In my previous post about Isabella Rossellini and Green Porno, I mentioned reproductive biology as something I have always found fascinating. I want to return to this subject by talking about the Creatures game series.
Released in 1996 by Mindscape, Creatures was one of the first artificial life simulation games. Centered around a little creature called a Norn,1 the user guided their ward through its life cycle until its inevitable death. Along the way, the Norn would explore the world, learn vocabulary, and breed with other Norns. The complexity of the game’s inner workings was amazing for the time: the Norns were controlled by an advanced AI program, influenced by digital chemicals in their bodies, and the game had an entire genome built in, so offspring resulting from breeding were not just simply determined or randomized, but specifically generated from the parents’ “digital DNA.”