Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Darwinia: GA as cultural artifact

Genetic algorithms have been around long enough and have been influential enough that they are weaving their way into our culture. One example is discuseed in a post at Self Deprecating Journalism reviews a game called Darwinia that does not contain genetic algorithms. Rather the story line of the game is partially inspired by the existence of genetic algorithms:

Darwinia opens with an amazing sequence that immersed me right into the feel of the game. Dr Sepulveda welcomes you to Darwinia and explains that a nasty virus has infected this virtual world and is killing his life's work, the Darwinians. The supposed result of genetic algorithms.

It is your job to create units, and retake Darwinia one area at a time (tis a ye-olde-strategy game). The graphics are nice, the sounds are original (inspired by 80's gaming soundtracks) and the interface is workable. I say workable because to create units you must use a simple mouse gesture system.

Many, if not most, of the Japanese card games/cartoons that are now popular in boydom around the planet, from Pikachu to Yu-Gi-Oh, draw inspiration from artificial evolution, and this is not surprising given that genetic algorithms were a fairly popular subject on TV and in the newspapers Japan during the 1990s. Michael Crichton's bestseller Prey is another example of GA-as-cultural-artifact.

What other example can readers of this blog come up with? Why not take a moment and post a comment on your favorite GA cultural artifact?

Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link of game to play online.
Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)
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