favorite cryptid just the way you think they look like! You think Nessie is a giant seal instead of a plesiosaur? That Thunderbirds are teratorns instead of pterosaurs? Well go for it.
Creature Creator can be purchased online for US $10 (both for PC or Mac), but EA is also giving away a free trial —although more limited— version of it, which seems a really clever marketing strategy.
Click here to begin.
Oh! Just one more thing: do try to be gentle with your creatures, lest they grow up to despise you and negate your existence.
Even a creature named “Loren” ~
and one called “Miguel”:
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.