Slate’s Luke O’Brien writes an interesting article, delving into the theological and scientific implications of the new game Spore, the brain-child of Sims creator Will Wright:

Some pro-I.D. groups have already targeted Spore as a possible educational vehicle. “It raises a lot of the questions we’ve been thinking about,” Casey Luskin of the Intelligent Design Evolution and Awareness Center told me three months ago. “It has interesting pro-I.D. implications. … I know of at least two video-game developers affiliated with this who are pro-I.D.” Luskin wouldn’t tell me who those developers were, but he did recently weigh in on the Discovery Institute’s blog to list five reasons why Spore will destroy common objections to intelligent design. His conclusion: “Spore is a video game that is intelligently designed to allow users to create fantasy worlds where evolution really can take place.” (If a game that lets you play god is intelligently designed, does that make Will Wright some kind of deity? Could he be Auðumbla, the icy cow of Norse legend that spawned the first gods by licking hoar frost?)

In addition to lending support to intelligent design, intentionally or otherwise, Spore has also managed to irk atheists:

Once the evolution stages end, Spore morphs into a traditional and less-innovative strategy game. You form a tribe, then evolve into a civilization with a military, economic, or religious culture. I managed to go religious by doing exactly what the religious nuts in America do not: eating lots of veggies and playing nice with my neighbors. When I eventually founded a city, I flooded the planet with religious propaganda to forcibly convert the unwashed heathens beyond my walls. This element of the game has angered atheists. I can’t imagine that it’s going to make evangelicals too happy, either.

Read the full article here.