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The Best Video Game Ever?

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Gamers have been waiting with bated breath for the past seven years, but our wait will soon be over. In the second half of 2007, we'll finally get our hands on Spore, the latest game from Will Wright, famed creator of Sim City and The Sims. Judging from the media hype surrounding Spore, it's bound to be a huge hit.

Since beginning development in 2000, Wright has occasionally given demos and lectures about Spore, which is the first mass-market game based on generative systems. What's a generative system, you ask? In short, rather than creating a set of canned content -- creatures, environments, etc. -- the content is all user-generated, and it follows simple mathematical rules to create interesting and unique gameplay possibilities. In the game, you design a simple multi-cellular and guide it through its adventures an ever-evolving world, populated by creatures and environments from other players.

Composer Brian Eno described generative systems by saying: "You make seeds, rather than forests." In Spore, your seed (well, your "spore") is a dynamic entity that grows and changes in response to the environment -- and to your tinkering, as its creator. In the last stage of the game, your spore creates a spacecraft and flies through the universe, meeting other civilizations...and sometimes destroying them.

It's fascinating stuff both for gamers and for math geeks (and yes, we're aware of the overlap there!). Recommended viewing:

UPDATE: corrected the spelling of "bated," having learned something from commenter Larriann. Thanks!

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This Just In
Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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fun
Lightning-Fast Teen Sets New Rubik’s Cube World Record
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In less time than it takes some people to open a pickle jar, 15-year-old Patrick Ponce can solve a Rubik’s Cube. His total time of 4.69 seconds makes him the new holder of the world record for fastest 3-by-3 Rubik’s Cube completion, as highlighted by Compete (and seen in the video below).

Ponce achieved the impressive feat of dexterity at a tournament in Middletown, Virginia, on September 2. He takes the title from the previous Rubik’s Cube speed record holder, Feliks Zemdegs, who solved the puzzle in 4.73 seconds at a competition in Australia in December 2016.

But the teenager may not hold his new position at the top for very long: Expert Rubik's Cubers have been steadily lowering the speed record beneath the 5-second mark since 2015. And human competitors still have a long way to go before solving a cube in 0.887 seconds—that’s the record that was set by a robot in March of 2017.

[h/t Compete]

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