September 05, 2008

First thoughts in on Spore

Spore Spore launches today, unleashing one of the most in-depth creative and, even in advance of its launch, socially active games I've seen in a while.

I've not managed to get my hands on a copy yet and, frankly, have some equally important things that need seen to before I get a play, but thankfully some of our Oz educator cousins have been at it already and have blogged their (overwhelmingly positive) thoughts. The game will be/is thankfully available on a more "interstitial" basis on the Nintendo DS and mobile platforms, for those of us whose concentration and energy spans are on the shorter side. Above all, though, is the promise of plenty of web action to pull the collective enthusiasm and understanding of the game of its players.

Back at Easter I was pitching the idea of Sporeversity to EA, something which may indeed have evolved into the as-yet-unlaunched Spore wiki on the main website. In any case, if they don't do it (and even if they do) the fans will be creating their own networks to describe their virtual lives as well as their real ones. Indeed, if you've had a play, do give me a quick ping so edu.blogs.com readers and I can see your thoughts on it, too.

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Non edu blog review at http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=196423
with screen grabs - sounds good

I've had a few opportunities to play Spore, and show it around a bit the last few days.

I have to sing its praises.

For someone who has been heavily involved in educating children and teenagers, it can be hard to find something to engage them educationally. I have been focusing on games; not games like Grand Theft Auto and Warcraft, but the vast number of games on the Nintendo DS (like Brain Age) and now with Spore.

Spore is fun, a lot of fun. And creative. What I found beyond anything else is that it helps the young at heart get involved with and interact with science and evolution. They begin to understand how evolution works and in the later stages, engineering. I've found their interest in Science, after playing Spore for even an hour, sky rockets.

That's whats so amazing about Spore. I hope it's popular with the mass market!

Spore has been a long time coming and so far it hasn't disappointed. It's incredibly engaging and there are so many opportunities to use it in education. We played it this afternoon and found ourselves discussing which way leg joints should be articulated and where to position the legs for our creature to have decent balance and flexibility. The conversation then shifted to regrets over choosing a carnivorous creature which seemed insignificant at first but is now turning into a fairly violent experience to eat and stay alive!

Looking forward to trying the mobile versions over the coming weeks!

Steph

I've been playing around with the creature creator for the last few months and plan to use it with my P4 class in the next few weeks in conjunction with a minibeasts topic. I must say I'm impressed with what I've seen from the program. Although the really strict DRM is an issue for me. I regularly wipe my hard drives and reinstall everything and the thoughts of having to go and buy it again after three installs is frankly not on (especially after shelling out for four copies with my own cash).

My main disappointment is you cannot have more than one game going at once. I bought a copy this weekend but by the time I got home my 7 yr old son had already 'adopted' it and is quickly working his way though the levels. Its quite interesting since its the first type of game that hasn't involved Mario for him. His verdict - he loves it.

Take back what I said Ewan I've discovered different profiles.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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