Exploring Custom Content in Spore
Spore is a social network based on player creativity. Each user in Spore is equipped with powerful 3D editors that enable the user to design any creature, building or vehicle they imagine and then share their creations with each other. Spore also allows players to exchange ideas and critiques about each other's creations, keep track of a creator's most recent work and collaborate on projects. Since the launch of Spore back in June of 2008, over 3 million users have joined and created nearly 100 million assets. The community also continues to grow with a new user joining every minute and a new creation being shared every second. For a glimpse into this online community, see www.spore.com/sporepedia which provides basic information about the newest and most popular creations among other perspectives. Sporepedia reveals that creations have spanned a broad space, alluded to a wide array of genres (Star Wars, Sesame St., Pokemon) and even explored new ideas in architecture, sculpture and other design.
However, one website alone is inadequate to explore this huge collection of custom content. As a result, Spore has released the Spore API: www.sporeapi.com. It is a collection of public web services that provide access to data about user activity, their relationships and the content they produce. This poses a unique opportunity for aspiring or seasoned developers, academics, and data visualization gurus. What tools can be built to navigate through this data set, track trends, organize and discover new content? For the novice, building a web application that allows a user to easily navigate through the millions of Spore creations and social web would be a tool welcomed by the community. For the more advanced student, understanding the propagation of ideas across the social network or building recommendation algorithms based on past user activity are just some examples of research projects to pursue. In any case, the Spore API awaits new approaches to exploration and understanding of this unique online world.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Via Dmitri Williams through the Gamesnetwork email list, news about an incredible opportunity for academics and researchers being offered by EA/Spore. Not sure when this was officially launched, but it's the first I've heard of it, and although I don't have time to comment right now, you can expect a post very soon filled with lots of "wows" and "awesomes". In the meantime here's a copy of the full announcement:
Posted by Sara M. Grimes at 3:08 PM