The Astrobiologist and the Game Designer

Reader Denis F. sent us a heads up about an interesting chat between Will Wright and Jill Tarter, noted astrobiologist and director of SETI whose research helped inspire Spore. As you can probably guess, the discussion is pretty abstract at times and goes from gaming to the value of science to where we'll be in 10,000 years. It's pretty interesting, and there's a transcript of the interview:

JT: I keep thinking about the generation that's getting exposed to all this wonderful, rich opportunity of game-playing as education, and that they expect to be able to manipulate the real world the way they do the game world. How do we bridge that? How do we turn them into socially functioning members of humanity on one planet?

WW: It's funny, because I think they are able, more and more, to manipulate the real world like the game world. If you look at the tools that they have available on their cell phones, Google Maps, and such, the amount of formalized information that we can extract from the world around us is skyrocketing. And it's very much based upon things like game interfaces.

JT: But the fact that they can use that interface and pull up this information hasn't changed one iota of the information content. They're just accessing it.

WW: Oh, they're consumers of it, correct. Although more and more, they do have the ability to produce it ....

Worth watching — or just reading — even if it is a little 'out there.' Then again, what would you expect from Will Wright and an astrobiologist?

Jill Tarter + Will Wright [Seed Magazine]


    what's with the wanky dinner table setting and why the hell don't they transcribe these things.

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